Fulltime Thoughts - A bit breathless at the end, and it wouldn’t be an Everton game without a late chance for the opponents to equalize, though this time Pickford was able to get a hand to Martinelli’s shot. Not a pretty win, but they all count, even smash and grab performances like this.
Arsenal (0.82) 0-1 (0.63) Everton— The xG Philosophy (@xGPhilosophy) April 23, 2021
90+5’ - Play is still going on as Moss is talking to a couple of players.. and there it is, final whistle, Everton win!!
90+3’ - Poor defending from Coleman allows Martinelli to shoot, Pickford saves well, cleared for a corner.
Leno comes up for the corner, and the ball is pinging around and eventually an Arsenal player is called offside after Pickford makes another excellent save. Surely that’s it Jon Moss?
90+2’ - Pablo Mari stamps on Coleman as a cross comes into the box and the captain goes down clutching his ankle. This will kill some more seconds.
89’ - Last change will be Yerry Mina coming on for Richarlison as Ancelotti is looking to batten down the hatches.
Four minutes to be added on.
86’ - Everton holding firm-ish, and now Tom Davies is coming on for James to add some beef to the midfield.
Just going to go out and say this - Delph is useless. All he’s done is concede fouls and misplace passes since he has come on.
82’ - Arsenal’s last change will be an attacking one, with Willian coming on for Chambers.
76’ - GOAL! Out of nothing, what a fatal error from Leno! Richarlison with a good run got to the line, cut it back towards goal and Leno fumbled that through his legs into the goal!!
72’ - Everton fading fast here, they don’t look like they have any gas left in the tank. Arsenal meanwhile will be bringing on Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Martinelli.
68’ - Delph gets booked within minutes of coming on. Ridiculous.
Shades of Sidibe’s missing sock here as Delph appears to be on in with the white socks with blue trim, while the rest of his teammates are in blue socks with white trim.
66’ - Carlo makes his first change, and it’s one glacially slow player leaving for another with Fabian Delph coming on.
Ceballo shot from distance is parried away by Pickford for a corner, also cleared.
63’ - Holgate goes in sliding hard on Pepe, and it’s late too. He’s booked and has given away a freekick by the goalline on the Arsenal left.
Saka takes, into the box and Chambers’ volley into the ground and just over. Whew.
61’ - Arsenal are getting crosses into the box in dangerous areas, and have a corner on the Everton left.
Overhit, but they win another corner. Short this time and the Blues get it away.
58’ - Holgate cuts out a cross that goes into the side netting, corner is long and Everton come away.
54’ - Mikel Arteta is furious at the call. And now Allan is booked for a simple tug on Saka, and he’s mad at ref Moss now.
53’ - Richarlison cross goes off Pablo Mari, and Everton are asking for a penalty - no chance, that was not near his arm.
52’ - Penalty to Arsenal. Richarlison caught Ceballos late. Jon Moss thought about it and then pointed to the spot. It was a light touch, but it was enough for the ref. VAR is okay with the challenge being a foul, and VAR reviews that Pepe was marginally offside.. by an inch!! Whew! That was incredibly lucky for the Blues.
47’ - James, Richarlison and Coleman combine for a cross into the box, and Sigurdsson’s stab goalward is blocked for a corner.
Digne to take, off an Arsenal player and another corner on the other side. Sigurdsson’s corner is low and Holgate called for pushing in the box.
46’ - Arsenal get the second half underway with a corner on their left.
Low corner cleared by Richarlison who is caught by Chambers.
Halftime Thoughts - The players are looking a little unsure of themselves in this formation, and the Blues are definitely not sustaining pressure with possession in the Arsenal half. Defensively, good shape and haven’t seen much to be worried about.
45’ - There will be one minute added on here. The half seems to have flown by. There’s the halftime whistle, still 0-0.
40’ - Partey now brings down James just outside the box on the right.
Digne this time, off the wall.
38’ - Richarlison runs away from Partey who fouls him and is booked. Freekick just left of centre, about 30 yards away.
Sigurdsson to take.. up and over the wall, down and off the bar!
33’ - Good attack for the Blues. Allan finds Coleman free down the right, he passes on a chance to cross with a number of blue shirts in the middle and instead Gomes’ shot is deflected for a corner.
Ball into the box is cleared, Digne shot is blocked and falls to James who stutter-steps and then shoots, also blocked.
31’ - The outstanding characteristic of the first half for the Blues has been their labored pace when they have the ball, it’s all so unbearably slow.
29’ - Allan plays in Richarlison, chops the ball inside and takes a shot with his left foot. Leno saves, and the rebound is inches away from an onrushing DCL.
24’ - Eddie Nketiah can swivel and shoot, but it’s charged down. Now Saka can shoot from inside the box, blocked by Holgate.
Everton are struggling to get the ball out of their own half and sustain possession in the middle.
18’ - Partey shot blocked, rebound falls kindly for Saka who can drive a ball at goal, straight at Jordan Pickford.
12’ - Sigurdsson finds Digne streaking down the left, his cross into the box is met by a flying DCL and it goes well wide.
8’ - Sigurdsson freekick into the box, Holding gets a touch and it goes to Leno. A Holding own goal had helped the Blues the last time the two sides met.
5’ - Everton look like they’re in a 4-4-2 with James up front with Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Gylfi Sigurdsson is the left midfielder and Richarlison wide on the right.
2’ - Good start for Arsenal as the Blues struggle to clear their area and concede a corner. Cleared easily and now Everton can build up.
1’ - Underway at Goodison.
Yerry Mina is fit again but only on the bench as Dominic Calvert-Lewin returns to the starting lineup along with Andre Gomes and Seamus Coleman. Michael Keane has a minor hamstring issue and hadn’t trained all week.
Pickford, Coleman, Godfrey, Holgate, Digne, Allan, Gomes, Rodriguez, Sigurdsson, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin
Subs: Olsen, Mina, Nkounkou, Delph, Davies, Broadhead, Iwobi, Bernard, King
Leno, Chambers, Holding, Mari, Xhaka, Ceballos, Partey, Saka, Smith Rowe, Pepe, Nketiah.
Subs: Ryan, Bellerín, Cedric, Gabriel, Elneny, Ødegaard, Willian, Nelson, Martinelli.
Nothing less than a win will suffice for Everton today if they are to maintain any sort of challenge for a European berth next season. It’s really that simple. Hosts Arsenal are stuck in a midtable rut and really have nothing to play for but pride, and denting any hopes the Toffees have of going to Europe next season of course.
Carlo Ancelotti seemed surprised that he has almost a full squad to select from with only midfielders Abdoulaye Doucoure and Jean-Philippe Gbamin missing for the Blues. The Gunners meanwhile will be without their pair of strikers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, but still have lots of youth and speed in Eddie Nketiah and Bukayo Saka.
Competition: Premier League Matchday 32
Date and start time: Friday, April 23rd at 12:00 p.m. PT / 3:00 p.m ET / 8:00 p.m. BST
Stadium: Emirates Stadium, London, England, United Kingdom
Capacity: Behind closed doors
Weather: 54°F/12°C, partly cloudy, 0% chance of precipitation, 10 mph winds
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The Blues beat Arsenal 2-1 at Goodison earlier in the season when 2,000 supporters were allowed in the stands. Everton’s last visit to the Emirates saw them lose 3-2 after a couple of controversial decisions went against them. In fact, since the Emirates Stadium was built, the Toffees have never won there - the last away win at the Gunners coming during Joe Royle’s tenure in January 1996.