Sunday, 6 April 2014

Gutless Gunners surrender at Goodison Park

A gutless performance from Arsenal ensured they suffered their sixth league defeat of the season and their second on Merseyside.

Arsene Wenger's men were hammered 3-0 this afternoon and the result was no less than they deserved.

Coming into the game after a moral boosting 1-1 draw with Manchester City at the Emirates last week, Wenger's side surrendered to a dominant Everton team.

Wenger was forced to make one change to his side, an injury to Kieran Gibbs saw Nacho Monreal brought into the side.

Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were on the subsitutes bench.

The home side had the first shot on goal. Leon Osman shooting from long range after being played in by Leighton Baines.

Podolski at the other end had Arsenal's first two shots, both were off target.

The home side were in the assendance though. Osman was the first in the referee's note book for a challenge on Sagna. However the Everton man cmae off worse for his poor challenge on Sagna and was substituted in place of Ross Barkley.

For all the home side's dominanace, Mathieu Flamini was the first Arsenal player to have a shot on target. His effort was saved by Tim Howard.

Mikel Arteta was being booed by the home fans and he was brought down by a dangerous tackle in midfield which Steven Naismith wasn't punished for.

And it was the Scotsman who scored the first goal of the game. A Leighton Baines' cross wasn't cut out and found its way to Romelu Lukaku who got himself in front of Monreal. He got a shot away but it was saved by Wojciech Szczesny. However the ball was pushed into the centre of the box and Naismith slotted home.

Questions must be asked as to why Captain Thomas Vermaelen didn't first cut out the cross and then didn't react quicker to the second ball where Naismith scored.

Everton were winning the physical battle with the Gunners midfield and the referee Martin Atkinson was being very inconsistant with his decisions and awarding cards.

Arsenal were lacking imagination. There wasn't an Arsenal player on the pitch who be able to take the game to the home team.

Instead it was Roberto Martinez's side who were making all the play. Szczesny had to get down low to a stop a Barkley shot at his near post.

The Gunners were down 2-0 down inside 32 minutes. Arteta couldn't stop a cross field pass from Barkley. The ball fell kindly to Kevin Mirallas who plauyed in Lukaku. The Belgium international cut inside Monreal and then Vermaelen and shot low into Szczesny's right hand corner.

TV replays showed that Naismith was standing in front og Szczesny when the ball was struck in an offside position but he wasn't deemed by the officials to be interfeering with play.

Podolski threatened to get himself on the scoresheet. Monreal was released on the left and crossed in for Giroud, who layed it back for the German who's shot was hit into the ground and brought a good save from Howard who needed to get a hand to it to push it over the bar.

Flamini was the first Arsenal man in the book for a challenge on Naismith, a booking which rules him out of next weekend's FA Cup semi final and the Gunners Premier League game with West Ham.

Just before the half time whistle, Arsenal had another chance to get on the score sheet. However Giroud was unable to get on the end of the cross.

The Gunners had much of the possession in the opening stages of the second half. But had little end product.

Arsenal had three half chances, but none of them gave you the feeling the Gunners were getting back into the game.

At the other end, Naismith appealed for a penalty after he thought he was brought down in the area by Vermaelen.

The sitation got worse. The home side got their third with 30 minutes to go. Sagan was caught in posession on the half way line on the right hand side. Mirallas drove forward into the Arsenal half. The Belgium forward played in Naismith whose shot was saved by Szczesny but played into the path of Naismith, but Arteta got the last touch.

Wenger mad a double substitution with 25 minutes to go. Podolski and Flamini came off for Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ramsey.

The final throw of the dice was made by Wenger bringing on Yaya Sanogo for Giroud.

Ramsey played in the young Frenchman for his first chance. His effort off was woefully off target but luckily for him he was adjudged to have been in an offside position.

Late on Oxlade-Chamberlain foced Howard to tip his forceful shot on to the bar.

Arteta was booked in the 90th minute, rounding off a disappointing afternoon for the Spaniard.

In injury time, Sanogo had the ball in the back of the net but was adjudged to have been offside.

Arsenal remain in fourth, a place above Everton, but the Merseyside club has a game in hand on the Gunners.

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