Player Ratings: Arsenal 3-1 Everton

Everton looked on course for a shock win after a surprisingly commanding first half performance. But Arsenal were jolted to life in the second ‘45 and an early goal set them on their way to victory. Goal.com rates the performers on the pitch.

ARSENAL  

Almunia – 6: A very shaky performance. Caught in no man’s land on a couple of occasions. Relieved to have little to do in the second half as his side dominated thoroughly.

Song Billong – 6: Went missing down the right flank when Pienaar drilled in the low cross to set up the opening goal and continually left gaps throughout the first half. Looked more comfortable when he switched to centreback.

Silvestre – 7: Strong in the air. Knew where to be and when to be there. Helped out in attack whenever possible and even set-up the crucial equalizer.

Touré – 6.5: Kept on battling despite taking two blows to his shoulder. Had to be taken off at the break.

Clichy – 7.5: Provided the biggest threats in the first half with his darting runs down the left flank. Made a pivotal clearance off the line to keep his side afloat. The outcome could have been very different if it wasn’t for him.

Eboué 6.5: Very industrious but for all his clever runs and cheeky flicks, there was hardly any end product.

Fàbregas – 7: Didn’t see as much of the ball as he would’ve liked. His long range passing and shooting looked suspiciously out of sync.

Denilson – 6.5: Left flailing whenever Everton’s midfield line charged forward on the counter. Looked more composed in the second half as the team started controlling the match.

Nasri – 7: Barely noticeable for large parts of the first half. But took all of two minutes into the second half to come to life with a stunning strike to draw the game levelled.

Van Persie – 7.5: Caused the Everton backline endless headaches. Had a few strong shouts for a penalty. Like Cesc, he looked out of sorts with his normally lethal shooting.

Adebayor – 6.5: Spurned a number of great chances with his indecisiveness. Ironically, it was because of that flaw that lead to the second goal when he missed a shooting chance and had to play the ball back to Fàbregas.

Substitutes:

Walcott – 8.5: Completely turned the game around and revived his team’s jaded attack. Left the Everton defenders chasing thin air most of the time. Showed his class with a clinical finish for the third goal.

Diaby – 7: Held up the ball well when he needed to. Created the third goal with a lovely pull back.

EVERTON

Howard – 7: Made a few good saves to deny Arsenal drawing levelled in the first period. Could not be blamed for the three goals his team leaked in.

Hibbert – 6.5: Good reading of the game. Knew exactly when to cut into the middle to help out his centrebacks. But very fortunate to stay on the pitch after the reckless tackle on Denilson.

Jagielka – 7.5: Barely put a foot wrong. Dealt with everything Arsenal could muster in the first period, whether it was low passes, high balls, crosses or through balls. Continued to impress in the second but the pressure was just too much.

Lescott – 6: A little unsure with his positioning, but together with Jagielka, they kept Arsenal at bay for long periods.

Baines – 6.5: Like Hibbert, he had to work hard cutting in from the flank to the centre to overload the penalty area.

Arteta – 6: Quietly pulled the strings in the first half but just went plain quiet in the second. Had to play virtually as an extra defender just to get a touch of the ball.

Osman – 7: So lively in the first half but like everyone else in blue, completely disappeard after the restart. Extra points for scoring his side’s only goal.

Rodwell – 6: Made up the numbers in midfield but started to struggled immensely when van Persie dropped down deep following Walcott’s introduction.

Fellaini – 6.5: Solid in the first half but failed to keep up with the pace in the second and it was his failure to pick out Fabregas’ run that lead to Arsenal’s second goal.

Pienaar 7: Constantly back-tracked to help out Baines to defend the left flank. Exploited the space left vacant for him to attack but a shame none of his other deliveries from the wings were converted into goals.

Yakubu – 6: Like Adebayor, he fluffed a few decent chances in the first half. He must have regretted it as he was utterly isolated after the resumption.

Substitutes:

Saha – 5: Only had one meaningful touch of the ball and he went and gave it away.

Neville – 5: Brought in to tighten up the backline but he didn’t do any better than the rest.

Vaughn – N/A

KS Leong