The season keeps falling apart for Arsenal, losing 3-0 to Everton in Goodison Park which marks another negative record for them against an opponent in the Premier League. A brilliant performance from the home side with goals from Steven Naismith, Romelu Lukaku and Mikel Arteta scoring an own goal as well.
Arsene Wenger led the league recently, but suddenly, Everton winning their game in hand will put them in fourth while Arsenal might find themselves outside of the Champions League qualification picture. Who knows, maybe this is a free fall in the making that will even drop Arsenal further down the table.
Everton have now won six consecutive matches, something that hasn’t happened to them since 2002. Their aggression and movement on the pitch completely blindsided Arsenal, who looked stagnant and weary on most occasions, and lucky to have a concentrated Wojciech Szczesny between the goalposts or it would have been much worse.
Naismith scored the opening goal in the 14th minute after some awful defending from Thomas Vermaelen allowed Lukaku to find himself in a one on one. Szczesny saved, but Naismith was the first one there to put Everton ahead. Lukaku didn’t miss in the second big opportunity he got, dribbling past Arsenal players with speed and brute force, scoring while four Arsenal players were looking without really getting in the way.
In the second half Arsenal did open well but Olivier Giroud continued to look like a player who has stopped playing back in November or December. Lack of timing, bad decisions, slow in his reactions. Everton were the complete opposite. Kevin Mirallas dispossessed Bacary Sagna and ran almost the full length of the pitch to react first to another missed shot, forcing Mikel Arteta into scoring the own goal and furthering the humiliation for the Gunners.
Martin Atkinson didn’t really make any big decision that decided the match but he did make a couple of big mistakes late on: It looked like both Tomas Rosicky and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were fouled in the penalty box and Yaya Sanogo scored a goal that shouldn’t have been ruled offside, but his officiating on the small decisions was catastrophic, going Everton’s way almost every time. Refereeing isn’t only about catching the penalty kicks and the sending off moments, but simply letting the game run smoothly and fairly, which he failed in doing.