Following the City defeat last week, the Gunners needed to end the year 2020 with a win against another Champions League contender and they duly despatched the Toffees to climb back to the second place of the table.

BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 20: Beth Mead of Arsenal celebrates with Katie McCabe and  teammates after scoring their team's fourth goal  during the Barclays FA Women's Super League match between Arsenal Women and Everton Women at Meadow Park on December 20, 2020 in Borehamwood, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)
BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 20: Beth Mead of Arsenal celebrates with Katie McCabe and teammates after scoring their team’s fourth goal during the Barclays FA Women’s Super League match between Arsenal Women and Everton Women at Meadow Park on December 20, 2020 in Borehamwood, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)

There was a huge surprise in the starting line-up as Joe Montemurro left out Vivianne Miedema. There was some uproar and some fans wondered if it meant the Dutch striker was going to be sold soon as her contract would not be renewed.

I even saw some rumours linking her to Olympique Lyonnais, who have just renewed Ada Hegerberg for three years for probably the highest wages in the world.

You can never say never in football, but it is very unlikely at the moment to see the forward leaving the club, and she recently said in an interview that she was happy playing in the FA WSL.

Prior to the game, Miedema was the Arsenal player with the highest number of minutes played so far having started all the games this season. I can really see her being dropped as a case of load management and part of typical squad rotation with a player like Jordan Nobbs needing a start at the weekend.

The starting XI was Williams; Evans, Williamson, Beattie, McCabe; Gut, Little, Roord; Nobbs, Foord, Mead. And the available subs were Zinsberger, Stenson, Maier, Wälti, Miedema and van de Donk.

It was good to see Evans at right-back as she brings so much to the team in terms of attacking options, hopefully she can stay fit until the end of the season. Gut was preferred to Wälti, who was coming back from concussion so that also made sense. And, of course Nobbs, was preferred to Miedema, via Foord, playing central instead of playing on the wing. This also made sense in the tactical options, as seen during the game.

As explained post game by Joe Montemurro to Tim there was a clear game plan against Everton’s diamond midfield and it worked very well as seen with the first two goals:

In the end, Everton subbed their left-back at half-time because she struggled to contain the attacks on her side. Arsenal added a third through Jennifer Beattie, who had managed to slip her marker at the back post:

The fourth goal that was the best of the four, with a peach of a finish by Beth Mead or her wrong foot:

https://twitter.com/BarclaysFAWSL/status/1340658600683835393

An excellent day for the Gunners, back in second place until Chelsea play their two games in hand and probably go top of the League. Reaching the Christmas break in second place is not bad, even if the two defeats so far mean the title chances are more or less gone.

Chasing the leaders, Man United by four points, and Chelsea, who could be level with them, is a really hard task even with 12 games remaining. We are probably looking at winning 11 out of the 12 remaining games, at least, to win the title.

Hopefully, the club can sign a couple of reinforcements during the January transfer window to boost the squad and also prepare for the summer departures as probably two or three players could be let go.

Let’s hope all at the club can have a good Christmas break, even those among the players and staff who are now stuck in England and are not allowed to go home due to the government mishandling of the Covid-19 crisis.