Everton player ratings in Arsenal defeat as Dele Alli anonymous and back-three dreadful

Frank Lampard’s side were put to the sword by the Gunners in a woeful 5-1 defeat.

Dele Alli and Granit Xhaka share a few choice words during Everton’s 5-1 defeat at Arsenal Dele Alli and Granit Xhaka share a few choice words during Everton’s 5-1 defeat at Arsenal
Dele Alli and Granit Xhaka share a few choice words during Everton’s 5-1 defeat at Arsenal

Everton’s 2021/2022 campaign ended with a 5-1 defeat at the hands of Arsenal.

Goals from Gabriel Martinelli, Eddie Nketiah, Cedric Soares, Gabriel and Martin Odegaard handed Mikel Arteta’s side a comfotable win.

Donny van de Beek scored what ended up a consolation for Frank Lampard’s side who were ultimately nowhere near good enough and gifted Arsenal their win - not that it mattered much, with Premier League safety secured on Thursday.

Arsenal started much the better side and had Everton on the back foot instantly with Martinelli getting in behind Alex Iwobi, Odegaard drifting between the lines with ease and both Cedric and Bukayo Saka doubling up on Jonjoe Kenny with Dele Alli absent.

Cedric has acres of space to swing in a cross on 22 minutes which Iwobi headed out straight to Martinelli. The Brazilian fired the ball into Iwobi’s arm and, after a VAR review, referee Andre Marriner pointed to the spot and Martinelli fired into the bottom corner.

Just three minutes later Eddie Nketiah made it two, forcing a corner home after drifting away from Jarrad Branthwaite with Granit Xhaka free to flick the ball on from the near post.

Arsenal continued to dominate as the Toffees fumbled. Odegaard kept finding space, Saka and Martinelli continued to cause problems and Nketiah often found himself free against three centre-backs.

But Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s endless work-rate paid off when he won the ball back up high and made an intelligent run in behind the Gunner’s defence before sldiding a cross into an unmarked van de Beek to tap into an empty net in added time.

Everton started the second period relatively well but Arsenal quickly took command, scoring from yet another set piece when Saka rolled the ball to Cedric on the edge of the box who fired in unchallenged.

And then Gabriel rubbed salt in Everton’s wounds just before the hour, finding himself free to turn a Cedric shot into the net after more poor set-piece defending.

The game faded towards the final half-hour, with Everton beaten but safe and Arsenal unable to steal a Champions League place from Tottenham who were winning comfortably at Norwich.

However Odegaard still had time to craft a beautiful fifth, effortlessly drifting past Isaac Price and rolling it into the bottom corner.


- Cedric Soares: Easily one of his best games in an Arsenal shirt and caused Everton so many problems. Allowed endless freedom down the right flank and made Toffees pay. Smashed home Arsenal’s third to top it all off.

- Martin Odegaard: What a wonderfully elegant footballer. Given the freedom to roam in this Arsenal side and finds so much space inbetween the lines and out wide. Intelligent with the ball and so influential in how the Gunners play. And a wonderful goal to top it all off.

- Tom Davies: Result notwithstanding, the return of Tom Davies after such a long spell out was a welcome way to end a woeful season. Overrun mainly due to being outnumbered in midfield but came through the game relatively well.


- Dele Alli: Arsenal created a lot of chances with Cedric and Saka overloading Kenny, and it was Alli who should have been covering. Got into a tussle with Xhaka and failed to contribute anything positive as a result.

- Set-piece defending: To have three centre-backs plus someone like Calvert-Lewin and still concede three times from set-pieces is criminal. No one on the near post to challenge Xhaka’s flick on for the first, everyone switched off as Cedric fired home the third, and Gabriel free to turn in the fourth.

- Alex Iwobi: A return to Arsenal to forget for Iwobi who looked shaky from the start. It was his poor header and subsequent handball that set the Gunners on their way and he struggled against an electric Martinelli throughout.


Asmir Begovic, 6: Couldn’t do much about any of the goals but did save well from Martinelli beforehand.

Alex Iwobi, 5: Lost Martinelli early with a ball over the top and looked like someone playing out of position. Poor clearance and subsequent handball giften Arsenal their opener.

Jarrad Branthwaite, 5: Lost Nketiah from corner for Arsenal’s second and struggled to cover Saka’s runs past Kenny. Didn’t command the area from set-pieces and paid the price.

Michael Keane, 4: Should be the commanding of three defenders but Nketiah often left unmarked for crosses despite facing three centre-backs. All three cuplable as Gunners scored from three set-pieces.

Mason Holgate, 6: No one commanding the back three with crosses coming in and all equally culpable. To concede three set-pieces with three centre-backs is damning.

Jonjoe Kenny, 5: Struggled to cope with Saka drifting inwards, Alli didn’t help as Cedric provided overloads.

Tom Davies (off ‘78), 6: Great to see him back in an Everton shirt but he and Doucoure/van de Beek couldn’t pick up drifting Odegaard - due mainly to being outnumbered rather than poor play.

Abdoulaye Doucoure (off ‘36), 5: Outnumbered in midfield and overrun. Odegaard had too much freedom behind the middle two and someone had to drop onto him. Came off shortly after second goal, possibly due to injury.

Dele Alli, (off ‘67), 4: Allowed Cedric freedom of the Emirates to swing in cross after cross unchallenged. Focused too much on trying to rattle Granit Xhaka and failed to influence the game whatsoever.

Demarai Gray, 6: Nuno Tavares bombing on unchallenged too often. Has Everton’s best first-half chances with snap volley and nearly nicking in on Tavares.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin, 7: Worked incredibly hard out of possession but often isolated on the ball. It was his work to win the ball back and then make an intelligent run that set up van de Beek for Everton’s opener.


Donny van de Beek (on ‘36), 6: Drifted in well to latch on to Calvert-Lewin’s cross and score Everton’s opener.

Anthony Gordon (on ‘67), 5: Came on with the game over and Arsenal dominant. Had little chance to influence the game as he usually would.

Isaac Price (on ‘78’), 5: A great moment for the 18-year-old who made his Premier League debut. Didn;t have much chance to influence the game but what a moment.