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Everton 2-5 Arsenal: Gunners plunge ten-man Toffees into drop zone with comeback win

Daniel Orme in Editorial, English Premier League 22 Oct 2017

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Pressure continued to heap on Ronald Koeman as Everton fell to a 5-2 defeat to Arsenal at Goodison Park on Sunday afternoon.

The Gunners were dominant on Merseyside and were good value for their emphatic win despite Wayne Rooney opening the scoring for the home side early on. Five different scorers found the net for Arsene Wenger’s men with the likes of Mesut Özil, Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey particularly catching the eye.

The home side were also reduced to ten men as midfielder Idrissa Gueye was dismissed for two bookable offences mid-way through the first half as Everton drop into the relegation zone.

Gunners fire early on, Everton ecstatic

Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey nearly opened the scoring early on for the visitors. After combining well with Mesut Özil, the 26-year-old tore into the box but could only nudge his shot wide from an angle when one-on-one with Jordan Pickford. Alexandre Lacazette, who was starting with Özil and Alexis Sanchez for the first time, then tested the stopper from a tight angle.

The Frenchman also had another fantastic chance to notch early on as he latched onto a low cross from Ramsey. He turned and shot from only yards out but saw the ball canon off of Pickford again.

The Toffees lead though only minutes later as Granit Xhaka was disposed by Idrissa Gueye. Exactly 15 years after he scored against Arsenal to open his Premier League account, Wayne Rooney picked up the ball on the edge of the area following the Senegalese midfielder’s challenge and slammed home with his right foot into the top corner.

Arsenal almost level immediately

Despite going behind, Arsenal were still enjoying chances in front of goal. Ramsey was again at the fore-front as he shot from close range but Pickford was there to thwart the Arsenal man yet again. Hector Bellerin shot from distance but the stopper collected with relative ease.

The Gunners did not have to wait much longer though. Granit Xhaka shot low from distance but only saw Pickford palm the ball away. The quickest to react was Nacho Monreal and the Spaniard stroked the ball into the bottom corner to notch his second goal of the season and Arsenal went into the break deservedly level.

Özil unlocks Everton

The Gunners managed to turn the game around not too long into the second half. Alexis Sanchez found space on the left-wing and produced an excellent cross to Mesut Özil. The German cleverly nodded beyond Pickford to give the Gunners a well-warranted lead. Ramsey then wasted a glorious opportunity to stretch the advantage as he blazed over from inside the box.

Things got dramatically worse for Everton as Idrissa Gueye was shown his second yellow card and as a result, given his marching orders. The midfielder received his first caution for a mistimed challenge on Alexis Sanchez before catching Granit Xhaka mid-way through the second period.

Lacazette heaps misery on Koeman

Alexandre Lacazette was the next to find the net at Goodison Park. Nikola Vlašić played a poor ball that was collected in midfield, springing an Arsenal counter-attack. Ramsey played a perfect pass to Lacazette and the Frenchman finished coolly to stretch Arsenal’s lead.

The Gunners might have even have made the score-line even more emphatic had Mesut Özil not been crowded out by Tom Davies as he looked to pull the trigger in the penalty area. Alexis Sanchez then nodded just wide with a diving header that rippled the side-netting. Xhaka was also unlucky to see his long-range effort canon off of the cross-bar in the closing minutes.

Goals galore in the final minutes

It did eventually get worse though as Aaron Ramsey was played through by substitute Jack Wilshere and passed into the net to compound a miserable Sunday afternoon for Everton and Ronald Koeman.

Substitute Oumar Niasse did earn a scant consolation for the home side. A terrible mix-up between Petr Čech and Monreal allowed the striker to bundle home in front of an almost-empty Goodison Park. The away fans were however on their feet again only seconds later. Alexis Sanchez, an inspiration all afternoon toyed with the Toffees defence and danced around the area before slamming home with an accurate drive as boos rang out.

Final Thoughts

Despite gaining a shock advantage early in the game, Everton were never in control of the match throughout the 90 minutes. The Gunners’ attack was particularly impressive at Goodison Park and had it not been for the interventions of Jordan Pickford, could well have found the net far more frequently.

The worrying times continue on Merseyside having only won two out of their last 13 games in all competitions. They now languish in 18th position in the Premier League table with a crucial clash against Leicester City coming up next weekend.

Elsewhere, the Gunners move up to fifth ahead of their next league clash with Swansea City next Saturday.

Match Report

Everton: Pickford (5); Kenny (5), Keane (5), Williams (5) (Davies (6), 45′), Jagielka (4), Baines (5); Sigurdsson (5), Gueye (4), Vlašić (5); Rooney (7) (Niasse (6), 74′), Calvert-Lewin (6) (Lookman (5), 74′).

Arsenal: Čech (6); Koscielny (7), Mertesacker (7), Monreal (7); Bellerin (6), Ramsey (7), Xhaka (6), Kolašinac (7); Özil (8) (Coquelin (N/A), 83′), Sanchez (8), Lacazette (7) (Wilshere (N/A), 77′).

Goals: Rooney (12′), Monreal (40′), Özil (53′), Lacazette (74′), Ramsey (90′), Niasse (90+3′), Sanchez (90+5′)

Referee: Craig Pawson

Yellow Cards: Williams (16′), Gueye (33′, 67′), Koscielny (86′)

Red Cards: Gueye (67′)



Daniel Orme

Daniel is a football journalism graduate from the University of Derby. He has been freelance writing for approximately six years now and brings considerable experience. A season ticket holder at local club Leicester City, he witnessed the Foxes miraculously lifting the Premier League trophy in the 2015/16 campaign.



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