You wouldn’t have thought Everton would be able to muster much in terms of enthusiasm coming to the Emirates on Sunday, and you would be very correct. The emotion and energy expended to ensure safety on Thursday meant the players were mostly spent here, even though Frank Lampard made six changes to the lineup for this one.
Arsenal knew they would have to win today and pray Tottenham would drop points against Norwich. That hope got extinguished early on as Spurs scored early and often. The hosts were able to exert tremendous pressure, but it’s telling that they only made their breakthrough from a penalty. The ball had struck the arm of Alex Iwobi, just about where it had hit Rodri when the Blues played Manchester City, but what do you know, VAR deemed it was a spotkick here.
Then commenced the horror story that Everton’s setpiece defending has been all campaign long. The Blues struggled to match their hosts for pace or trickery, and then continuously blew their marking assignments for the Gunners to score in bunches, including three from corners.
There’s really little else to talk about from an Everton perspective, especially as all eyes were elsewhere as Manchester City recorded a stirring comeback to beat Aston Villa to clinch the Premier League title even as Liverpool won at home against Wolves.
It’s not a stretch to say if Lampard had a fit van de Beek for longer periods this season we shouldn’t have been in the trouble we’ve been.
Setpiece defending is still so, so bad. There had been some improved performances over the long stretch, but still too many issues that need to be addressed by Paul Clement over the summer.
Good to see youngster Isaac Price make his debut in the midfield.