4 Talking Points From Arsenal’s Disappointing 3-0 Loss To Everton
Arsenal slumped to another disappointing away defeat with Everton running out 3-0 winners on Sunday. Here, Gunner333 gives us four talking points from the game.
Arsenal slumped to another disappointing away defeat, this time it was Everton who took the Gunners apart to run out 3-0 winners on Sunday. Here, Gunner333 gives us four talking points from the game.
Following on from a 1-1 draw with City last week, which looked to solidify hopes of fourth spot, Arsenal turned their attention to the vital clash with the Toffees. Title hopes now all but diminished, this game incorporated the two sides vying to fill the remaining Champions League spot and proved to be the most important amid the remaining fixtures for the Gunners.
It was no surprise to see an electric atmosphere at Goodison Park, with home fans desperate to see their club be the first to knock Arsenal out of the top four since the start of Wenger’s reign.
After Flamini unravelled a rocket at goal which was gathered by the Tim Howard, the home side executed a fine response. Baines found Lukaku with a low cross, who’s attempt rebounded to Scotsman Naismith, who buried the chance comfortably. A chorus of ecstasy was unleashed by the Everton crowd, with the already tense atmosphere making this a tough ask for the Gunners.
Both sides forced chance-after-chance. Mirallas stung the paws of Szczesny, before young John Stones was called into action to deny Frenchman Giroud with a half-chance. However, some shambolic defending called for Everton’s second. Spaniard Arteta left space open when he slipped in the center-circle, which was used well by Mirallas who slipped the ball through to Lukaku, the Belgian was allowed to cut inside before firing home past Szczesnye.
Frustrations did arise from the Arsenal camp though, with the second goal resulting from a tactical block of vision by Naismith on Szczesny, the Scottish forward straying in an offside position and was clearly interfering with play, but the goal was allowed to stand.
Just past the hour-mark any faint hopes of an Arsenal revival were eradicated in a flash of calamitous play. Arteta slid into Mirallas after the ball fell at the Belgian’s feet, with the Arsenal player’s trailing toe getting the final touch on the ball which trickled into the net. Now game over, Arsenal were just looking to prevent this poor defeat into another humiliation.
A rare scene of Arsenal cheer came upon arrival of Aaron Ramsey to the field of play. The Welshman returned after his early scintillating form was cut short by a lengthy injury woe. But It was evident it was not Arsenal’s day when a promising chance for Oxlade-Chamberlain rattled the bar, before Sanogo had a goal wrongfully disallowed in stoppage timer. Full time and 3-0 it had ended, yet another away harrowing to a top-side.
Here I will now analyse four talking points from the game:
1) Loss Of Hunger
As with anything in football, repetition of success can often lead to a side depreciating the importance of it. This is certainly evident within Arsenal’s play at present, as we are approaching games in the manner that fourth is practically secured. This is clearly not the case.
Right from the starting whistle, we played on the back-foot and Everton approached the game with a lot more hunger. The combined atmosphere and importance of the game gave us stage fright and our normally fluid passing football spread across the field was changed to rigid, robotic movements and we seemed to become more grouped together in the centre, as the game progressed.
Ahead of the incredibly important game with Wigan in the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday, we must hit the ground running and not have a repeat of Sunday’s embarrassing showing. It is paramount also not to underestimate the quality that Uwe Rosler’s side possess.
2) Sluggish Sagna
Many of Everton’s attacking opportunities were sparked from their left-hand side. The focal point of the defensive disarray in this area was Bacary Sagna, who was consistently caught out of position. The runs of Barkley, Mirallas and Lukaku proved too much for our experienced full-back, leaving us with concerns about a frail-looking back-line which was previously remarkable.
Hopefully we’ll have both Laurent Koscielny and Kieran Gibbs back for Saturday’s game, so we can have our first-choice back four playing again, as the quartet who started on Sunday were all over the place.
3) Rambo Revival
Within a time of woe, you instinctively seek the positives and undoubtedly the positive from yesterday was to see the return of Welsh Wizard Aaron Ramsey, who was introduced mid-way through this game’s second half. He was sensational in the early stages of the season and we’re certainly going to need him during the closing stages.
Jack Wilshere is still out and the combination of Arteta and Flamini in the middle of the park clearly doesn’t work. Therefore, the arrival of Ramsey will give us some freshness in midfield.
4) This An Insight?
There is no hiding it, this game was a massive set-back. A win would have silenced Everton’s hopes of fourth and perhaps stunted their momentum, instead our rollicking at the hands of our direct competitors has left us in a dire position going forwards.
We may have the easier run-in on paper but the combined poor form and FA Cup focus could lead us to a stumble, so it’s down to Arsene Wenger and his team to ensure the players pick themselves up and respond against Wigan on Saturday, but not let the FA Cup become a distraction. Ending our trophy drought is vitally important, but so too is maintaining our status in the Champions League.
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