Here’s the team line up, including the timing of substitutions.
Wojciech Szczesny, Per Mertesacker, Thomas Vermaelen, Bacary Sagna, Laurent Koscielny (Kieran Gibbs, 4), Aaron Ramsey (Gervinho, 80), Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta, Theo Walcott, Santiago Cazorla (Francis Coquelin, 91), Olivier Giroud
Surprisingly, Wenger favoured Vermaelen at left back than Gibbs for this fixture, whether that was down to fitness or not, I don’t know.
We got off to the perfect start within the opening minute of the game, Walcott collected the ball just inside the Everton half, dodged a tackle from Jagielka, laid the ball off to Ramsey and continued his run on the left. The Welshman, returned a good ball back to Walcott who curled a right-footed shot into the far, top corner. A great goal, and who cares if it took a slight deflection?
Minutes later, Laurent Koscielny suffered what appeared to be a groin injury, so that’s him out for a few weeks now. He was replaced by Kieran Gibbs.
I don’t know whether the injury to Koscielny disrupted us but it certainly seem to lift Everton, even though it was so so early in the game. Slowly the home side raised their game, our right hand side was the target.
Just before the half an hour mark, Szczesny was called into action and any danger seemed to be gone but then Sagna played a dangerous ball to Arteta, causing him problems. Pienaar took advantage and the ball broke away into the path of Fellaini who shot past Szczesny from around twenty five yards.
Should our Pole done better? I think so!
It was a funny old game after that really, we as usual saw a lot of the ball, but up front we were very tame. Whereas Everton often looked dangerous and on another day, would have buried the chances they created.
Jelavic missed a golden opportunity and Pienaar should have been awarded a penalty after being pulled over by Arteta.
It stayed at 1-1, another three points missed out on and with it, we dropped another place down the Premier League table.
A few pointers:
Cazorla was again too easily nullified
Arteta is clearly being wasted playing as a ‘defensive midfielder’ although he does a good job.
We seriously lack width apart from Walcott who could soon be heading off anyway.
We lack a cutting edge and we offered no real threat going forward.
We defended reasonably well apart for their goal and definitely got a way with a penalty!
Did Howard have a decent save to make the whole game..?
Wilshere had another good game. He tried hard to create but we just lack something as a unit…!
After the game, David Moyes said:
It was a certain penalty. We played against a really good Arsenal team and referees’ decisions often decide big games like this but we got nothing tonight. The players had to earn everything because we were never getting a jot from him.
Arsene Wenger said:
I thought 1-1 was a fair result and it is a good point here. The game was played with remarkable intensity and we had to show good spirit to get away with a point because Everton were really up for it. I am pleased with the spirit we showed.
We have played eight of our 14 league games away from home now – against both Manchester and Liverpool clubs – and if we play well at home we have the chance to come back.
We had a few more chances on the counter-attack but we didn’t do well with the final ball. We could have been more clinical.
Where have we heard that before…….?
That’s it for today, home fixture up next so no excuses eh!