Arsenal secured their fourth successive Premier League win, beating Everton 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium.
Team News – Player Ratings – Match Highlights
Match: Arsenal v Everton
Stadium: Emirates Stadium
Kick-Off (GMT): 16:00 – Sun 23 Sep
It was a poor start for Arsenal. Unai Emery’s side struggled to maintain possession against a highly offensive Everton side.
A pattern emerged as the visitors took advantage of the Gunners’ numerous defensive mistakes. Petr Cech kept the Gunners in the game, producing a string of excellent saves to deny the visitors.
Arsenal created little in the way of opportunities in what was a truly dire performance from the home side. The Emirates crowd grew impatient with a side which looked utterly lacking in a plan or purpose.
That showed few signs of changing even after the half-time break. The match seemed to be petering out for the Gunners but that all changed with one moment.
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Aaron Ramsey picked up the ball on the edge of the Everton box and slid it into Alexandre Lacazette’s feet. The Frenchman cut in onto his right foot before curling a wonderful shot into the far top corner.
The Gunners didn’t deserve their lead but extended it just five minutes later. Mesut Ozil burst clear down the right in a 3-on-2 situation in Arsenal’s favour. He squared the ball to Aaron Ramsey but the pass was behind the Welshman who had to flick it into Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s path. The Gabon international was offside but Arsenal didn’t mind as he made it 2-0.
The game petered out after the second goal went in. Arsenal controlled possession and restricted their deflated opponents to speculative efforts.
Here’s how we rate the Arsenal players.
Petr Cech – 9
Man of the match. Petr Cech made a string of excellent saves to keep Arsenal in the game during that frantic first hour.
Hector Bellerin – 6
Hector Bellerin had a tough afternoon against Richarlison down Everton’s left. The Brazilian had the beating of the Arsenal man at times.
Shkodran Mustafi – 6.5
He’s played better this season. Shkodran Mustafi made a couple of defensive errors in the first half but recovered well.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos – 6.5
He played well before his injury. Sokratis was typically strong and composed at the back and hopefully, things aren’t too serious for him.
Sub: Rob Holding (39′) – 7
Rob Holding did well after coming on. It’s always difficult for a substitute defender to come into the match and play well but the Englishman did just that.
Nacho Monreal – 6
He was okay. Nacho Monreal was a good option offensively but had a tough match against his former teammate, Theo Walcott.
Lucas Torreira – 7
He played well on his Premier League debut. Lucas Torreira did pick up an early yellow card but showed good discipline not to get a second. He battled and harried in the centre of the park.
Granit Xhaka – 4
He was woeful in the first half especially. Granit Xhaka couldn’t keep possession for his team in an error-strewn performance. The Swiss midfielder did grow into it but by then, the damage was done.
Mesut Ozil – 5
Much like last week, Mesut Ozil put in a poor performance but a few moments of individual brilliance turned the game in Arsenal’s favour.
Aaron Ramsey – 6.5
He grew into this one. Aaron Ramsey was anonymous in the first half but made a big difference in the second. His offensive movement improved drastically after the break and really stretched the Everton backline.
Sub: Danny Welbeck (80′) – 6
Looked sharp coming off the bench.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 6.5
He grabbed the important second goal but it was far from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s best Arsenal performance.
Sub: Alex Iwobi (69′) – 5
Iwobi looked lively but things didn’t quite work out for him.
Alexandre Lacazette – 7
He was probably the best part of Arsenal’s attack. The Frenchman looked livelier than most of his teammates and grabbed that crucial opening goal.