When you drop a point away, the overall outcome in the chase for Champions league qualification is salvageable, but drop all three and it could devastating. Arsenal’s away form is a complete contrast from life at the Emirates and Everton proved to be too intense for the Gunners.
It’s been a tried and tested approach for many seasons now. If you deny Arsenal width and space, constantly hassle and prevent their favoured free flowing football, you can sneak a goal and a win against them.
Everton smothered Arsenal and bullied them senseless. They made them look ordinary and didn’t give them hardly any opportunities, in fact, the gunners didn’t have a single shot on target in the first half.
In my opinion, the team selection was wrong and it cost the North London club the game against Everton.
FT | Three wins on the bounce. ?
— Everton (@Everton) April 7, 2019
Elneny again ? The last resort player that kept Ramsey on the bench, fraudulently wore an Arsenal shirt for the second time in successive games. Given the choice between those two, it’s a complete no brainier.
It’s a concern that Unai Emery seems powerless to overturn the problems that engulfed Wenger away from home in his last season and although, things are not quite as bad as his last campaign in charge, it is a concern that they can’t perform when they go on the road.
The joy of leapfrogging Spurs has been replaced by the reality of a tough battle to stay in the top four and a reminder that performances have to be consistent.
10 minutes in and Phil Jagielka, who was recalled to the Everton side just before kickoff, got his head to a throw in. Calvert-Lewin, who went on to be the Man of the Match, nodded the ball into the startled feet of Sead Kolasinac, who inadvertently fed the ball to Jagielka for the simplest of tap-ins.
To be honest, they could have had more, three or four and Everton will have to make those chances count against less timid and less blunt opposition.
The first half was full of fouls and niggling disruptions, but none was more spectacular than Shokdran Mustafi’s 82nd minute hack at Calvert-Lewin, which sent the striker hurtling through the air to the turf.
The crowd were incensed, the benches were incensed and everyone argued with everyone about a foul so incompetent that it was beyond denial and certainly not worthy of a touchline scrap.
Emery ranted at Silva and Silva engaged in the heated nothingness, then in the worst and most pointless protest ever, Mesut Ozil threw his coat at the Everton staff. He may face some sort of action and could also regret it if the country suffers a cold spell.
If only Arsenal could have transferred that passion to the field. Only lion hearted Sokratis Papastathopoulos looked remotely interested, but he picked up a booking which rules him firmly out of the crucial matches against Watford and Crystal Palace.