The Gunners trudged along to a 1-0 victory against Everton at Goodison Park for the first time since Arsène Wenger’s reign. It wasn’t a dazzling performance but, importantly, Arsenal claimed all three points.
Leandro Trossard put Arsenal in front after a well-worked corner move. Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka took the corner together before a combination of neat passes put Saka in behind. He then cut it back nicely for the Belgian, who steered the ball beautifully off the post with his ‘weak’ foot.
There wasn’t much else of note during the game. Everton notched just one shot on target and one corner as they struggled to create anything of note. Arsenal were also a little flat, although clearly on top. With 74% possession and 671 passes, the Gunners suffocated the Toffees without too much incisiveness.
After the glory of victory against Manchester United before the international break, this game was far less exciting. However, it was 1-0 to the Arsenal, which felt great.
3 talking points from Arsenal’s victory at Goodison Park
As always, there was much to dissect. Here are three talking points.
1. The goalkeeping situation
David Raya was handed his Arsenal debut, being preferred to Aaron Ramsdale. Some fans put this down to Ramsdale being rested ahead of the Champions League on Wednesday. I’ve never heard of a goalkeeper being rested, but Mikel Arteta is a visionary, so who knows?
Raya didn’t have much to do in terms of saves, but he performed very well. Calm on the ball, he never panicked and found teammates with almost all his passes. He ran out of his goal nicely to snuff out an Everton attack, too.
Fans have recently been displeased with Ramsdale, who hasn’t reached the peak of his powers this season. Arteta will have been very happy with Raya’s performance, and time will now tell whether Ramsdale’s place is up for grabs or whether Arsenal will have two rotating keepers.
It will be very interesting to see who starts against PSV Eindhoven.
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