Everton v Arsenal
Barclays Premier League
Kick off: April 06, 2014 1.30 PM BST
Today’s game at Goodison park is absolutely massive, and could and probably will decide our final position in the League. Unfortunately, someone has apparently forgotten to tell the players that, and there is barely a player on the field that looks like they want to be there.
The first warning sign came when Naismith was left completely unmarked in the box, and was duly picked out. He almost set up Lukaku for a tap in, but misplaced his pass and Arsenal were able to clear. A lucky escape, poor defending.
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We didn’t stay level for long though, and after just 15 minutes Everton were ahead. Lukaku looked slightly offside to me as he received the ball behind the defence, but Mertesacker may have been playing him on. His shot under pressure was saved by Szczesny, but fell straight to Naismith on Arsenal’s left, who finished calmly.
We weren’t creating many chances, and certainly none that you would call clear cut. Giroud got a touch on a good Sagna cross (the right back one of the few players putting any effort in), but it was a difficult angle and he couldn’t direct it goalwards.
After half an hour Everton doubled their lead, more horrendous defending by Arsenal. Lukaku carried the ball from the right, Monreal and Vermaelen just letting him stroll through. The two ‘defenders’ completely stood off him, allowing him to shoot past Szczesny. It should have been ruled out for offside, Naismith standing right in front of the Polish keeper, blocking his view. It wasn’t though, and Arsenal were two behind.
To make things worse, and to add to our massive list of unavailable players, Flamini picked up a yellow card for a poor challenge after a loose touch got away from him. This means he will get a two match ban, missing the FA Cup semi-final against Wigan, and the League game against West Ham.
We need to make a change at half time, preferably bringing the Ox on, or even Ramsey if Wenger believes him ready. We need those overlapping runs, and an injection of pace. The whole side just looked lethargic and unimaginative, a really poor display all round. The only possibility of a goal has looked to be from Podolski, the German able to create a goal from nothing with his powerful left boot. The second half needs to be a massive improvement.
Sagna Mertesacker Vermaelen(c) Monreal
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