Everton hosted Arsenal on Saturday as Mikel Arteta took on his former side in an attempt to stop the rot at Arsenal. The Gunners hadn't won any of their last seven games in the Premier League and were coming up against an Everton side that would go into 2nd on the table with a win.
Arsenal were without captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, as the striker had a calf injury. After a cagey opening few minutes, the Toffees took the lead, after an Alex Iwobi cross found Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the box. The striker's header was off-target but deflected off Rob Holding and found the back of the net.
Arsenal, however, found themselves a way back into the game, after Tom Davies fouled Ainsley Maitland-Niles in the box to give away a penalty. Nicolas Pepe stepped up and coolly slotted the spot-kick home.
Arsenal started piling on the pressure after this, but it was all undone, as Yerry Mina found himself space in the box to power a header past Leno just before halftime.
The second half was dominated by Arsenal, as they looked for an equalizer. David Luiz came closest to leveling the scores, as he saw his effort hit the bar. But in the end, Arsenal couldn't break down the Everton defense and ended up losing the game.
Let's take a look at Arsenal's player ratings from their defeat at Everton.
Arsenal Player Ratings
Bernd Leno: 6/10
Leno kept Arsenal in the game at times. The German did well to collect incoming crosses and even pulled off a phenomenal save to keep Calvert-Lewin's effort out. He got a hand to Mina's header but couldn't keep it out.
Rob Holding: 4/10
Holding looked solid all game, but his most significant moment came when Calvert-Lewin's header deflected off him and past Leno.
David Luiz: 5/10
Luiz looked like Arsenal's most creative player at times in the first half, as he kept spraying passes out from the back. The Brazilian came close to leveling the scores in the second half, as he hit the bar.
Kieran Tierney: 6.5/10
If Arsenal has scored in the second half, it looked like it would've come through Tierney. The Scot was a constant threat with his crossing but his forwards let him down.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles: 6/10
Maitland-Niles battled with Richarlison all night, but the Brazilian did get the better of him on occasion. The young Englishman did well to win Arsenal a penalty in the first half after being brought down in the box.
Dani Ceballos: 5/10
Ceballos couldn't really influence proceedings as Arsenal lacked creativity from midfield. The Spaniard was lucky not to be sent off for a stamp on Yerry Mina.
Mohamed Elneny: 4/10
Another unimpressive performance by the Egyptian. Elneny did nothing of note all game, as he was dominated by Everton's midfield.
Bukayo Saka: 5/10
Saka tried to make something happen whenever he got the ball but was often left frustrated as nothing he tried came off on the night.
Nicolas Pepe: 5/10
Pepe looked sharp in the first half but faded away in the second. The Ivorian, however, did take his penalty well, as he sent Pickford the wrong way.
Willian has had one shot on target for Arsenal all season, and he did look like increasing that tally tonight. The Brazilian got on the ball a lot more in the second half but didn't do anything to impact the game
Eddie Nketiah: 4/10
Nketiah had a great chance to score in the first half but rushed his shot wide of the mark. The young striker didn't offer much else in the game
Joe Willock: 6/10
Willock replaced Elneny in the 64th minute and brought dynamism into the Arsenal midfield as he looked to bring the ball forward make something happen.
Gabriel Martinelli: 5/10
Martinelli made his first appearance of the season after suffering an injury at the end of last season. The Brazilian showed a few flashes but looked rusty.
Alexandre Lacazette: 5.5/10
Surprisingly didn't start the game. Lacazette came on to replace Nketiah in the 76th minute as Arsenal pushed for an equalizer. The Frenchman did well to keep the Everton center-backs occupied.
Published 20 Dec 2020, 13:30 IST