Everton slide to another Emirates defeat

24/10/2015  0 Comments  [Jump to last]
Arsenal 2 - 1 Everton

Everton's miserable record on Arsenal's turf stretched to a 20th year as poor defending and indecisive goalkeeping put them in a first-half hole they were unable to dig themselves out of despite an improved performance after half time.

Two headed goals in as many minutes, the first inevitably by Olivier Giroud and the second from Laurent Koscielny, put the Gunners into a commanding lead with 38 minutes gone, but Ross Barkley's deflected goal a minute before half-time gave the Blues hope for the second half.

Shrugging off a poor showing in the first period, Everton had their chances to grab a draw, particularly when Brendan Galloway put a far-post header into the side netting, Romelu Lukaku headed off the top of the crossbar and Gerard Deulofeu fired too close to Petr Cech with a wonderful late chance.

Roberto Martinez's were ultimately punished, however, by their slow start to the game and more disarray at the back just when it looked as though they had weathered Arsenal's early storm. Giroud and Gabriel both served notice of the home side's aerial threat by putting unchallenged headers wide before Mezut Ozil profited from oceans of space down the Everton left and swung in a deep cross that the French striker glanced home with Tim Howard caught in no-man's land.

Almost immediately, a soft free kick awarded against Seamus Coleman ended with Ozil whipping a dangerous free kick into the six-yard box where Koscielny nodded home in front of the goalkeeper to make it 2-0.

Everton had largely been poor going forward themselves but they'd actually had the best chance of the game while the scores were still goalless. Aaron Lennon jinked inside and Petr Cech spilled an awkward ball into the path of John Stones but the defender snatched at the chance and sliced wide.

The Blues often looked dangerous on the counter-attack, however, and when Deulofeu picked out Barkley with an excellent raking pass as the visitors sprang into attack from an Arsenal set-piece, the England international drove towards the penalty area and struck a shot that was heavily deflected past Cech.

Despite losing captain Phil Jagielka to injury seven minutes after the interval, Everton began to settle more at the back and become a more consistent threat coming forward but Howard was still twice required to come off his line to close down chances for Alexis Sanchez and then beat away another effort by Giroud from the angle.

Giroud then curled a shot off the face of Howard's crossbar as Everton spurned a couple of more opportunities to hit Arsenal on the break and then went close with those chances for Galloway and Lukaku.

A late chance for Kevin Mirallas, who had come on for the disappointing Lennon, was saved low by Cech while Ozil struck the outside of the post and Matthieu Flamini planted a free header straight at Howard from close range.

Gareth Barry's late dismissal for a second yellow card in injury time set the seal on a disappointing afternoon for Everton, a second successive defeat and the end of their unbeaten record away from home.

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