Everton topped Arsenal 1-0 at Goodison Park, marking the third consecutive win in a row for the Toffees. Defender Phil Jagielka poked home the goal that would prove to be the winner in a game that Everton dominated at home. The Gunners continue their woes in away matches as the loss sets Arsenal back in the race for the top four.
Many fans, pundits and experts had doubts about the starting lineup picked by manager Unai Emery. Much of the questioning was based around the absence of Arsenal’s leading goal scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. With 17 Premier League goals this season, Emery’s decision to not start Aubameyang from the beginning was a head scratcher for Arsenal supporters.
Another selection mistake could be seen in the center of the park as well. With midfielders Granit Xhaka (injury) and Lucas Torreira (suspension) both unavailable, Emery chose a midfield pairing of youngster Matteo Guendouzi and Mohamed Elneny. Sunday’s match against Everton was only the third Premier League start for Elneny, putting immense pressure on the Egyptian in such a pivotal game for the Gunners. Not only that, but Sunday was also the first time Elneny and Guendouzi had started with each other in the midfield, and it showed. Arsenal will have to regroup quickly, as a Europa League tie against Napoli is up next.
Everton midfield pair Idrissa Gueye and Andre Gomes absolutely bossed this fixture, pressing the Arsenal midfield into mistakes all game. With the cover from midfield, Everton was able to bomb their attackers forward. Wide players Richarlison and Bernard were granted endless space, allowing for a number of clean chances. By the end of the match, Everton had outshot Arsenal 23 to 7, and dominated practically every aspect of the game.
The Toffees have flashed to life in the last three weeks, winning their last three games, including big wins over Chelsea and now Arsenal. Everton was able to keep a clean sheet in each of the last three matches, making them one of the Premier League’s hottest teams right now. Everton will travel to Fulham before returning home for another big fixture against Manchester United.