Blues fall to reduced defeat at Arsenal

Everton endured another afternoon of frustration as Arsenal won 1-0 at Goodison Park.

A Blues performance abundant in organization and courage was ultimately canceled out by Leandro Trossard’s goal in the second half.

Dwight McNeil and Vitalii Mykolenko were brought into Sean Dyche’s starting line-up as the Toffees boss made two changes from the team that started the 2-2 draw at Sheffield United last time out.

McNeil and Mykolenko made their first starts of the campaign after recovering from their respective injuries, replacing James Garner and Nathan Patterson, who were named among the replacements.

Summer signing Beto retained his starting place to make his home debut for the club, while the fit-again Dominic Calvert-Lewin returned to the bench.

Arsenal came out of the blocks from the first whistle, enjoying 76.3% possession in the first quarter of an hour – but Everton, lined up in 4-1-4-1, did well to ensure that Jordan Pickford is not required in the opening exchanges.

The game came alive in the 19th minute when Beto’s interception from just inside Arsenal territory ricocheted accidentally into the path of Fabio Vieira, who passed to Gabriel Martinelli to control and push home – but that wasn’t to be the first goal.

As fate would have it, almost the instant Martinelli’s effort hit the back of the net, all four sides of Goodison Park stood and applauded in remembrance of Matthew Daulby, who was tragically murdered then that he was going out with friends in July.

Matthew’s family were keen that the tribute to Matthew would also raise awareness of the devastation caused by knife crime and would like to encourage young people to ‘choose life, not a knife’.

As the time ticked down to 20 minutes and the applause began to slow, it was confirmed that a VAR check was taking place, where it would be revealed that Eddie Nketiah had strayed into an offside position and therefore , the goal would be scored.

Again, a goalless goal – and, as well as giving the crowd a boost of energy, it also seemed to give the Toffees a much-needed dose of confidence.

Beto illustrated this intention by breaking through the Arsenal defense with a run that started on the halfway line before ultimately being ruled out of play by William Saliba.

There were cries for an Everton penalty just after 30 minutes, but referee Simon Hooper dismissed those calls after Abdoulaye Doucouré fell to the ground at the end of a labyrinthine dribble in the 18-yard box. meters from the Gunners.

Arsenal made an equally quick start to the second half and less than 60 seconds after the restart, Pickford made a two-handed save to safety to prevent Martin Odegaard’s powerful strike from inside the penalty area .

Mikel Arteta’s side remained in the spotlight but both managers brought in new attacking options after 65 minutes, with Calvert-Lewin replacing Beto for the Blues and Gabriel Jesus coming on for Eddie Nketiah for the visitors .

Everton then went close through Arnaut Danjuma, who improvised to control a clumsy rebound on the edge of the penalty area before curling a shot narrowly over Raya’s crossbar in front of the Howard Kendall Gwladys Street End.

The deadlock was finally broken 21 minutes from time, as Arsenal opted to miss a corner – a feature throughout the match – and Bukayo Saka’s pullback was converted by Trossard, a first-half substitute. time, via the inside of the post.

Everton switched to a 4-4-2 in the closing stages in an ultimately unsuccessful late push to equalize, as Trossard’s effort would prove to be the match-winning shot.

Next up for Dyche is a trip to Brentford on Saturday September 23 (5:30 p.m. BST).

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