While Arsenal might not have been at their free-flowing best on Sunday afternoon, the Gunners did eventually land a 1-0 victory away at Everton.
Although Mikel Arteta’s young squad might have been frustrated for large spells on their return from September’s international break, the Premier League title contenders certainly showed some real resolve.
With second-half substitute Leandro Trossard producing a wonderful driven strike on the 69th minute, Arsenal’s 1-0 win here means that they have mustered 13 points from their opening five top-flight appearances.
While Everton might have put in a largely rugged performance on home soil, the Toffees have only continued on a nightmare campaign since opening the 2023/24 campaign.
Offering very little in the final third and still waiting to collect their first top-flight victory, the Toffees appear to be bracing themselves for another relegation scrap.
In a showdown between two sides who are expected to be battling it out at opposite ends of the Premier League table this season, we have taken a look at the main talking points from Sunday’s showdown.
Arsenal end their Goodison Park curse
Heading into September’s international break with that famous last-gasp 3-1 victory at home against historic rivals Manchester United, Arsenal would have always travelled to Goodison Park looking to lay down another marker here.
However, despite arriving in the blue half of Merseyside tipped as a standout contender with neutrals up and down the country, Arteta’s side did hold a shockingly downbeat record at Goodison.
Including a 1-0 loss when they last travelled to Merseyside back on February 4th, Sunday’s 1-0 victory was the first Premier League win that they had recorded at Goodison since October 2017.
Nevertheless, still more than deserving of maximum points this weekend, Arteta will take plenty of positives away from a resilient performance this weekend.
Getting their Champions League return underway on Wednesday night when they welcome Dutch giants PSV to north London, Arsenal certainly picked up some real momentum here.
Trossard takes his chance
While Arsenal fans might have been worried after Brazil international Gabriel Martinelli limped off midway through the first-half with a suspected muscle injury, Leandro Trossard certainly took his chance on Sunday afternoon.
Coming off the bench and bagging the winner thanks to a sublime strike in the 69th minute, the former Brighton star really caught the eye and proved to be the difference for Arteta’s budding squad here.
Causing Everton a string of issues and impressing many since making the move to north London back in January, many have been calling on the 28-year-old to be handed an extended first-team run.
Still making just a single Premier League start this season, Trossard demonstrated at Goodison that he is capable of making an impact from the start.
While the Gunners might still be sweating over the extent of Martinelli’s knock, the Belgium ace can certainly fill Arsenal’s void on the left-hand side of Arteta’s attack.
Everton extend on their nightmare start
While Everton might have just about limped their way over the finish line last season as they managed to extend on their Premier League status, it is no secret that the Toffees find themselves in the midst of an extended crisis.
Still dealing with some public issues behind the scenes at Goodison Park, it appears that Sean Dyche has mounting pressure on his shoulders in the blue half of Merseyside.
Although Sunday’s hosts might have entered September’s international break with an action-packed 2-2 draw away at Premier League returners Sheffield United, that is the only top-flight point that Everton have collected from their opening five appearances.
Once again ending this weekend’s fixtures sat firmly in the drop zone, it looks like the former Burnley boss is bracing himself for another relegation scrap this season.
While the Blues might have put in a largely gritty display here, performances are not enough and Dyche’s men are in desperate need of a boost.
Still showing some extended struggles in the final third, Everton face another tricky test next weekend when they travel to Brentford.
Everton: Pickford, Young, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko, McNeil, Onana, Gueye, Danjuma, Doucoure, Beto
Subs: Calvert-Lewin, Patterson, Garner, Chermiti
Arsenal: Raya, White, Saliva, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Vieira, Rice, Odegaard, Saka, Nketiah, Martinelli
Subs: Jesus, Trossard, Tomiyasu, Havertz
Goals: Trossard (69’)
Yellow Cards: Everton: Young – Arsenal: Gabriel
Red Cards: N/A
Referee: Simon Hooper
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