Dyche dents Gunners' title charge! Winners, losers & ratings as Arsenal suffer damaging defeat at Everton

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Arsenal were on the receiving end of Everton's new manager bounce as they slipped to a costly defeat 1-0 to Sean Dyche's men on Saturday.

Arsenal slumped to only their second league defeat of the season as James Tarkowski’s second-half header gave Everton a deserved 1-0 win at Goodison Park.

The home side went into the game having lost eight of their last nine matches in all competitions but, inspired by new manager Sean Dyche, they outfought and outplayed the Premier League leaders on Merseyside.

With Everton packing the midfield, Arsenal just weren’t able to play with their usual fluency, as Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka and Martin Odegaard all struggled to get any sort of foothold in the game.

Mikel Arteta’s side were way off the pace as a result and when they did create chances, their finishing was unusually wayward, with Odegaard, Eddie Nketiah and Bukayo Saka all wasteful at times.

But the visitors can’t put the result down to poor finishing. They were second best all afternoon and could easily have been behind before Tarkowski towered over Odegaard to head home Dwight McNeil’s corner on the hour mark.

The defeat - Arsenal’s third in a row at Goodison Park - could see their lead at the top of the table cut to just two points if Manchester City win at Tottenham on Sunday, although the Gunners would still have a game in hand.

  1. The Winners

    The Winners

    Winner: Gabriel Magalhaes

    Arsenal’s centre-back has been exceptional since the restart after the World Cup and he continued that fine form here, despite his side's defeat. While several of his team-mates were off their game, he was dialled in from the start and stood up to the physical test of Dominic Calvert-Lewin well. The Everton striker gave as good as he got, which made it an intriguing contest to watch. But aerially, Gabriel was largely dominant and he stayed calm amid some real pressure from the home side. It was another fine showing from the Brazilian.

    Winner: Sean Dyche

    Everton’s new manager dedicated almost the entirety of his programme notes to telling the club’s fans that ‘hard work’ will be key to getting the team out of trouble this season. So he would have been delighted by what he saw from his side. They got into Arsenal from the first minute and didn’t let them settle. It was an excellent performance, one that made a mockery of Everton’s lowly league position. If Dyche can continue to get this level of performance from his side, then they shouldn’t be in trouble for long.

    Winner: Amadou Onana

    The Everton midfielder was heavily linked with Arsenal during the final days of the transfer window and you can see why the Premier League leaders would be interested on this evidence. The Belgian international was excellent and dominated the midfield battle at times. His athleticism saw him go from box to box, halting Arsenal attacks at one end before making up the numbers during a counterattack at the other. Partey, Xhaka and Odegaard have been so crucial to Arsenal’s success this season, but Onana did not let them settle at all. He was exceptional.

  2. The Losers

    The Losers

    Loser: Ben White

    This was the second successive league game where White has struggled. He was replaced at half-time against Manchester United and it wouldn’t really have been a surprise to see the same thing happen here. White has been one of Arsenal’s most consistent performers this season, but he’s clearly struggling a bit for form and confidence right now. His passing was unusually poor at times and he made several sloppy individual errors that could have been punished. It was far from his best day.

    Loser: Gabriel Martinelli

    This was not the way Martinelli would have hoped to celebrate his new contract. Arsenal’s winger just couldn’t really get into the game on the left-hand side. The visitors largely looked to attack down the right, but on the occasion they did move it left to find Martinelli, he found it very difficult to get any change out of Seamus Coleman. Everton doubled up on him at times to deny him space and he never really looked like causing any trouble. It was no surprise to see him replaced by Leandro Trossard early in the second period.

    Loser: Eddie Nketiah

    From the high of Manchester United to the low of Goodison Park. Nketiah has led the line excellently for Arsenal in recent weeks, but this was largely an afternoon to forget for the young striker. With space at a premium, he was unable to work himself many opportunities and the one good chance he did have, he blazed wildly high and wide in the first half. These are the types of games where Arsenal miss Gabriel Jesus and his ability to drop deep, link the play and drag the centre-backs out of position. Nketiah just couldn’t do that and Everton’’s backline were able to stay solid and compact as a result.

  3. Arsenal Ratings: Defence

    Arsenal Ratings: Defence

    Aaron Ramsdale (7/10):

    Strong performance. Made a couple of sharp stops and commanded his area well under pressure.

    Ben White (5/10):

    Difficult afternoon. Not up to his usual standards.

    William Saliba (6/10):

    Solid. He and Gabriel had a good battle with Calvert-Lewin.

    Gabriel Magalhaes (7/10):

    Arsenal's best player. Front-foot defending under pressure. Enjoying a fine run of form.

    Oleksandr Zinchenko (6/10):

    Not at his very best, but was still constantly involved and tried to make things happen.

  4. Midfield
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    Thomas Partey (5/10):

    Didn't look on his game at all. Might well have been playing through the pain with his rib injury.

    Granit Xhaka (6/10):

    Didn't stop working, but not at his best level.

    Martin Odegaard (5/10):

    Poor afternoon by his standards. Wasted a good opportunity just before Everton's goal.

  5. Attack
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    Bukayo Saka (6/10):

    Saw plenty of the ball but couldn't do much with it.

    Eddie Nketiah (5/10):

    Missed a good chance in the first half and struggled to get any change out of the Everton defence after that.

    Gabriel Martinelli (5/10):

    Far from his best. Replaced in the second half.

  6. Subs & Manager
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    Subs & Manager

    Leandro Trossard (6/10):

    Looked threatening when he got on the ball.

    Jorginho (5/10):

    Couldn't change the flow of the game.

    Fabio Vieria (5/10):

    No impact.

    Takehiro Tomiyasu (N/A):

    On for the last few minutes.

    Mikel Arteta (5/10):

    Tough afternoon back at his former club. His team were way off it and his changes didn't make an impact.