Arsenal 3-2 Everton: Aubameyang in the double and Nketiah also makes nets in a thriller with five goals
Carlo Ancelotti didn’t feel like hanging out. While Mikel hit Arteta and hugged all the people around him at the end of Arsenal’s best week of his young government, Everton’s manager ran through the tunnel as fast as he could.
It is unusual for the urban Ancelotti not to shake hands with the last whistle, but perhaps he was more concerned with wringing some necks. In a race he knew would have important implications in the race to European places, Everton was solely to blame.
Thanks to Arsenal, who collected three wins in seven days and now has some speed, but Everton should not have gone back to Merseyside without showing anything for their efforts. The reason they did that, much to the sadness of Ancelotti, was their inability to keep the back door closed.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang nodded the winner of Arsenal at home with the hosts along Everton after a thriller with five goals
The Arsenal captain sent Nicolas Pepe’s dangerous cross into the penalty area and passed Jordan Pickford
MATCHING FACTS AND LEADING LIST
ARSENAL (4-2-3-1): Leno, Bellerin, Mustafi, Luiz, Kolasinac (Saka 19mins), Ceballos (Torreria 76mins), Xhaka, Pepe, Ozil (Guendouzi 82mins), Aubameyang, Nketiah
Subs not used: Martinez (GK), Sokratis, Nelson, Lacazette
Goals – Nketiah (27), Aubameyang (34, 47)
Manager – Mikel Arteta
EVERTON (4-4-2): Pickford, Sidibe, Mina, Holgate, Baines, Iwobi 6.5 (Bernard 60mins), Schneiderlin 6 (Gomes 59mins), Delph (Kean 81mins), Sigurdsson, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin
Subs not used: Stekelenburg (GK), Keane, Coleman, Davies
Goals – Calvert-Lewin (1), Richarlison (45 + 3)
Booked – Schneiderlin, Richarlison, Gomes
Manager – Carlo Ancelotti
Referee – S Attwell
Presence – 60,982
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At a light-hearted moment at Everton’s headquarters on Friday, Ancelotti joked that “I could cry” when he was shown in black and white the 37 results the club has recorded since they were last a traditional top six team away from home defeated.
He was desperate not to be 38 – and it shouldn’t have been 38 – but that’s the absolute fact. You cannot expect to give a time and space to a striker of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s class and get away with it. Aubameyang was great, but the defense he faced was not AC Milan from the nineties.
Everton’s dismal record at Anfield is repeated with frequency, but it’s not as bad as in this part of North London; January 1996 was the last time they won here when Graham Stuart – who was here in his role as club ambassador – and Andrei Kanchelskis scored the decisive goals.
The start they got could not have been better. There were only 49 seconds on the clock when Gylfi Sigurdsson’s free kick bounced around the area and Dominic Calvert-Lewin acrobatically led an overhead attempt past Bernd Leno.
Calvert-Lewin was built as a middleweight boxer, sturdy and powerful, and with the right service he could have thrown this crunching four on the ropes. He is doing everything he can to get a ticket for Euro 2020 and 13 Premier League goals have not escaped the attention of Gareth Southgate.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin had opened the score at the Emirates with a sublime acrobatic finish within the first minute
The visitors celebrated the collision in front so quickly while the Arsenal players defended badly against a free kick
David Luiz threw his teammates after Calvert-Lewin had adjusted himself perfectly in the air to put an attempt into the far corner
However, attackers can only do so much and when a team defends like Everton did for long spells, the goals of their attackers alone will not be enough. Having the perfect platform to attack, Arsenal was allowed to restore their balance and then cause damage.
The road to success came along the right-hand side of Everton. Time and again, Arsenal began to string balls into Djibril Sidibe and, yes, it eventually made a profit when parity arrived in the 27th minute, when Eddie Nketiah turned a glorious cross from Bukayo Saka.
Saka, such an exciting young prospect, was only introduced after Saed Kolasinac had sustained a serious shoulder injury, but his pace, skill and agility gave Alex Iwobi and Sidibe all kinds of problems; when you added Aubameyang to the equation, Everton remained entangled.
Aubameyang has the equipment of a six-furlong sprinter and he galloped away from the always stunned Sibide and Yerry Mina to bend a beautiful finish outside Jordan Pickford and make his manager roar “Vamos!” on the touchlines in delight.
But Arsenal arrived just before half an hour when Eddie Nketiah broke forward to stab the Bukayo Saka delivery home
The young striker was able to sail past his marker and shoot past the beaten Pickford to restore parity for the hosts
The fine curling finish of Aubameyang gave Arsenal the lead for the first time after he had easily broken the offside trap
Ancelotti cut a completely different figure. He lowered his head and shivered after the target, but there was another episode, moments later, that spoke volumes – he turned to his couch, his mouth open and disbelief written on his face. No words were spoken. Nothing was needed.
Arsenal would have put his foot on the gas in days gone by and zoomed to the horizon with such an advantage, but the team that inherited Arteta has shortcomings and nobody in the stadium believed that the third goal would be the last of the afternoon .
So it turned out. Richarlison, who was reserved for the crash of Dani Ceballos, booked the first half with a goal that was as much due to the fallibility of Leno as to his own scoring ability. Thanks to the Brazilian for throwing at Mina’s header, but the treatment of the keeper of Arsenal was miserable.
The Gabonese international raced from Djibril Sidibe and walked quietly behind Pickford and in the bottom left corner
Richarlison stopped at home behind rooted Leno after defending even poorer against the European hunters of Mikel Arteta
Leno would make up for it later, as he ran out of his area to make a slide on Richarlison while Everton tried to counter, and how Ancelotti would have wished his defenders had followed the lead after giving away the game.
Within a minute after the restart, Aubameyang helped himself to his second as he passed Nicolas Pepe’s cross past Pickford. Steered, again using Sidibe’s lax marking. It would be wrong to make the French right back fully responsible, because Pepe had too much time to concentrate.
It was a dick too much. Although Arsenal set the bar with a thundering Nketiah drive, Everton ended with a rattle – especially after Andre Gomes made his return – and Calvert-Lewin thought he had equaled with a fleeting header, but sadly it bounced centimeters wide. So close, so far.
Everton’s frontman reacted the quickest to a loose ball in the penalty area before attempting past Bernd Leno
Carlo Ancelotti gathered his Everton players when both teams threatened during a pulsating end-to-end meeting in North London