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Everton 0-0 Arsenal: 5 hits and flops | Premier League 2019-20

Modified 21 Dec 2019, 23:41 IST

Everton held Arsenal to a 0-0 draw with Goodison Park
Everton held Arsenal to a 0-0 draw with Goodison Park

The Premier League’s early kick-off this week offered us an intriguing matchup between two struggling teams, Everton and Arsenal. Both teams came into this game with new managerial appointments to look forward to. An hour before kick-off, Everton announced that Carlo Ancelotti had signed a multi-year contract to take over at Goodison Park. As for the Gunners, they announced the appointment of their new head coach Mikel Arteta with a press conference on Friday afternoon.

The buzz surrounding the appointments had no effect on the opening first half, with both teams failing to muster a shot on target. The second half didn’t offer much more in terms of entertainment as the game ended in a deadlock. The draw leaves the Gunners 11th in the league, four points ahead of Everton in 15th place. Here are 5 Hits and Flops from Everton 0-0 Arsenal.

#5 Hit: Granit Xhaka

Xhaka partnered Lucas Torreira in midfield vs Everton
Xhaka partnered Lucas Torreira in midfield vs Everton

Often the scapegoat of Arsenal’s misfortunes, Granit Xhaka put in a calm and assured performance in the heart of the midfield. The Swiss international battled with great intensity against Everton’s notoriously hard-working pivot. The former captain was not only combative off the ball through winning 67% of aerial duels but he was also composed on the ball, completing a 92% passing accuracy.

When the Goodison faithful became irate and tried to rally their own players, Xhaka stood firm and commanded his surrounding teammates to get back into position. Despite no longer being the club captain, the 27-year-old acted as a leader more than Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang who spent most the game chasing shadows upfront. If the rumours are true and Xhaka is set to leave in January, Arsenal fans should fear what their midfield will look without him. 

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Published 21 Dec 2019, 23:20 IST
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