Arsenal v Everton
Kick off: March 08, 2014 12.45 PM BST
A great start by Arsenal, but when it seemed vital to get that second goal to put the visitors under pressure, we conceded to a fast paced counter attack.
Özil has come in for a lot of criticism recently, some of it fair, some of it a little less so. He was looking dangerous today though, and it took him just seven minutes to have a real impact. Cazorla capitalized on a McCarthy slip, driving forward with the ball. He put a great pass through to Mesut Özil, who calmly and collectedly slid his shot past Joel. 1-0 Arsenal.
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Chamberlain was looking fantastic, and he seemed to be all over the pitch. He was tracking back and putting tackles in, as well as getting involved in every single attack. He saw a couple of decent shots saved or blocked, was putting a number of great balls into the box, and really stretching the Everton defence.
We saw a few negatives from the young Englishmen too, giving the ball away in dangerous areas, twice starting Everton counter attacks. To his credit though, he raced back to atone for his mistakes, dispossessing the Toffee’s forwards to halt the attacks.
Everton were slowly growing into the game, and Arsenal were definitely looking vulnerable on the counter. We were looking dangerous around the Everton box, but every time we lost the ball, hearts were in mouths. We were eventually punished, an Arteta shot blocked and deflected out to Barkley. The youngster burst forward into acres of space down our left flank, Flamini chasing him back, but having received a yellow earlier in the game was unable to commit to the challenge. Barkley put a good ball in across goal, where Mirallas was steaming in to meet it. He got on the end of it, but clearly mishit his shot. Luckily for the Everton man his shot fell straight to Lukaku, who happily took the tap in. 1-1.
Not a bad first half by Arsenal, but we need to stop leaving ourselves so open when we attack. Let’s see what the second half brings.
Sagna Mertesacker Vermaelen(c) Gibbs
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