Ronald Koeman’s men left Arsenal Wenger’s side stuck on 34 points as the home side moved up to seventh, a point behind Manchester United. A first defeat since the opening day of the season means that Arsenal miss the chance to go top in a crucial month where teams cannot afford slip-ups.
The away side were the first to break the deadlock as Alexis Sanchez struck to put his side into the lead, a free kick which deflected off defender Ashley Williams.
Shortly before the break, Everton pulled one back through Seamus Coleman after he converted from a Leighton Baines cross. Williams then won the game for his side late on with a header from Ross Barkley’s corner.
It seemed as Arsenal’s unbeaten run would continue but after failing to build on the lead by not putting away chances, it gave Everton an incentive to attempt to achieve their first win since the end October, which they did with thanks to from Seamus Coleman and Ashley Williams.
Arsenal could’ve finished the match with a fortunate point though but Alex Ixobi’s last-gasp shot was cleared off the line.
Gabriel playing in his favoured position showed why Shkodran Mustafi is important. He wasn’t bad, just wasn’t great. I’d single him out for criticism as I felt he was at fault for conceding the first goal. He did pull off some decent work out there but did he make best use of playing in his preferred position? I’d like to think he did as besides the error, I thought he was good. But will he provide exceptional competition once Mustafi returns? We shall see.
Everton had chances to score with Enner Valencia missing the target with a header, and former Tottenham Hotspur forward Aaron Lennon missing from close range despite a great run. Ross Barkley also had a glorious opportunity to score for his side, but saw his effort spurned just wide of the target.
Arsenal had chances of their own as Mesut Ozil sent his opportunity to score into the stands. I thought he’d score from where he was after Sanchez squared the ball to him. How Ozil spurned that opportunity, I will never know.
Going into this match, I knew that playing at Goodison would be difficult, and Arsenal have no divine right to think about winning every game.
Arsenal can’t win them all but missing the chance to go top was disappointing.
Everton host Merseyside neighbours Liverpool next, while two days before that, Arsenal visit Manchester City where they’ll have to regroup.
Arsenal losing doesn’t put a huge dent in their title aspirations but being three points behind Chelsea (could be six if Antonio Conte’s side beat Sunderland) leaves them lagging behind.
Everton played well to win and deserved to, had Arsenal won this fixture, it would be “fortunate” as they didn’t play as well.
There’s no reason to reach for the panic button just yet, however, as Arsenal can get the opportunity to widen the gap to Manchester City on Sunday but that’s easier said than done. Hopefully, this was just a blip and Arsenal will quickly get back to winning ways.
Overall, the loss is disappointing but we have to remember that there are still a lot of games to go and if fans can keep a positive mindset, as well as players (I highly doubt so from the fans), I’m sure Arsenal can still challenge for the title.
See you later.