Everton fought gamely but in the end were no match for Arsenal’s attacking prowess, primarily because their own defence let them down. Djibril Sidibe had a poor game overall, but had little help from Morgan Schneiderlin or Alex Iwobi in front of him either as the Gunners recovered from a goal down in the first minute to take the lead 2-1, and then get the winner early in the second half too.
Speaking after the game, manager Carlo Ancelotti was disappointed by his team’s defensive effort.
“The performance offensively was good, we had a lot of opportunities. Defensively we were really poor, we conceded three goals, and it is not acceptable to concede three goals.
“You conceded three goals like this normally you will lose the game.”
The early goal in the second half did all the damage as it turned into the winning goal, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s second of the day.
“The key point was there. After the equalizer near the end of the first half we knew there was a chance that since they played on Thursday they would lose a bit of energy at the end.
“They lost energy, we had opportunities to score, but the key point was that we conceded three goals too easily. This is the reason (we lost).”
Should the Blues have tied the game late on with a number of chances falling to Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison?
“The forwards played really well. The strikers, also the fullbacks pushing up in the second half, then there was more space when Andre (Gomes) came in. The team improved a lot when we had possession, offensively we were really good. Defensively we were not.”
Gomes was a second half substitute, returning to action just 105 days after a horrific injury that could have not only ended his season but his career.
“I have seen him in training, he trained without a problem, I was sure that he could play right from the beginning. He will start the next game.”
Ancelotti was then asked if he thought the Blues were headed in the right direction overall despite today’s setback.
“We are going in the right direction, but these are mistakes we have to learn from. Offensively we had a good performance, but the fact that we were not so good defensively means we go home without points.”