Everton 2-1 Arsenal: Three things we learnt

It was a crucial victory for Everton as they managed to beat Arsenal, despite falling behind to an early Alexis Sanchez free kick. It was their first win in six Premier League matches, which has moved them up to 7th. Meanwhile, Arsenal have missed a great opportunity to move to the top of the table and they are now likely to lose ground on Chelsea, as the Blues have a trip to Sunderland on Wednesday and they are favourites to extend their winning run. Here are three things that we learnt from the match at Goodison Park:

Arsenal missed Shkodran Mustafi

Gabriel was by no means bad on Tuesday and was delivered a good individual performance, including a great challenge to prevent Romelu Lukaku in the second half. However, it was evident that Arsenal were clearly missing the injured Shkodran Mustafi. Both of the Everton goals were headers and were could have been better defended. The set piece marking was especially bad for Ashley Williams’ goal as he was allowed a free header. It could be that the players were uncertain of where they were supposed to be in the absence of Mustafi.

 

Laurent Koscielny is seen as the leader of the Arsenal defence, but on tonight’s performance, it looks like it is actually Mustafi that provides organisation to the back four. If Arsenal are to challenge for the title, they can’t give away cheap goals like they did against Everton. They need to defend as a unit and the attacking players need to take their share of the blame for the defeat tonight. Theo Walcott was too easily beaten by Leighton Baines in the build-up for the first goal, while the marking for the winner reflects poorly on Mesut Ozil. They didn’t give their all defensively on Tuesday and were punished for it.

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