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Arsenal 3-1 Everton: Instant Reaction

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The Premier League season comes to a close with a whimper for the Toffees.

Arsenal v Everton - Premier League Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images

The 2016-17 Premier League season is officially in the rearview mirror. Once we distance ourselves from it a bit, this will likely be viewed as a fond campaign to remember. But today, this was yet another disappointing performance for Everton away from Goodison Park, a 3-1 defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

Early on, Hector Bellerin was a handful for Leighton Baines coming down the right wing, and the entire defense was clearly struggling with Arsenal’s attacking firepower. The aging centerback partnership of Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams couldn’t keep up with the Gunners. It didn’t take long for that skill and talent advantage to translate into goals for the London club.

Eight minutes in, Bellerin found the back of the net. It came off of a scuffed shot from Danny Welbeck, which perfectly put the ball on a tee for the young right back.

It felt like a game that could quickly get away from the Toffees. The thin squad was struggling to get anything going forward and the defense was in “bend but don’t break” mode despite already trailing by a goal.

Then, a rash Laurent Koscielny challenge sent Enner Valencia flying. The defender went in high and came off the ground with both legs. It was an easy decision for referee Michael Oliver as he went right to the back pocket to send the Frenchman to the showers with nearly 75 minutes remaining in the match.

One would think that the sending off would rejuvenate Everton, but it never really did. About 10 minutes later, the Gunners scored again. It was an awkward moment. An Alexis Sanchez shot was deflected and fell right to Welbeck, who all Everton defenders just ignored and allowed him all the time he needed. He simply squared a pass back to Sanchez, who then doubled the Arsenal advantage.

The Blues would get in the goals in the second half when a Rob Holding handball gave Romelu Lukaku a penalty chance, which he buried to make it 2-1. From there, Everton looked more dangerous as they repeatedly put balls into the box and challenged Petr Cech in goal, but they wouldn’t get past him again.

Instead, it was Arsenal who scored again. It was a lovely stoppage time finish from Aaron Ramsey that curled overtop of Joel Robles and into the upper right corner of the Everton goal, giving us the 3-1 final scoreline.

There weren’t a lot of positives for the Toffees. Robles did make quite a few saves, and that should be appreciated. Valencia brought some good energy. Apart from those two, no one else really stood out.

Tom Davies was subbed off after 25 minutes. The 18-year-old looked tired. He’s played a lot of minutes and was likely just out of gas. Ross Barkley came off of the bench for him and didn’t look much better. Barkley wasn’t tired, he was just bad. And we already talked about how the backline struggled with Arsenal’s attackers.

Simply put, these guys are ready for a summer break and need some quality players to be brought in within the next two months in order to create competition, give the regulars a rest and provide depth for Europe.

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