Rewind: Arsenal 2 Everton 1
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
What we predicted
We expected Arsenal to build on the momentum of their performance against Bayern Munich and record a 2-0 win.
In the first half hour or so, not a great deal as both sides struggled to deal with the rain-sodden surface, but it was noticeable that Everton’s defence looked less than comfortable with good deliveries into the box.
That became even more apparent in the 36th minute when Mesut Ozil floated over an exquisite cross and Olivier Giroud judged it perfectly as he rose to glance the ball beyond Tim Howard.
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Arsenal doubled their lead just two minutes later as Santi Cazorla swung in a free-kick for Laurent Koscielny to head his first goal of the season from close range.
Ross Barkley gave the Toffees a lifeline just before half-time with a shot that struck Gabriel and looped in – and it was something of a surprise that there were no further goals in an action-packed second period.
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Giroud and Ozil both struck the woodwork, as did Romelu Lukaku at the other end and Petr Cech denied Gerard Deulofeu a late equaliser before Everton’s Gareth Barry was shown a second yellow card in injury time.
Buy him a pint
Ozil looked magnificent in the first half, but faded later, while the reverse was true of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who created a number of openings after the break.
Cazorla, however, was consistent throughout the game in his dual role – helping to stifle Everton in the centre of the park and setting up a series of counter-attacks. Oh, and providing the assist for Koscielny’s goal.
Get your coat son
Few contenders, although Nacho Monreal was given an uncomfortable time by Deulofeu – and Alexis Sanchez experienced a quiet night by his standards.
Let’s just say that whoever was responsible for cancelling the last train back to Liverpool, and causing many of the travelling fans unnecessary anxiety, needs to smarten up their act.
Ozil’s cross for the first goal was delightful – but just as important was Gabriel’s uncompromising challenge to foil Lukaku as Everton pushed for an equaliser late on.