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Arsenal: Balanced Starting Eleven, Odegaard in Form, Painful Defeat

Starting Lineup

Mikel Arteta selected a balanced squad -age-wise, against Everton yesterday and the way they played in the first half was tolerable despite being of a lesser threat than their opponents. Xhaka and Tierney returned to the squad and this was seen by many as good news because a section of Arsenal fans felt that the left-wing was a bit shaky when left in the hands of Tavares and Lokonga. Xhaka played well generally but could do better in the coming games and this is understandable because he just came back from injury.

As for Tierney, he was very imposing, both offensively and defensively. His assist for Arsenal’s first goal was brilliant and now fans are hoping that in the next games he will start over Tavares.

Martin Odegaard

Martin Odegaard redeemed himself after yesterday’s masterclass performance against Everton. He scored Arsenal’s first goal with a brilliant improvised touch after Tierney flew in a mid-high cross. Apart from his goal, Odegaard was a constant menace in the final third, making decisive passes that pierced Everton’s defense.

He was also very receptive to his defensive duties and was often spotted making crucial interceptions to deny Everton ways into Arsenal’s defense. Surprisingly, he made more pressures in Everton’s half than Lacazette and this shows how hungry he was for the ball.

Eventual loss

Despite playing with caution throughout the game, Arsenal were stunned by Demirai Gray’s injury-time winner. After conceding the consolation goal, Arsenal threw caution to the wind and attacked incessantly at Everton but when Nketiah lost the ball to Doucoure, a swift counterattack was instigated and in a blink of an eye Gray was angling for a shot which went in wonderfully off the post.

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Arsenal Everton Martin Odegaard Tierney Xhaka

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