The problems that have plagued Arsenal against Everton for several years look set to continue in Sunday’s Premier League clash at Goodison Park.
Few would have thought that underperforming and relegation-threatened Everton would defeat then-toppers Arsenal in a similar match last season. The Toffees won 1-0 on that February day, also recording a third successive home win over the London side in the league.
After nearly 70 minutes of Sunday’s game, and Arsenal’s almost constant advantage on the field, the score was still 0-0 on the scoresheet. Then, following a short corner kick, in Arsenal’s seventh corner of the day, it was finally a goal to rush home.
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Martin Odegaard found Bukayo Saka in space when the ball returned towards the corner flag from which the situation started. The England star then hit a 45-degree angle into the field, where Belgian Leandro Trossard met the ball perfectly.
Trossard directed the ball across the far post with an emphatic touch with his left foot.
– Great goal from Leandro Trossard! It’s innovative and uncompromising from Arsenal, as Talksport commentator Kevin Hatchard praised.
– This is not an easy end for Trossard. But he opens up the pitch, and does the rest very well, added radio channel expert and former Everton profiler Trevor Steven.
A sudden stop for Odegaard
The match-winner replaced the injured Gabriel Martinelli after about half an hour of play, and curiously only seconds after Martinelli himself thought he had scored for Arsenal.
The Brazilian’s header was disallowed after VAR replays showed Eddie Nketiah was offside.
Just minutes after Trossard’s winner, it was Odegaard himself who was on fire to have his second biggest chance of the evening, but England’s goalkeeper Jordan Pickford blocked the ball, both then and on a previous occasion earlier in the second half.
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– Martin Odegaard is screaming at the sky, because Pickford denied him to such a degree there, commentator Hatchard commented on the first of the two situations that occurred early in the second half of the match.
Despite the missed opportunities, the Norwegian captain is being praised for the way he has emerged in a leadership role in Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal side in recent seasons.
He convinced the skeptics
– He is an outstanding young leader. Because he plays that role for Arsenal and the Norwegian national team, he, aged just 24, praised Hatchard when Odegaard used a free kick earlier in the match.
Colleague Stephen then added that he was surprised by Mikel Arteta’s selection when Odegaard was appointed as the team’s new and permanent captain last summer.
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Stephen did not see the 24-year-old as a leader at the time. But just over a year later, the former midfielder admitted that the Norwegian had refuted all the doubts he originally had.
The three points obtained by Arsenal make it ahead of other major teams who are yet to lose this season in the English Premier League, including Manchester City, Tottenham and Liverpool.
Everton remains in the disappointing relegation zone, with just one point and two goals in the first five league matches this season.
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