Arsenal again put up a lacklustre performance at home, as they lost 1-0 to Everton in the Premier League. The defeat was their seventh home loss in the league this season, more than they have suffered in a single league campaign ever.
An error from goalkeeper Bernd Leno from a Richarlison shot proved to be the winner. Arsenal did have a penalty controversially overturned. But in all fairness, they struggled to really create chances in the game.
The loss left the Gunners languishing in ninth place, with only five games left. Their hopes for top 4 or even top 6 finish in the table is now almost out of sight. And if it stays like this, they are on course to their worst ever Premier League finish.
The Gunners’ season now hinges on the Europa League. They travel to Spain in midweek to play Villarreal in the first leg of the semi-finals of the competition. It will be a reunion with his old club for former Arsenal manager Unai Emery, who is now the coach of the Yellow Submarines.
Arteta hits out at VAR
Manager Mikel Arteta was not happy with VAR’s decision to overturn the penalty in the second half. The Gunners were awarded a penalty after Richarlison fouled Dani Ceballos. However, the decision was controversially overturned by VAR, after Nicolas Pepe was marginally offside in the build-up.
The Spanish coach was furious with the decision. Speaking after the game, he told the club’s official website:
“It is building up and enough is enough. And today to be fair, I had enough. We have had many of them and no one explains. When they explain, they say ‘sorry it was a mistake’. But unfortunately, it is affecting a lot of people and it is affecting our job and most importantly our football club.
That’s why I cannot understand it and I’ve been in football long enough and I can watch it 10 times and if I want to find it, I cannot find it. I really like that we can make use of the technology. It’s just we need consistency, clarity and we want to see their faces and responses.”
Arsenal forward Nketiah blows his chance:
With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette out for the game, Arteta put faith in Eddie Nketiah against Everton to lead the Arsenal line. But the Englishman massively failed to impact the game.
The 21-year-old scored a late equaliser against Fulham on Sunday and was handed his first start since January. This was his big opportunity to impress his manager and Arsenal fans, who have recently criticised him for his performances this season. But sadly, Nketiah did not take his chance and was rightly taken off in the 74th minute.
His hold-up play was poor and he never looked clinical enough upfront. There was a moment in the first half when Arteta was furiously shouting from the touchline, ‘Eddie go!’.
With another youngster in Florian Balogun expected to sign a new deal with the club and Gabriel Martinelli, Aubameyang, and Lacazette all ahead in the pecking order, Nketiah’s time at the Emirates looks to be up.