Four things Mikel Arteta got wrong as Arsenal suffer shock defeat to inspired Everton

Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal side were well off the boil as they fell to just their second Premier League defeat of the season at Everton, who looked a transformed team under Sean Dyche

Arsenal lost just their second Premier League game of the season with a shock 1-0 defeat to a Sean Dyche-inspired Everton.

The league leaders struggled to cope with the intensity of the home side at Goodison Park and struggled to break them down in a goalless first half. They were ultimately undone by a typical Dyche goal – a header from a corner.

James Tarkowski rose the highest on the hour to give his former Burnley boss a massive three points in his first game in charge. Mikel Arteta, meanwhile, will be ruing the following four things he got wrong.

Arsenal were beat by Everton on their travels – just their second league loss of the season

One of Arsenal’s best characteristics this season has been waiting for the right moment to go in for the kill, no matter how long they may have to wait.

It took until the last minute of the game to find the winner against Manchester United last time out in the Premier League – but it looked like they wanted to have the win wrapped up inside the opening 45 minutes at Goodison.

Gabriel Martinelli was a particular culprit of trying to force a breakthrough which resulted in possession frequently being lost before he was hooked for Leandro Trossard. The impatient build-up did them no favours.

Mikel Arteta has to shoulder some of the blame for the defeat

Not testing Pickford enough

In the first half the Gunners had 75% of possession but just two shots on target, neither of which put Jordan Pickford to work in the Everton net.

Bukayo Saka’s goal-bound volley was cleared off the line by Conor Coady, but Eddie Nketiah really should’ve at least found the target with his close-range effort.

Jordan Pickford had a quiet afternoon in the Everton net

While Arsenal have played some of, if not the best football in the league this season, sometimes it doesn’t hurt to fire a few efforts on goal out of nowhere

And it was a quiet second half too for Pickford who will be wondering how he faced just one more effort at him after the break.

Putting Odegaard on Tarkowski

James Tarkowski got the better of Martin Odegaard in the air

You’d have to imagine Arteta had planned who’s man would be who at set-pieces given Everton’s physicality – so it beggars belief that Martin Odegaard was marking Tarkowski.

To the surprise of absolutely nobody, the Everton centre-back brushed him off as he steamed through to head home the opener.

Whoever’s decision it was, it was a bad one, and it could well prove costly in the Premier League title race.

Losing the midfield battle

Everton got the better of the midfield battle

You wouldn’t have expected the team starting the day 19th in the Premier League table to control the play more than the one in 1st, but that’s how the game unfolded.

The usually imperious Thomas Partey was off the boil, understandably so in fairness on his perhaps premature return from injury, while Granit Xhaka was also far from his best.

Everton’s English defender James Tarkowski (L) heads the ball with Arsenal’s English striker Eddie Nketiah during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Arsenal at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north-west England, on February 4, 2023. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No vi

They were bettered by the Everton trio of Idrissa Gueye, Amadou Onana and Abdoulaye Doucoure, who stifled their impact on the match.

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