It was a game billed as Carlo v Arteta, and the Italian had the last laugh once again.
But what did the numbers tell us about Everton’s third consecutive win?
Abdoulaye Doucoure. That’s the Tweet.
Covered every blade of grass [VERIFIED].
When Everton announced that trio of signings just before the opening day of the season, it’s fair to say most of the attention and excitement revolved around the acquisition of James Rodriguez and Allan.
But, once again, Abdoulaye Doucoure showed himself to be an increasingly key player for Everton here.
After an outstanding display against Leicester in midweek, the Frenchman once again stepped up in Allan’s absence and provided another well-rounded box-to-box display.
Abdoulaye Doucoure's stats against Arsenal:— EFC Statto (@EFC_Statto) December 19, 2020
Touches - 39
Successful passes - 28
Successful forward passes - 8
Successful attacking third passes - 7
Pass accuracy - 85%
Recoveries - 2
Successful dribbles - 1
Successful tackles - 1
Shots blocked - 1#EFC #EVEARS
And if you didn’t believe us about him getting on every square inch of the turf, here you go.
Most tackles + interceptions on the pitch (6)
Another new signing that is thriving is Ben Godfrey, despite having to play in an unfamiliar position on his unnatural side.
He was rock solid against Arsenal once again and is fast becoming a fan favourite with his whole-hearted displays.
Ben Godfrey’s game by numbers vs. Arsenal:— The-Toffees (@thetoffees_com) December 19, 2020
89% pass accuracy
6 ball recoveries
2 tackles won
Godfrey sliding into and winning the ball off Ceballos is going to be one of the enduring memories we have of the youngster forever.
Evertonian. pic.twitter.com/Ve8VJH4LzM— Michael (@greenallefc) December 19, 2020
Blues top table for goals from set pieces (8)
Yerry Mina’s headed effort from Sigurdsson’s corner was the Blues eighth goal from a set piece this season (excluding penalties).
It was also the fifth goal scored by Everton centre-backs this season, showing that while DCL’s goals are undoubtedly crucial, the Blues can also find goals from other areas of the pitch.
Everton haven’t scored a direct free-kick since Boxing Day 2018
That said, the Blues haven’t scored from a direct free-kick since Lucas Digne’s strike against Burnley on Boxing Day in 2018. Only Burnley have had a longer wait for a goal from a free-kick in the Premier League.
Gylfi Sigurdsson (who’s never scored a free-kick for the Blues) had a great opportunity in this game but could only hit a tame effort into the wall.
3rd for Christmas
And the Blues’ third highest Premier League points tally after 14 games
The Blues moved up to second with this win, but once Leicester City face Tottenham Hotspur tomorrow, the Blues are likely to be third at Christmas (unless United win by 3+ against Leeds on Sunday).
Think we’ll take that!
And, despite a patchy period, Carlo Ancelotti has helped the Blues pick up 26 points from 14 games – the third highest amount of points from 14 games the Blues have picked up in the Premier League era. The only time the Blues picked up more was when they went on to finish fourth in 2004/05 (29 points) and fifth in Roberto Martinez’s first season in 2013/14 (27 points).