Everton vs Arsenal player ratings: Who impressed in Toffees win?

The Toffees moved second in the Premier League with a hard-fought three points

Andrew Gamble
Saturday 19 December 2020 19:24
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Focus on James Rodriguez in Everton training

Everton heaped more pressure on Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta with a 2-1 win at Goodison Park.

The Toffees took the lead twice in the first half through a Rob Holding own goal and Yerry Mina, with a Nicolas Pepe equaliser from the spot sandwiched in between.

Arsenal pressed in the second half, with a deflected David Luiz shot hitting the post after a Jordan Pickford error, but the Gunners ultimately couldn’t find another equaliser.

Arteta’s side dominated possession, but lacked true creativity and effectiveness going forward as they slipped to another defeat.

The win sends Everton up to second in the Premier League ahead of Sunday’s fixtures, while Arsenal remain languishing down in 15th.

Everton

Jordan Pickford – 5. Flapped at a cross, which happens far too often for Pickford. His days appear to be numbered.

Mason Holgate – 6. Anonymous – but as a defender, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Michael Keane – 7. The much improved centre-back defended Nketiah well, and dictated some of Everton’s attacks from the back. He almost gave the Toffees the lead with a fierce drive from distance.

Yerry Mina – 7. The Colombian was solid at the back, and fired his header into the back of the Arsenal net from a corner.

Ben Godfrey – 7. The stand-in fullback made a crunching challenge on Ceballos and was solid throughout, despite a few erroneous passes. He made a fantastic run down the left on the hour mark, and supplied a dangerous cross that ultimately led to nothing.

Abdoulaye Doucoure – 6. The summer signing went off on a magnificent run that saw him nutmeg an Arsenal player, but his influence waned in the second half as Everton dropped off.

Tom Davies – 5. He started well, but it was a rather unfortunate error when Maitland-Niles nipped in front of him to win the penalty.

Gylifi Sigurdsson – 6. Sigurdsson did little in midfield, spraying some balls around but his role suffered as Everton were happy to sit back and counter in the second half.

Alex Iwobi – 7. The Nigerian was taking on his former side, and he assisted the opener with a fine cross. He was always available.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin – 7. Did well to flick Iwobi’s cross on, but his header was never going in. Almost scored a spectacular goal as he fell only to see Leno make a brilliant save.

Richarlison – 6. He struggled to get past Maitland-Niles, and he wasn’t in sync with Godfrey and missed Digne’s attacking outlet. The Brazilian nearly teed up Iwobi with a fantastic cutback.

Arsenal

Bernd Leno – 6. The German could do very little about the Everton goals, and he made a fine save to deny Calvert-Lewin.

Rob Holding – 5. He poorly dealt with Iwobi’s cross, scoring an own goal to give Everton the lead. He’ll claim he knew nothing about it, but he allowed Calvert-Lewin to get inside him way too easily.

David Luiz – 5. The Brazilian was caught napping for the second goal, standing still as Mina beat Pepe and Nketiah to head home. Why on earth was the tallest player marked by not-so-tall forwards? Luiz was unlucky not to score when he hit the woodwork.

Kieran Tierney – 6. The Scot got forward well and teed up Nketiah with a brilliant pass.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 6. He did brilliantly to win the penalty, showing heart and belief to fight for what seemed to be a lost cause. He defended Richarlison well.

Dani Ceballos – 4. The Spaniard seemed to make himself unavailable as an option to pass, acting as a passenger in an already hopeless team. When in possession, he was pedestrian at best.

Mohamed Elneny – 5. Completely anonymous.

Bukayo Saka – 6. The teenager almost got in behind, but he was let down by a poor touch. He showcased his talent with a mazy run, but it feels unfair of Arsenal to pin their hopes on such an inexperienced player – particularly with the gross underperformance of the majority of the squad.

Nicolas Pepe – 6. The Ivorian appeared to be the only Arsenal player showing any impetus to get forward, and Everton were wary of the threat he posed. Took the penalty excellently.

Eddie Nketiah – 5. The young forward showed his inexperience and immaturity as he snatched at a chance after a great pass by Tierney.

Willian – 4. I don’t remember the Brazilian doing anything meaningful with the ball, and he was pretty awful out of possession as well.

Substitutes:

Joe Willock – 6.

Gabriel Martinelli – 6.

Alex Lacazette – 6. 

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