Good morning positive gooners.
Well that was good, bad but never ugly. It was a great game of football involving two teams both trying to win the game. Much credit should also go to Everton, who also had both good and bad moments.
Let’s start with the bad and get it out of the way. We conceded two goals from set pieces with some old fashioned Arsenal defending. Much has been made of the set up for the first, specifically the gap left between Mustafi and Luiz, but for me, if Sead hadn’t been sucked into dropping back as the kick was about to be taken, all the Everton players would have been offside. For the second, there was a bit of panic from players trying to clear the ball, and Leno didn’t cover himself in glory, but I think he was also unlucky, he tried to make himself big, but the shot became a scuff that dribbled under him. He would likely have saved a decent strike.
Another bad was Saka and his last half hour performance. He lost the ball frequently in dangerous positions. We shouldn’t forget that Arteta had left him out because he was gassed, he came on and for almost an hour he was magnificent, so it should be no surprise that he was the one that appeared to suffer most physically. I feel that there were a lot of players running out of gas, but he just, at his young age, suffered the most.
The good though, much outweighs the bad. Although Everton will feel, and rightly so, that they did enough to get something from the game, the way we held on was fantastic. We got three points because when almost every player was dead on their feet, they dug deeper and deeper , and gave every drop of everything.
Then there’s Leno, having made a bit of a gaff on the stroke of halftime, he was unbelievable in that final quarter.
Having gone a goal down in under a minute, we wrestled control and were well on top for the next hour. To a man, all of them played well. Again we saw Ozil benefit from two technical players , Ceballos and Xhaka, being with him and around him, all three were impressive, but Ozil stood out. Personally I though we lost a lot when he came off, but we have to accept his gifts might be less important when it’s a back to the walls situation, all be it that it becomes more “backs to the wall” when he goes off.
Aubameyang was given MOTM, for his two great finishes and his tireless running, he was great, but Eddy and Pepe played their part as well.
For many reasons it was an Arsenal performance that we can be proud of. After three games in a week, to play an in form team that has had two weeks to prepare, suffer two setbacks and still out play them for a good hour, then come away with the points? Great stuff!