Arsenal 0 Everton 0: Three lessons as Moyes’ men disarm the Gunners
Arsenal 0 Everton 0: What lessons did we learn after the Gunners are held to a goalless draw at the Emirates on Tuesday evening?
Everton’s physicality frustrates Arsenal
Arsenal and Everton played out a goalless draw in a very scrappy and disjointed affair at Emirates Stadium. Much of the opening 45 minutes consisted of both sides simply cancelling each other out. Arsenal attempted, as usual, to play their way into some good positions with some rather neat football, while Everton tried to negate it with some rather cynical fouls and aggressive play. The result was a rather poor opening half that produced only one shot on target – a Ross Barkley effort from just outside the box that Wojciech Szczesny was more than equal to. Darron Gibson’s rather cynical challenge in the 34th minute after already receiving a yellow card summed up Everton’s efforts throughout the opening period; plucky but uninspired. On the other hand, Arsene Wenger’s men headed to the break knowing that one goal would probably be enough to wrap the game up. Unfortunately for them, Everton’s constant pressure and last gasp challenges denied them this on more than one occasion.
Toffees still without a win at The Emirates
It’s interesting to note that Everton have never won a match at The Emirates, and, in truth, they never really looked like setting that record straight on Tuesday night. Despite a decent overall performance which has helped them to a point, David Moyes will probably feel his side could have done with the win. Three points would have put them level, for the moment at least, with fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, however, the draw now means that the Goodison Park faithful may well have to wait for another season for Champions League football. Of course, there’s still time for them to continue on their rather impressive recent run of form which has seen them pick up 13 points from their last five matches.
Arsenal’s mediocre season continues
Hopes were high at the beginning of the season that even without Robin van Persie, Arsenal could still challenge on more than one front. However, with his side now sitting in third position in the league, it’s quite clear that Arsenal need some re-structuring. If the summer doesn’t herald a few new high-profile signings, it’s hard to see Arsenal improving in time for next season. Arsenal’s north-London rivals Spurs have really thrown down the gauntlet to the Gunners this season, and have proven that it is possible to challenge in Europe and at home. A victory on Tuesday would have served to calm a few nerves at The Emirates, however they’ll now be looking nervously over their shoulders at a Tottenham side that has two games in hand and only domestic action to focus on. It’s going to be an interesting battle for a top-four finish.