Post-Match Report

Match report: Arsenal 0-1 Everton

Bukayo Saka

Everton -

Emirates Stadium
Premier League
Premier League
  Arsenal
   crest
Arsenal
0 1
  Everton
      
              Leno (76 og)
          
   crest
Everton
Leno (76 og)

By Rob Kelly

WHAT HAPPENED

A second half Bernd Leno own goal condemned us to a home defeat against Everton on Friday night.

Mikel Arteta made six changes from the side that drew with Fulham last time out, the most notable of which saw Eddie Nketiah lead the line with both Alex Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ruled out.

The England Under-21 striker was a ball of energy up front as he looked to make the most of his chance to impress, although it was the visitors who had the early sights of goal.

The first came when Lucas Digne curled in a cross that Dominic Calvert-Lewin headed wide at the near post, before the former’s deflected strike nearly caught out Leno, who reacted well to make a smart stop.

Bukayo Saka then had a snapshot saved after good build-up play, but despite dominating possession we struggled to clear-cut chances.

Leno made a full-length diving save to deny Richarlison on the half-hour mark, while Gylfi Sigurdsson hit the top of the crossbar from a free kick before the interval.

The visitors came close again after the restart when only a brilliant block from Rob Holding at the near post denied Sigurdsson.

We soon thought we’d been awarded a penalty when Dani Ceballos was tripped in the box by Richarlison, but Nicolas Pepe was adjudged to be millimetres offside and it was chalked off by VAR.

Calum Chambers then had a good opportunity when a free kick from the left bounced invitingly in front of him, but he flashed his shot high and wide.

Dani Ceballos then tested Jordan Pickford with a shot from just outside the area that was palmed around the post, as we looked to press home our advantage.

But with less than 15 minutes remaining, the visitors hit us on the break as Richarlison got past Granit Xhaka in the box and hit a low cross that hit Leno and went through his legs and in.

That proved to be the decisive blow, and settled an underwhelming match.

HOW IT HAPPENED

See how the match at Emirates Stadium unfolded with our play-by-play commentary.

WHAT IT MEANS

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WHAT'S NEXT

We’re back in Europa League action on Thursday night – and it’s a big one as we head to Spain to take on Unai Emery’s Villarreal in the first leg of our semi-final.

We’ve faced ‘the Yellow Submarine’ in a European semi-final before of course, back in 2005/06 when we beat them 1-0 over two legs in the Champions League – although we were indebted to a late penalty save from Jens Lehmann to send us through.

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