Everton fell to a heavy defeat against top-of-the-table Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night, as a double from Gabriel Martinelli and goals from Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard saw the hosts run out 4-0 winners.
Having held out for 40 minutes against the league leaders, Everton conceded twice in the final five minutes of the first half to undo all of Everton’s hard work in the first half.
Oleksandr Zinchenko drifted onto the right flank and played a pinpoint pass between James Tarkowski and Vitayli Mykolenko which Saka finished powerfully into the top corner with his weaker foot to open the scoring.
The second goal came minutes later after a poor mistake from Idrissa Gueye. After getting the better of Martin Odegaard, the midfielder was dispossessed by Saka after taking too long on the ball when a simple pass to Jordan Pickford was on.
Saka’s intervention played in Martinelli who finished easily past Pickford. The offside flag went up but the decision went to VAR who confirmed the Brazilian winger was indeed onside, and the goal stood.
Everton made three changes before the hour mark before going close through Dwight McNeil, who’s dribble and powerful shot was saved well by Aaron Ramsdale.
Arsenal then added a third in the 71st minute after Leandro Trossard was sent through on the left, before he cut it back for Odegaard, who’s strike deflected in off James Tarkowski.
But Arsenal weren’t finished there; Mikel Arteta’s side kept pushing despite their lead as Zinchenko unlocked Everton’s defence once again as Nketiah was set through in the box, before cutting it back for Martinelli who scored his second of the night.
The Toffees could have had a consolation late on after substitute Demarai Gray’s strike was parried by Ramsdale into Tom Davies’ path, but the midfielder couldn’t sort his feet out and it finished 4-0.
Here’s how we rated the Everton players.
Jordan Pickford - 5/10
Unfortunately, there was nothing the England number one could do about any of the goals. Arsenal struggled to create too many clear cut opportunities in the first half, but in the second half he did his best to restrict the Gunners. He did save well from Eddie Nketiah late on, but it was an ultimately frustrating night.
Seamus Coleman - 4/10
Subbed off on the hour mark, the Irishman struggled to get out of his own half and affect the game offensively and only completed 62% of his passes and was dribbled past once. A tough night for Coleman.
Michael Keane - 4/10
In what was his first start since losing 5-1 against Arsenal on the same ground last season, the former Burnley defender was largely anonymous, as he failed to register a single tackle.
James Tarkowski - 4/10
Whilst Tarkowski was front and centre for clearances, as per usual, his positioning for the first goal was certainly too far away from Mykolenko as Zinchenko easily found Saka in the box. For the third goal, the ball also deflected in off the centre-back to compound a miserable evening.
Vitalyi Mykolenko - 6/10
One of Everton’s best players on the night, the Ukrainian tried his best to get forward when possible and he completed 100% of his dribbles and won 6/7 of his ground duels. However, his positioning with Tarkowski for the first goal was poor and allowed Arsenal to exploit them far too easily.
Idrissa Gueye - 4/10
Having played out a quiet half, the midfielder was brought off at half-time after a poor mistake that allowed Gabriel Martinelli to double Arsenal’s lead before half-time.
Amadou Onana - 5/10
Having been the subject of one or two flailing arms from Arsenal players, Onana really struggled to get into the game, despite his recent performances. He struggled to muster a single tackle and lost possession over 10 times. One to forget.
Abdoulaye Doucoure - 5/10
Whilst the midfielder produced two key passes thanks to his industrious nature, he failed to lay a finger on Arsenal’s midfield overall. This is reflected by his failure to make a single tackle or interception.
Alex Iwobi - 4/10
Playing in a wide-right midfield position, Iwobi struggled to impact the game against his former club.
Dwight McNeil - 7/10
By far Everton’s best player, the midfielder was industrious and certainly needed more support as he attempted to mount attacks against the Gunners. He completed 100% of his dribbles, helped out defensively and managed one key pass and one shot on target (that was well saved by Aaron Ramsdale) after some neat play.
Neal Maupay - 5/10
Despite the scoreline, Maupay showed a lot of energy as he tried to get involved with the game. A lack of service and support saw him truly struggle to influence the game and he was subbed off on the hour mark.
Demarai Gray - 5/10
Largely ineffectual off the bench as Arsenal took complete control of the game in the second half, but managed a run and shot that nearly saw Davies score at the death.
Ben Godfrey - 4/10
Another substitute who struggled as Arsenal found top gear.
Mason Holgate - 4/10
Struggled to help his side in the second half as Arsenal took control and scored twice.
Tom Davies - 4/10
Came on late and barely featured as a result and really should have given Everton a late consolation after Gray’s good work.