Surely you’ve heard by now that Everton haven’t won away at Arsenal since 1996. In fact, ever since the Gunners moved to the Emirates Stadium from Highbury, the Blues have never come away with three points.
So when Everton scored through Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the first minute, you can be forgiven for thinking finally that would change. However, the hosts under former Blue Mikel Arteta had other thoughts.
The Gunners have been in pretty good form lately, and sparkled in possession again, showing their passing range with equal measures of quick passing and deep balls that tore the Blues to ribbons.
Djibril Sidibe, Morgan Schneiderlin and Alex Iwobi all chose today to show off their worst defensively. Sidibe particularly was horrendous, allowing Bukayo Saka to get past him first for Eddie Nketiah to tap home the equalizer, and then beaten too easily by a long ball to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who slotted home past Jordan Pickford.
One thing we’re seeing under Carlo Ancelotti though is Everton’s resiliency, and it popped up just before the halftime whistle, with Richarlison getting his boot to a bouncing ball from a melee in the box after Yerry Mina had headed it on. It squirmed under Bernd Leno and the Blues went into the break 2-2, and you got the feeling Ancelotti would have some words to say to his side.
Well, whatever he said was certainly not heeded as seconds into the second half Sidibe lost Aubameyang again, and the striker got his head to a Nicolas Pepe cross to put the hosts ahead again.
The rest of the half was Arsenal sitting back and looking to pick off the Blues on the counter, or hold the ball and kill the clock passing the ball around. And make no mistake, Everton certainly had their chances, with Calvert-Lewin the scapegoat more than once as he went just wide twice. Leno also stepped it up after his first half error, and made a couple of critical saves to seal the win.
Once again positive signs for Everton’s future and a moral victory if you will, but as we all know those count for no points in the table.