Everton 1 – 2 Arsenal: Match Thoughts And Individual Analysis

Goodison Park – A good place to gain points on the rivals 🙂

Arsenal picked up two points on United who’d thrown away a 2 goal lead in stoppage time to draw away at Everton. Arsenal almost did the same but almost doesn’t cut it. After all, we’ve almost won many titles!

Three points at a difficult venue just add to the phenomenal away record that Arsenal are developing this season (if only we can do better at home one might whisper). Once again it wasn’t a perfect performance but it was a very hard-working one with every player maintaining his focus till the final whistle to grind out the win.

The game started in a sluggish manner. Arsenal took about ten minutes to put some passes together. I thought this was down to a combination of Everton pressing in unison and high up the pitch, Arsenal showing respect to the opposition and starting with caution, and the hosts fouling an Arsenal player whenever he was about to get into a good forward position.

Arsenal created the first good chance around the 10th minute when some neat one touches passes set Nasri free on the left. The Frenchman was able to run at the defence and got his shot away but Distin kept his eye on the ball and got a block in.

From the resulting corner the ball was knocked out to Fabregas who was caught in possession and then Cesc lost out against Coleman in a footrace on our left touchline. The youngster’s cross found Cahill but the Aussie wasn’t able to keep his shot on target.

From this point till the first goal neither team really created any clear chances. Arsenal had some shots from distance (as if the players were responding to the pleas of the fans) but rarely troubled Howard.

Everton were not able to keep up their high pressing and were limited to long balls with the hope of creating something. Arsenal’s defence made it look fairly comfortable in the first half.

The goal came from another long shot by Nasri that was parried away by Howard. Arshavin was the first to react and did well to control the ball in a tight space, exactly the kind of thing he is in the team for. The Russian found Sagna in space and the full-back scored from the narrowest of angles with a thunderbolt.

Howard was beaten as his near-post but as I’d said when Almunia conceded against Liverpool, with that kind of pace and the ball placed perfectly it’s very difficult to stop.

If that was a good time to get the opening goal, the second one couldn’t have been timed any better. Three minutes after the restart Cesc double the lead.

Denilson, who’d come on for Wilshere at half-time, won a tackle in midfield as Arteta was caught on the ball. The Brazilian advanced to the edge of the box and for a minute it seemed that he’d delayed his pass for too long.

Denilson found El Capitan who nonchalantly flicked it towards Chamakh. The Moroccan had two defenders in front of him but was able to lift the ball between them. Fabregas smashed home the half-volley on the swivel.

Soon after, Cahill won a header as Djourou got sucked in. Squillaci was caught for pace by Saha and conceded a foul just on the edge of the box. The presence of Clichy meant the card was yellow. Baines took the free-kick and Fabianski, who was unsighted, gambled on it being over the wall. This meant the Pole was able to make a simple save. If Baines had gone for the other corner things might have been interesting but I don’t think Fabianski had much choice.

Everton were getting the ball down the wings but Arsenal always had enough men in the middle to deal with the crosses. Some last gasp tackling and blocks helped.

On the hour mark Nasri got the ball near the centre circle in the Arsenal half. He was able to run at the defence and went past Jagielka as if he didn’t exist. Howard made a good save but it left me wondering why did people want Arsenal to pay crazy money for ‘proven player’ Jagielka!?

Moments later, Cesc was free on the right and his cross was deflected in front of Chamakh who managed to sky it over from two yards. I thought Chamakh was looking for an aerial cross and wasn’t ready for a low, drilled ball. He was also a yard behind the ball. If the striker had moved forward in line with the ball he’d have had a tap in. Just some of the small things he needs to work on.

After this chance in the 61st minute I felt Arsenal played a very dangerous game. For a while they frustrated Everton with excellent passing and maintaining possession. You could see the hosts were running out of ideas. The problem was no one in the Arsenal team was willing to take the game by the scruff of the neck. One good run, one incisive pass, one creative moment – that was missing.

Ultimately Everton would get the ball back and would try the same moves they’d been trying from the start. The risk here was that one mistake at the back or a lucky break could see David Moyes’ side back in the game. And with Arsenal players not looking to be creative there is always a chance that we lose our focus and crumble under pressure.

At such a time, Fabianski came up with two or three excellent saves to keep the two goal lead and I cannot emphasize the importance of those.

Wenger brought Rosicky on for Arshavin to give Clichy, who was outnumbered time and again, some support on the left. I thought it was a good move and Little Mozart did his bit for the team.

Eventually, Cahill did get a goal back, which I thought came from a foul by Saha on Song but we’ve seen players get away with that in the Premiership. It was too little too late as Arsenal held on.

Looking back at the game, I recall there were some nervous moments but all teams will have those at Goodison Park. As long as the players are willing to put their body on the line, cover for each others’ mistakes, and take their chances when they come, I’m happy with the performance.

Individual Performances

Fabianski: Superb. Made some top saves, good decision making in the box, can’t be faulted for the goal.

Sagna: My MotM. Fantastic effort on the right in attack, possession, and defence. Scored a scorcher, wish he’d try more often.

Squillaci: Looked shaky against the ball over the top. Got caught out once or twice. Read the game really well. Good understanding with Djourou. Never took his eye of the ball.

Djourou: Was immense in the air. Was in the right place more often than not. Good composure and distribution.

Clichy: I thought he was excellent once again. Was outnumbered quite often but used his pace and intelligence to deal with it. Was in the right defensive places when the team needed him. Ran a lot with a number of important sprints to get back.

On the whole, the back five did a fantastic job and limited the number of clear chances the hosts could create.

Song: exceptional work rate. Often sprinted back to play as an extra defender and make crucial blocks, something he’ll have to do more often. Sprayed a few passes wide but that can be excused as he was putting in a phenomenal shift.

Cesc: Still not on top form but El Capitan was running the show. Looked calm, confident, and composed and that rubbed off on the team. Scored a delightful goal. Put in his share of defensive work. Could have done better with some passes.

Wilshere: Did the simple things right in the first half. Stayed close to the defence when others went forward.

I thought the midfield wasn’t able to dominate the game as one expects from Arsenal but made up for it through extra effort and defensive contribution.

Nasri: as we’ve seen in earlier games took a few minutes to get in the game. Was involved in some big moments up front. Showed a tremendous burst of pace to go past Jagielka. Unlucky not to be on the score sheet. Did well defensively as well.

Chamakh: Worked his socks off. Tracked back quite often to add another man to the defence. Good presence on set-pieces while defending. Should have scored around the hour and needs to improve his poaching instincts. Good assist for the second goal but his passing wasn’t as good as we’ve seen in the past.

Arshavin: attempted only nine passes in the 66 mins he was on the pitch but looked out most potent attacking threat in the first half. His alertness and composure created the first goal. Tracked back often enough even if he didn’t really know how to defend.

The attackers didn’t get as many chances or as often in attacking positions as we would like to see. It was a tough game and they did their part on either end.

Subs: It was good to see Denilson come on for Wilshere. The Brazilian had good defensive intelligence and presence even if his distribution was nervy on a couple of occasions. Did well to set up the second goal. Rosicky provided Clichy the support he needed as Arshavin was tiring. Little Mozart also helped with the possession game. Eboue didn’t have much to do.

I cannot emphasize the result of this game and indeed the one in midweek. It’s not been pretty but it’s been massive. I type this just as Ashley Cole makes a big mistake and Chelsea’s lack of depth is woefully exposed. Two points from the top, Keeper and defence looking strong, plenty of players contributing in attack, now if we can just get through the meaningless international break without any injury news it will set up an excellent winter.

39 Responses to Everton 1 – 2 Arsenal: Match Thoughts And Individual Analysis

  1. LondonGunner says:

    Good analysis bit tough on Chamakh the ball was strong and it s hard to control he really worked hard today. For me Fabianski has been our best player.

  2. afc says:

    great game great chelski result. I think we will win the prem by 6 points, we will beat spurs by 4-0 or 3-0.

    • miles says:

      I thought the same thing. only I think its 7 points

    • AnonymousGun says:

      LOL @ afc .. 50 bucks says that by the end of the month – if we even lose 1 more game, he’ll revert back to his usual trolling self asking for players blood to be sold and sacrifice so we could buy “proven” players

  3. Filip says:

    I read this comment : ”scrappy escape, grinding wins, of the sort that a low midtable will be pleased with, brawn tackles, conceding possession ( to Wolves! to Everton), where is the passing game(?) is this the new look Arsenal? doubtful that this sort of performance will get this team very further , when was last time we saw a good performance from this team?” and when you think about it is very true but I dont care. Points instead of beautiful football any day , right ?

    • shooter says:

      Are you really watching Arsenal’s games? We play beautiful football, dude. Two great goals today plus Nasri’s chance. Didn’t see anything like this in Chelea’s, Man Utd’s or Man City’s games.

      • Filip says:

        Honestly, I didnt watch the match because I was working until 4 in the morning(9am GMT) so I was sleeping during the game but I have watched most of our games this season and we have been struggling a lot.

      • Nischit says:

        Yes Arsenal have not been at their best the past couple of weeks, but this was an impressive team performance. Goodison park is a hard place to go..We were solid defensively and quite good offensively until about the 75th min. After that legs started to get on us, because we really had to work hard to cope with everton. Pienaar today proved that he could be a GREAT free signing for some team, hopefully, arsenal. He made everton tick and was dangerous all the time. I think this is a great result and anyone who watched the game will say that Arsenal are improving after the 2 bad results against shakthar and newcastle.

      • Nischit says:

        Although, the save from Beckford was definitely amazing!!!

  4. shooter says:

    No more November curse. Great game by DJ and Fabi. Laughing at poor Chelsea and their improvised defence. Even Drogba seems toothless right now (it’s difficult at 32, ain’t it?). One of the best weekends this season.

    • Gunner says:

      *keeping finger crossed* pls dun say it too soon.. pls say it after new year.. still 2 weeks to end nov, and a month of dec~ :X

  5. Bala says:

    Outstanding victory made even more outstanding by Fabianski’s form and Chelsea and ManU results.My MOM would Be Fabianski or Nasri.About Clichy I thought he was good in First half but made a few mistakes in the second but as you said he got very less defensive cover from the russian captain.Come on you gunners and if we can maintain this away form we would surely win at OT and now we have to make Emirates as a fortress starting against the spudies

    • santori says:

      Shout to Fabianski. Great saves!

      • Bala says:

        Our fans are making themselves looking fool by voting him as MOTM in most of the matches now but anyways he hugely deserves it and thats another example of Arsene being a genius in bringing players through

      • Nischit says:

        I don’t think Fabianski had an outstanding performance today. I think he just did his job and we shouldn’t get carried away. Nasri was ok too. Drifted in and out of the game. MOTM for me was Djourou, who I thought was immense.

  6. arsenalist says:

    we have 3 points….we are second……for me its enough….all the players are great….what a week…thanks sunderland _)))))))

    • Bala says:

      Can you pls tell when can I get the BBC MOTD video in your site.

      • santori says:

        You can go to footytube.com, it’s normally up about 8-10 hours from now.

        I’d like to see what those pundits have to say.

        Every time United scrape a win (or draw) it’s United show resilience. Every time we do the same it’s Arsenal are not convincing.

        Dixon grow yourself a pair and stand up to that Conk Shell Hansen for once.

        We’ve let in less goals than United so give credit where it’s due.

  7. Bala says:

    Going by ESPN’s match report of Chelsea’s match it looks like Cech made a number of good saves and he did that midweek too against Fulham.So its good we also finally have a keeper who can win matches for us.More than all I m really happy to see Chelsea struggle without their Big players,now no one can say that about us

  8. Finnish Hit says:

    Excellent to pick out Sagna as MotM like I would have. And like the previous game, Fab2 will be picked out as the one on most media. (Not complaining about his saves, of course.) Sagna has been immense in the last games. And he is good at decision making (able to cut someone down when needed in exchange of a card) and is a personality (it was huge the way he looked the other ways when Webb was giving him a talking to).

    Beside him, Squillaci in my opinion has been very, very good. He’s calm, clear and directive. Maybe reassuring is the right word; something that you always want from your defense.

  9. afc says:

    I went to a fortune teller and she told me arsenal would win the prem by 6 points..

  10. samir nasri says:

    where are the negative comments now?

    haha, oh boy. what a terrible core of supporters.

    good article desi, can’t wait for spurs!

    • LondonGunner says:

      Yes Arsenal have the most doom mongers in the country, we have more plastic than any club, well bar Chelsea in last 15 min when I looked the stadium it was all blue plastic, chelsea fans dressed up as empty plastic chairs(I thought Halloween was over)

      • desigunner says:


        I’ve been reading some Tiny Totts and City blogs and some comments and opinions there been laughable recently. But it did show almost all clubs have their share of idiots.

  11. santori says:

    Well done with your ‘prediction’ at Goodison Desi!:D

    Couple of things :

    1) Djourou – He’s been good hasn’t he thus far? We’re playing with our second choice pairing and I must say they should be given every credit for putting in very decent shifts.

    2) Sagna – That’s what we want more from our fullbacks. Great to see Sagna adding an attacking threat and capping it with a goal. More please.

    3) Denilson – Good shift by the young man. Best of all, he took a shot (almost apologetically) from outside the box. Wenger please encourage him to pop off more of these, it’s his (potentially) strong suit.

    4) Song – Immense performance. A bit lucky with that block where he had his arm up in the box but he was always there to cover the CBs when they were pulled wide.

    5)Nasri – Hopefully, this new found turn of pace will encourage him to attack the last defender or two more. An excellent performance.

    In Fact, I thought we did make it difficult for our defense by dropping off in the last 15 minutes. Fabgreas wasn’t there anymore and Moyes loaded on more attacking options for the long ball.

    I thought that we’d serve ourselves better had we :

    a) Taken Fab off and switched Nasri to the middle just behind Chamakh (Kept him on to press high)

    b) Eboue or Walcott wide right to cover Sagna but instructed to provide an added outlet.

    With the high balls coming in, we should have taken advantage of our counter attacking options better. It would have relieved some of the pressure off of the defense and made it a more comfortable ending (not to mention I thought we could have kept the clean sheet, possibly nicked a goal or two more)

    Great result. 2 off the pensioners (looking worn and tired), ahead of United, City imploding and where are Totteringham? 😀

    • desigunner says:

      I think Arsenal are still searching for that balance of defending and counter attacking. It will take time but seems to be going in the right direction.

      I think Fab was important late on because he is willing to throw his body on the line and reads the game well defensively.

  12. Dobbi says:

    Amazing performance by the gunners. controlled the game for 80 mins, must just cut out the nervousness in the last ten mins and we’ll be world beaters! sooo impressed with this team right now!

  13. gunner32 says:

    Desi, didn’t you think that the ref Howard Webb was sometimes turning a blind eye to some Everton fouls? I remember Fabregas being scissor tackled by Coleman but the ref deemed it fair. Likewise Arshavin was tackled from behind and I felt if An Arsenal player had done the same thing today then he would surely have got a yellow card.

    • desigunner says:

      I thought Webb made mistakes but both sides got some decisions their way. It would be difficult to say it was all against Arsenal.

  14. ha says:

    i thought jourou was excellent he won every header .Clichy got caught a few time ..over all a great win.

  15. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Arsenal Fans and Vikram Kumar, EpiKnightz. EpiKnightz said: DesiGunner: Everton 1 – 2 Arsenal: Match Thoughts And Individual Analysis: Goodison Park – A good place… http://bit.ly/cBw5Gn #Arsenal […]

  16. Tim says:

    Man of the match definitely between Fabianski and Sagna for me.

    A good, battling performance rather than a smooth, flowing one. Really impressive – the kind of game all those “experts” keep smugly saying we’re not capable of.

    We will certainly be geed up on Saturday, knowing that a win takes us top before Chelsea kick off at Birmingham (a tricky game, that).

    A week is a long time in football. Last Sunday everyone was writing us off before Chelsea lost at Liverpool. Now we have all to play for!


  17. […] Everton 1 – 2 Arsenal: Match Thoughts And Individual Analysis Goodison Park – A good place to gain points on the rivals Arsenal picked up two points on United who’d thrown away […] […]

  18. aravindvr says:

    Good things abt the game

    1.It was gr8 to c us putting collective pressure in winning the ball back whenever we lost posession.

    2.Clichy didnt do any glaring errors…infact he was very good..I was a very worried abt him this season.

    3.Arshavin looked threatening at tmes and showed more interest.

    4.Back four along with our Keeper looks like a team in itself.

    5.Djourou’s headers were superb.

    6.Once again The Sun will call our Keeper Fabulouski instead of Flappyhandski.

    Bads abt the game.

    1.Howard Webb contributed for Everton goal by dragging Sagna out of position for a talk and allowing a quick corner take bef our defense was on.

    2. Last minute substitution of Eboue- who likes to dribble and play in our half more than clearances.

  19. critic says:

    a request to every fan that goes to ems that plz get behind arsenal and create a gr8 atmosphere dere.
    we need to beat spuds to carry on with the momentum. I really believe that anxiety at ems gets to arsenal players and that cud be the reason for under performance at home.I know we have some doubters and are not satisfied with current squad but one should not feel that once he enters ems. We Should think of our team as world beaters at home then only that confidence will be reciprocated by players. be the 12th man for arsenal not for opposition.

    • critic says:

      by the way i cudn’t stop laughing at charity last night, what next???ancelotti asking for more charity from abrhamovich???lolz
      by the way i give ashley cole the AOTD(assist of the day….lolz..

  20. Ajinkya says:

    YEAH! Our honest, hard working man scores a goal!

  21. Raghugovind says:

    Great win ! Well played Arsenal ! Honestly we should have won 2-0 . Referee was talking to Sagna when the corner was taken . One thing I feel is that Cesc is more relaxed and plays better when Denilson is on the pitch . No disrespect to Wilshere, the kid is too good for his age . We can analyse the 2 halfs of this match to understand this . One thing is for certain ,when Cesc plays confidently it also rubs in on the team . I maybe wrong . What do you feel Desi ?

    • desigunner says:

      There is no doubt a composed Cesc can influence the whole team and when he is rattled everyone else also seems agitated.

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