As I wrote yesterday, Arsenal’s record at Goodison Park is atrocious.
We haven’t won there since the 2017/2018 season, and lost the 4 of the last 5 there and drew the other.
Everton have officially taken over from Bolton Wanderers as our hoodoo team. But fortunately, Arsenal managed to break the hoodoo with a stunning strike from Leandro Trossard.
Gabriel Martinelli scored a well taken goal after 19 minutes, but the strike was ruled out for the closest and strangest of offsides. Despite the ball coming off an Everton player and Gabriel Magalhães playing the ball square (and not forwards), Eddie Nketiah was deemed offside in the build up.
Everton’s gameplay was clear, deny Arsenal space in behind, play with 11 men behind the ball, and catch us on the break or a set-piece.
It was always going to be a difficult afternoon for Arsenal, with most of the ball being in front of the Everton players, but we did manage to fashion a few chances.
Fabio Vieira got in behind on the left side and played a good ball across the goal but no-one was there. Saka and Odegaard combined well on the left which resulted in a shot from the Arsenal captain but unfortunately it was straight at Jordan Pickford.
But with Trossard’s introduction for the injured Gabriel Martinelli on 24 minutes, he was involved in most of our best attacking plays and on 69 minutes, Saka, Odegaard and Zinchenko combined well, with Saka cutting the ball back to Trossard, who first time scored an absolute stunner with this left foot.
It was truly an outstanding finish with his “weaker” foot and he deservedly won the Player of the Match award.
Predictably, once Everton conceded they actually decided to attack, primarily by long punts up the pitch by Jordan Pickford.
Arsenal managed to see the game out and took all 3 points from a place we’ve usually left with none.
A good, patience performance from a focused Arsenal team and we come home with all the points. Can’t ask for any more than that.