4 Talking Points From Arsenal’s 4-1 FA Cup Win Over Everton
Arsenal beat Everton 4-1 on Saturday to book a date with Wigan in the semi-finals of the FA Cup. Here, Gunner333 gives us 4 talking points from the game.
Arsenal beat Everton 4-1 on Saturday afternoon to book a date with Wigan Athletic in the semi-finals of the FA Cup. Here, Gunner333 gives us 4 talking points from the game.
Having slumped to a woeful loss at Stoke last weekend, Arsenal were looking to put league form aside and concentrate on our greatest chance for a trophy this season – the FA Cup. Sanogo once again started up-top, whilst the Koscielny-Mertesacker connection was broken, with club-captain Thomas Vermaelen being recalled into our starting line-up.
In the early stages, Everton held the upper hand in possession but Wenger’s side looked keen to draw first blood and Mesut Özil made it so just seven minutes in. Sent free by Santi Cazorla, Özil steered the Spaniard’s through-ball past Joel Robles in the Everton goal. It was the German’s first since playing the Toffees earlier in the season.
With this platform built, Arsenal seemed comfortable to supply Everton with more possession of the ball and try to hit them on the counter. The Arsenal midfield was linking-up well and Chamberlain’s work down the left set-up a good chance for his national counterpart Gibbs, who unravelled an ‘outside-of-the-boot’ effort which was blocked by Stones.
Despite some growing Arsenal dominance, Everton responded. Barry initially breaking up the play to unleash Ross Barkley who drove forward before whipping in a sensational ball to Mirallas. The Belgian flicked the ball back for Lukaku, who poked home the equaliser.
An immediate response was attempted by the North-London side as Oxlade-Chamberlain promisingly burst forward but he saw a powerful attempt parried by Robles. Half time and it was level at the break.
Arsenal hit the ground running early in the second half, Sanogo fluffed a half-chance, signalling for his departure with Giroud arriving in his place. Even more attacking intention had now been injected into Arsenal’s play and it looked as if it would show.
The intensity of home pressure was proving too much for the travelling Toffees and veteran Gareth Barry especially. After tracking back to help out his back-line the 33-year-old threw out a trailing leg which caught the Ox, alerting Clattenberg to point to the spot.
Arteta was the man dealt the task of sending Arsenal ahead and looked to have done so when his penalty was hit hard and low past Joel but the referee called it back for infringement, Giroud the culprit. The second spot-kick was once again converted, and the Gunners now leading 2-1.
Everton seemed to switch off from here and Giroud struck on the turn from close range after good work from Sagna to make it 3-1. And as if the current scoreline wasn’t flattering enough on Arsenal’s part, they made it four. A well-timed break beautifully worked by the Gunners’ midfield, with Özil the puppet-master laying it off for Giroud to bury home.
A comfortable victory in the end. Here I will now analyse four talking points from the game;
1) Mesut Maturing
Arsenal put in an excellent all-round display and nobody stood out more than Ozil. Recently battling a barrage of critical comments, he looked in a much improved frame of mind, which sparked a classy on-field performance. He took his goal well and worked his socks off yesterday, even helping out the defence at times by tracking back when needed.
Our final goal capped of a great showing from Özil as he unselfishly played in Giroud with a lovely assist. He certainly answered some of his critics with this display and I just hope we start to see this kind of performance on a more regular basis from the German.
2) Have a go…
Although we still kept possession to a great degree against Everton, we were not completely appose to allowing them to play themselves. Our performance towards the end of the first half was sloppy and we were showing little sign of going for the second, and the visitors took advantage by grabbing the equaliser. However, by sitting back and socking up some pressure we saved our energy and took advantage of the tired Everton legs late on.
Manchester United have used this tactic in recent seasons to great effect as they gained a reputation for grabbing late goals. It looks like this is something that’s crept into our game as we’ve been slow starters during many games this season and have largely been a team that scores in the second half.
3) Ox On the Plane!
Providing an injury is not picked up before-hand, I believe it is paramount that Oxlade-Chamberlain’s recent top showings earn an England World Cup call-up. If his current form is sustained he will undoubtedly be right up there with the likes of Hazard or Navas in years to come. For me, he is England’s greatest prospect and yesterday was a fine example of why.
Alex is no stranger to driving forwards and did so many-a-time in this clash. His flexibility makes him a prize asset, as he is capable of playing just in front of the defence or as an out-and-out winger. At times he haunted Barry, none more so than his earning of the penalty, something he could do for England in Rio!
4) Wembley Return
Arsenal’s previous trip to Wembley was certainly a memorable one, for the wrong reasons… Our loss against Birmingham is one still rich in Gooner minds, but is something we can now put right.
We are currently competing with three very good sides in City, Chelsea and Liverpool in the title race, whilst the Champions League is slipping away, providing we perform to no less than a Herculean standard in Munich. Therefore I now value the FA Cup above any other competition for us.
With Wigan’s shock victory over Man City today, we will now meet the holders in the semi’s and have a golden opportunity to end our much-talked about trophy drought. We are never going to get a better chance to win the FA Cup, so let’s make sure we don’t blow it….
Thanks for reading and feel free to comment below.
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