Another weekend, another Sunday game, another three points.
In addition to our extensive pre-match coverage of the game, we got our writers together for a short prediction on how they thought the game will pan out against Everton at the Emirates on Sunday.
Here’s how that went
Lee Hurley Predicted Draw 1-1
I really suck at this game.
I was wrong, thankfully, and we picked up all three points on Sunday to move up to third and close the gap on City to just four points.
I do feel I was right in what I predicted we would see from Arsenal – a side set out to ‘first do not lose‘ and Tom’s goal perhaps gave the scoreline a bit more gloss than the performance warranted.
Then again, had Giroud been a bit more lethal we could have had even more.
As decent as Everton were, I expected more from them, both upfront and in their physicality.
The first time Arsenal have won seven league games in a row at home since 2005, and Arsenal’s 100th win over Everton.
Crisis? What crisis!
Helen Trantum Predicted Win 2-1
I predicted a 2-1 win, and to be honest, the game was about as comfortable as I’d anticipated – not very!
That said, Everton offered very little going forward aside from Lukaku’s power and pace – he accelerated surprisingly quickly to outpace Koscielny at one point – and our defence did a pretty good job, a couple of hairy moments aside.
Lukaku only had the one real chance that could have turned in my predicted score line, but failed to get his shot either side of Ospina.
Arsenal started the game very defensively as expected and, frankly, as required – the last thing we needed was to be chasing another game.
Ozil and Giroud were both involved in both our goals, and it was good to see them stepping it up after performances that came in for criticism midweek in particular.
All in all, a job well done – professional, clinical and most importantly victorious.
A similar performance will be required midweek as we face QPR.
Maybe add one more adjective to the list of required attributes though – disciplined.
Stephen Bradley Predicted Win 5-0
I expected a response. I didn’t expect Everton to dominate possession for 30 mins.
I wanted a display that showed how many chances we could create. Instead, we got a efficient display that took its chances when they came.
Was it a majestic performance? No.
It was as pretty as Coquelin’s nose.
But we won. And at the end of the day, that’s all what was needed.
Paul Williams Predicted Win 2-1
An Everton goal out on my 2-1 prediction, but I’ll take it.
Again, the nature of the performance, essentially a reset after the midweek calamity, came as no surprise to me. Equally unsurprising was the identity of the man who won the game for us, with Oli G back on the horse in fine style.
Coquelin, I thought, was excellent and you feel Santi Cazorla is just a couple of feet away from a goal of the season contender soon.
Gabriel, a couple of misjudgements aside, slotted in well the back whilst Ospina made a couple of excellent interventions.
Also, I’ll mention it because others might not; Özil’s pass for the second goal was genius.
Whisper it guys, but we’re only four points off second place!
Sylvain Jamet Predicted Win 1-0
I was close this time with my prediction, I just did not expect us to score two goals.
We are actually closing on City for second place with only four points to catch up.
Obviously the main thing is to stay in the top four to carry on generating important revenue and getting a Champions League place is a trophy after all…
Overall, very pleased with the clean sheet and three points.
Lewis Ambrose Predicted Win 2-1
I liked the first half approach: soak up the pressure, don’t allow them any time in our own half.
Growing into the game slowly was a sensible response to disappointment in midweek.
After the first half hour or so we started to relax and use the ball more intelligently. The only real signs of fightback were just after half-time but from the moment Giroud scored we looked pretty comfortable.
I was fairly impressed by Gabriel, love Mesut (as ever), and a shoutout for Rosicky’s refusal to bow to the conventional effect of ageing.
Nia Griffiths Predicted Draw 2-2
I’m always happy to be wrong if it means we win.
I’m still a little perplexed as to how we scored two goals and didn’t concede any but I’m not complaining at all.
It wasn’t the best performance but also wasn’t the worse.
We started terribly and I thought we would somehow manage to commit football-cide (let’s pretend that’s a word) again by making sloppy passes and poor decisions, but I’m glad to be wrong.
After a little while we found our footing in the game and put together some decent attacks. Although collectively we weren’t brilliant, individual moments like Ospina’s tackle on Lukaku in the first half and the saves he made in the second, Gabriel’s challenge on Lukaku and Ozil’s pass to Tomas Rosicky won us the game in the end.
Were we a little lucky? Perhaps. But sometimes we need all the luck we can get.
Andi Foster N/A
Andi is still missing and still assumed drunk.
Prediction: He’s in for one doozer of a hangover.
Sean Ferguson Predicted Win 2-0
After a very sluggish opening where we were second best for the first 30-odd minutes, we scored from our first shot on target after Giroud converted an Ozil corner.
After both had poor games on Wednesday it was nice to see them combine and it seemed to settle them down for the rest of the match.
Our second came from Super Tom after another Ozil assist. Two assists for the apparent terrible/overrated/doesn’t offer enough German…
It was a pretty poor game, truth be told, and I’m not sure any outfield player actually played well for the full 90 minutes but we took our chances when they came and we can thank big Dave for some great saves at the other end when the score was just 1-0.
The main talking point before the game was a first Premier League start for Gabriel. After a couple of dodgy moments early on he grew into the game and I’d expect him to start again against QPR.
Not our strongest performance by any means but three points are three points so I won’t complain.
On to the next game…
Mark Fine Predicted Win 3-2
Quite frankly, I expected a stronger, more aggressive showing, which is what they normally do after an embarrassment. What we got was another slow start that was uncharacteristically reminiscent of being shell-shocked.
They didn’t seem to break out of it until Giroud’s goal (which, on second viewing almost looked like an accident).
We finally got a view of what Gabriel can do and after a shaky mistake, where he misread an Everton lob that Ospina put away, he seemed to settle in and do OK.
Clearly his speed in that position is a nice thing to have.
We may have come into this game low, but I feel Everton came in a lot lower.
I expected a feisty 90 minutes, but Everton didn’t really bring it and we were able to contain Lukaku most of the time.
A very happy, relieved three points.
Anita Sambol Predicted Win 3-1
Wenger listened to us all and rested Per against Everton.
I really expected Szczesny and Nacho back too, but hey, we can’t have it all.
The start of the match was pretty awful, both from the team and from the fans.
It was boring, uninspired, quiet.
When we woke up at last and scored the first goal, I was delighted it was Giroud.
Everton didn’t look too dangerous to me, but we all know that we beat ourselves most of the time anyway, with other teams having barely anything to do with it.
Most of the rest of the match I was really nervous and worried that we would collapse and concede stupidly as always, but it seems like Everton really are going through rough patch in the league.
We looked better in second half and finally that second goal came too.
A little about players individually:
Gabriel started his first league match and you could tell it, but he found his stride with time and put in those amazing tackles.
Ospina made some good saves too, Santi was up for it again, while Alexis clearly needs some rest or something.
Ozil knows how to shut up his critics with two assists while Giroud could have easily scored more than just the one.
I hope Coq’s nose is good (it’s not – Edit), what a warrior! And, wow, what a player we have in Rosicky, even at his age.
Big three points won, job done, we can even chase second place!