In what was the definition of a mid-table clash, Arsenal welcomed Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton team to the Emirates. The two teams sitting in 10th and 11th both had ambitions of somehow finishing in the top 4 and for that to happen, neither could afford to drop points here.
It only took 49 seconds for the first goal to be scored as Dominic Calvert-Lewin headed from a poorly defended set-piece. The Gunners would respond in the 27th minute as 20-year-old Eddie Nketiah poked home from a Bukayo Saka cross. Arsenal would then take the lead for the first time in the game as Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang slotted home after being put through on goal.
The Toffees would sucker punch Arteta’s men again with another scrappy set-piece goal as Richarlison scrambled it in from close range. The Gunners would take the lead again 24 seconds into the second half as Aubameyang headed home a Pepe cross. The game would end this way giving Arsenal their third win in a week.
Here are Arsenal’s player ratings from a 3-2 win over Everton.
Bernd Leno 6/10
Often the best player on the pitch, Bernd Leno didn’t have his best of games. He conceded two goals in the first half, with the second quite clearly his fault. If the German had confidently claimed the cross, the goal would have never been conceded. However, the 27-year-old made up for that mistake by making a point-blank save from Calvert-Lewin in the 72nd minute. This would turn out to be a game-winning save.
Hector Bellerín 6/10
Up against the electric Richarlison, the Spaniard put in a rugged display down the right flank. What many might have missed, is often during the build-up Bellerín would drift into central midfield, leaving Nicolas Pepe out wide, and this would, in turn, give the player with the ball more passing angles to work with. As the full-back gets back to his best, today was a testing outing to measure how close he is to that level. But what we certainly did see is that the Spaniard is taking a shine to Arteta’s tactics.
Shkodran Mustafi 5.5/10
Mustafi’s extended stay in the line-up continued as Arteta rewarded the German for his recent good performances. However, this was one of his poorer displays under the new regime. Perhaps not his fault, but he was left isolated with Richarlison several times and the Brazilian had the beating of him all too often. The German’s erratic display left fans in the stadium anxious, in anticipation of his next mistake.
David Luiz 6.5/10
Once again Luiz proved that his days of playing at the top level are far from over. Under Arteta, the Brazilian has been reborn, single-handedly dragging his teammates to rare competent defensive performances.
Today, he took that a level higher by adding an amazing assist by playing a through ball to Aubameyang for the second goal. Although his partner wasn’t up to par, Luiz did his best see Arsenal over the line to a precious win.
Sead Kolašinac – N/A
After a long layoff, Sead Kolašinac returned to his rightful place in the starting line-up at left-back. Unfortunately for the Bosnian, his comeback would be cut short as he landed awkwardly on his shoulder in the 15th minute.
Granit Xhaka 6.5/10
At the anchor of the midfield, Xhaka did his best to navigate through Everton’s compact set up. The Swiss international put in an assured performance completing 3 dribbles and 66 passes.
Dani Ceballos – 7/10
After an impressive display in the 4-0 win over Newcastle, Ceballos retained his place in Arsenal’s midfield. Often highlighted for his on the ball ability, the Spaniard proved he has another side to his game. You’d not be remiss for thinking he was Lucas Torreira at times, the way he was breaking up play in front of the back four. In another notable performance, the 23-year-old made 2 tackles and 4 interceptions.
Nicolas Pepe – 6/10
Up against the experienced Leighton Baines, Pepe put in a mixed performance. He wasn’t as effective as he’s normally been but was still able to provide an assist for Aubameyang’s second goal. The Ivorian only completed 1 dribble and attempted 1 shot on goal in the 90 minutes against Everton.
Mesut Ozil 6.5/10
With a plethora of attacking options in front of him, Ozil was instrumental in Arsenal’s final third play. Although he didn’t register an assist or goal, the German was the catalyst for the Gunners’ fluidity in attack.
Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang – 7.5/10
It appears regardless of who starts up front, Arteta has classified Aubameyang as an inside forward off the left flank. Today, the star striker netted two goals taking his tally for the season to 19.
His first was a Thierry Henry-esque finish as he drifted in from the left to finesse the ball into the bottom corner. The second came 24 seconds into the 2nd half as he headed home a Pepe cross. Apart from that, the 30-year-old put in a captain performance by winning 3 tackles, an aerial duel and scoring 2 goals.
Eddie Nketiah – 6.5/10
For the second consecutive Premier League, Eddie Nketiah was given the nod over Alexandre Lacazette. He repaid that faith by scoring a precious equaliser in the 26th minute. Apart from his goal contribution, the 20-year-old worked hard off the ball but didn’t do much else to affect matters on it. In a hardworking outing, the youngster won 2 aerials, scored 1 goal and hit the crossbar with another effort.
Bukayo Saka – 6.5/10
It seems like there’s nothing this kid can do wrong. Although not originally in the starting line-up, Saka came on for the injured Kolašinac in the 18th minute. Many didn’t see this as a downgrade as the 18-year-old has been in sparkling form this season. He was quick to impact by providing an unbelievable assist for Nketiah in the 25th minute. In the second half, tiredness would catch up the youngster as he began to make a few unforced errors.
Lucas Torreira – 6/10
After missing the mid-week Europa League clash through illness, Torreira was brought off the bench to help Arsenal combat the waves of Everton pressure. He tried his best but was unable to revitalise Arsenal’s less dominant midfield.
Matteo Guendouzi – 6/10
Brought on in an attempt to sure up the midfield, Guendouzi’s energy was vital in Arsenal closing out the 3-2 win. The Frenchman tirelessly pressed Everton’s backline and won some precious time-consuming free kicks.