Arsenal 5-1 Everton: Gunners end season on a high

Patric Ridge
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Arsenal celebrate against Everton
Arsenal celebrate against Everton

Arsenal ended their season with a 5-1 victory over Everton, but it was not enough to seal Champions League qualification.

Mike Arteta's team needed a slip-up from Tottenham at already relegated Norwich City to have any hope of sealing a top-four finish on Sunday.

Arsenal did their bit against a much-changed Everton team, Gabriel Martinelli getting things started with a 27th-minute penalty and Eddie Nketiah scoring soon after. 

Goals from Cedric Soares and Gabriel Magalhaes followed, after Donny van de Beek netted his first Everton goal on what is likely to be his final appearance, but Spurs' easy 5-0 win at Carrow Road rendered Arsenal's efforts meaningless as they finished fifth, in a Europa League spot, with Martin Odegaard simply adding further gloss late on.

Arsenal dominated from the off, having four shots in the opening 10 minutes before Martinelli struck straight at Asmir Begovic.

Everton's resolve was punctured when former Arsenal man Alex Iwobi was penalised by VAR for blocking a shot with his upper arm – Martinelli drilling in the resulting spot-kick.

Arsenal's dominance profited a second four minutes later, with Everton's set-piece frailties exposed as Nketiah nodded in from a corner.

Bukayo Saka shot wide at the end of a counter and the Gunners were punished for not putting the game beyond doubt when substitute Van de Beek tapped home after fantastic work from reported Arsenal target Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Arsenal restored their two-goal cushion 11 minutes after the restart – Everton once again switching off from a corner, with the unmarked Cedric sweeping home.

Gabriel was then allowed to ghost behind Everton's line and finish beyond Begovic, who should have done better.

Alexandre Lacazette was handed a farewell Arsenal appearance soon after, as the home fans were at least able to celebrate an emphatic season-ending win when Odegaard slotted in a fifth.

What does it mean? Gunners late show not enough

Arsenal can at least go into the off-season on the back of a win, but there can be no hiding that it has been a woeful end to the campaign for Arteta's side, who let a place in the Champions League slip from their grasp with defeats to Tottenham and Newcastle United.

The Gunners did at least snap a three-game losing streak against Everton, who following this loss have still not beaten Arsenal four successive times in the league since the 1920s. 

It has been a difficult spell for Frank Lampard since he replaced Rafael Benitez, but Everton, having ensured their safety with that dramatic 3-2 win over Crystal Palace on Thursday, can now look forward to rebuilding under the ex-Chelsea boss, with plenty of change to their squad expected.

Saka is Arsenal's shining light

It has been a fine season for Saka, who was nominated for the Premier League Player of the Year award, which went the way of Kevin De Bruyne.

Saka has played every single Premier League game for Arsenal this season, and at 20 years and 259 days, is the second youngest player to play every match in a full Premier League campaign for the Gunners, after Cesc Fabregas in 2006-07.

Set-piece woes strike Everton down… again

Everton have been horrendous at defending set-piece situations all season and that was the case again on Sunday.

Arsenal scored three goals from corners, becoming just the second team to do so in the Premier League this season after Liverpool did so against Crystal Palace in September.


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