EPL 2016/17: Arsenal 3-1 Everton, 5 talking points
On the final day of the season, Arsenal welcomed a solid Everton team to the Emirates. With their top 4 hopes still in the balance, Arsenal needed to beat Everton convincingly and hope Liverpool dropped points at home to Middlesbrough.
Arsenal’s top 4 push got off to a great start when Hector Bellerín slotted in from seven yards out in the 7th minute. Unfortunately, the positive start was quelled when Laurent Koscielny got shown a straight red in the 13th minute. Wenger’s men responded well by doubling their lead in the 26th minute though an Alexis Sánchez tap-in.
The game became even more interesting when Romelu Lukaku converted a penalty in the 57th minute to make the score 2-1. Arsenal would then go on to secure all three points as Aaron Ramsey produced a long-range curler in the 90th minute.
The win means Arsenal finish the season in 5th place and out of the Champions League for next season. It’s the first time in Arsène Wenger’s tenure that the Gunners have missed out on the top four.
Here are the 5 biggest talking points from the game.
#5 Gabriel man marking Lukaku superbly
When the main man in defence gets sent off, the fringe players have no choice but to step up. Despite already starting, Gabriel was thrust back into the centre-back position alongside an unfamiliar partner in Rob Holding. Before his injury in the 49th minute, Gabriel was Arsenal’s best defender.
The Brazilian completed 100% of his tackles, won 100% of his aerial duels, made 2 interceptions and completed 95% of his passes. Gabriel was truly exceptional and he kept Romelu Lukaku in his pocket for as long as he was playing.