May 21, 2017
Arsenal 3-1 Everton
Arsenal: Cech, Paulista (Mertesacker 53), Koscielny, Holding, Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka (Coquelin 62), Monreal, Ozil, Sanchez (Iwobi 68), Welbeck.
Subs not used: Giroud, Ospina, Walcott, Elneny.
Everton: Joel, Holgate, Jagielka, Williams, Baines, Gueye (Barry 45), Schneiderlin, Davies (Barkley 26), Valencia (Kone 83), Lukaku, Mirallas.
Subs not used: Besic, Pennington, Hewelt, Williams.
A late season matchup between Everton and Arsenal carried huge implications, as Arsenal looked to qualify for the champions league, and Everton looked to win their first game away to Arsenal in the league since 1996. One 20 year old streak was broken that day, no, it was not Everton’s traveling blues to the Gunners, but rather a 20 year long Champions League run for Arsenal, that would come to an end.
Arsenal came out of the gates firing on all cylinders, as in the 8th minute Hector Bellerin found the back of the net for the London Boys, making the score 1-0 at the Emirates. Fortuned changed for Everton in the 14th minute as Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny made a dangerous late lunge, and caught Enner Valencia instead of the ball, Everton were a man up with 76 minutes to go. However, even at an advantage, Everton seemed the disadvantaged as their road woes against the top 6 continued, and Alexis Sanchez doubled the lead for Arsenal in the 27th minute. That put a bow on the first half for the Gunners, as they went into the half with complete control up 2-0.
The second half started well for Everton, as a handball from Rob Holding led to a Romelu Lukaku penalty score for Everton, the only goal of the game for the blues, cutting the lead 2-1. However, the uphill battle proved to much and even though Alexis Sanchez was lost to injury in the 68th minute, a stoppage time goal for Aaron Ramsey would make the score 3-1, and that would be the final. Lukaku, and Barkley both had large impacts, and with Barkley’s Everton future in doubt at the time, Valencia got the start ahead of Ross. Ross had a great chance to equalize, and flashed it wide, screwing the club almost as bad as he did when he tore down a 35 million dollar deal to Chelsea in the summer, But, to the result, Arsenal landed 5th in the table for the first time since ’96-’97, and Everton landed 7th, putting both teams bound for the Europa League.
Saturday’s primetime matchup pits Everton against the gunners once again, with Everton looking to end the horrid away streak against Arsenal. Swansea picked apart an Arsenal team that looked damaged on all fronts, and put 3 past the Arsenal defense, in what was one of the more shocking results of the season. Everton also put together quite the performance against Leicester, with Walcott and Coleman looking like a duo for years to come down the right. This game, Coleman is expected to be out of the squad for rest, and Arsenal’s new signing Aubameyang looking to be out of the Gunner squad due to illness. While Everton looked formidable Wednesday, and Arsenal looked decapitaed, it is hard to see a result for Everton based on history alone. Cenk should start, with Oumar likely being an impact sub, and the toffees should be more attacking than the matchup earlier in the year at Goodison. Expect the game to be close, but just out of the Blues reach.
Prediction; Arsenal 2-1 Everton
Up the Toffees!!!!