Everton 1-0 Arsenal: Phil Jagielka dooms listless and lethargic Gunners to disappointing defeat
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Arsenal travelled to Goodison Park to take on Everton on Sunday. Read on for Layth Yousif’s match report from Merseyside.
Phil Jagielka’s first half goal sealed a 1-0 win for Everton against Arsenal at Goodison Park.
In truth it was a deeply disappointing display from Unai Emery’s lethargic Gunners who lacked spark and conviction as they failed to leapfrog bitter rivals Spurs for a second time in six days.
Mesut Ozil was named captain as Mohamed Elneny also started along with Henrikh
Mkhitaryan ahead of a poor start to an important week for the Gunners.
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The Armenian started brightly feeding Alex Lacazette whose low shot to the far post ended up as a corner which, while coming to nothing, was an indication of the intent the Gunners needed to show in a crucial clash.
Unfortunately it was a rare show of probing throughout the match, and it was the home side that went ahead through Jagielka following a corner into a crowded box on 10 minutes.
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Dominic Calvert-Lewin nodded on a Lucas Digne long throw, as the former Sheffield United centre-half slotted home past Bernd Leno from close range.
While it was the experienced central defender’s first goal since April 2017, Jagielka has been a thorn in the side of Arsenal for more than a decade, even starring in goal for the Blades in a 1-0 victory at Bramall Lane more than a decade previously.
Everton continued to harry and press pushing the visitors onto the back foot but it was hard to tell whether Marco Silva’s side were playing well or if Emery’s Gunners were having an off day.
With only seven fixtures remaining to ensure a top four spot and qualification for the Champions League, Emery couldn’t afford to indulge underperforming stars on Merseyside, showing once again his proactive stance when it comes to making tactical changes during the interval.
Aaron Ramsey came on for the disappointing Elneny while Sead Kolasinac was hooked for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as Emery went for broke in the second half.
The home side spurred on by the lively Calvert-Lewin pinned the Gunners back, with the North Londoners unable to break free from the stranglehold until Mkhitaryan’s low shot with 20 minutes remaining flew inches wide of Jordan Pickford’s left hand post.
Former Arsenal wideman Theo Walcott was afforded a warm reception from the travelling fans as he came on for the ineffective Richarlison.
As the clock ticked down Emery was involved in a furious argument with Marco Silva and the Everton backroom staff on the touchline after Mustafi’s late tackle on Calvert-Lewin.
While it was good to see the Arsenal man refuse to take a backward step he could have no complaints at the robust response from the Toffees manager as Mustafi’s ‘challenge’ was poor to say the least.
Just like Arsenal’s performance.