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Everton 0-0 Arsenal: Carlo Ancelotti and Mikel Arteta watch Goodison Park stalemate

Report as Everton and Arsenal cannot be separated in front of their new coaches

Saturday 21 December 2019 21:10, UK

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the goalless draw between Everton and Arsenal in the Premier League

New Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti and Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta looked on from the stands at Goodison Park as their respective new sides played out a dour goalless draw on Saturday lunchtime.

Ancelotti was confirmed as Marco Silva's replacement just before kick-off, meaning Duncan Ferguson and Freddie Ljungberg remained in caretaker charge of Everton and Arsenal for the last time.

We assess the main issues on Carlo Ancelotti 's to-do list at Everton...
Image: Carlo Ancelotti was in the stands at Goodison

However, there was little for the new men to get excited about, with Jordan Pickford's smart reflex stop from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's close-range shot six minutes after half-time the closest either side came to scoring.

As a result, Everton move up to 15th in the Premier League ahead of the afternoon fixtures, while Arsenal - on the back of a first clean sheet in 15 matches - are up to ninth.

Player ratings

Everton: Pickford (7), Sidibe (7), Holgate (6), Mina (6), Digne (6), Delph (6), Davies (6), Iwobi (6), Sigurdsson (6), Richarlison (6), Calvert-Lewin (6)

Subs: Keane (6), Kean (6), Tosun (6)

Arsenal: Leno (7), Maitland-Niles (7), Chambers (8), Luiz (6), Saka (7), Torreira (7), Xhaka (6), Nelson (7), Smith-Rowe (6), Martinelli (7), Aubameyang (6)

Subs: Willock (6), Lacazette (6)

Man of the match: Calum Chambers

How Everton and Arsenal cancelled each other out

If the new bosses looking on from the stands were hoping for signs of encouragement from their respective new teams, then they will both have been disappointed with what they saw in a scrappy and largely disjointed first half.

Mikel Arteta, Manger of Arsenal FC is seen in the stands prior to the Premier League match between Everton FC and Arsenal FC at Goodison Park on December 21, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.
Image: Mikel Arteta watched his new team from the stands at Goodison Park

Neither goalkeeper was forced into action before the break, with Gabriel Martinelli's effort just before half-time the visitors' first shot of the game; Arsenal's longest wait for a first attempt in a Premier League game since May 2015.

However, if those watching in the ground and on TV thought the second period could not be as insipid as the first, they were mistaken with both teams again struggling to string more than a few passes together after the interval.

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Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Calum Chambers in Premier League action at Goodison Park
Image: Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Calum Chambers in action at Goodison Park

Arsenal nearly broke the deadlock after 51 minutes from a left-wing corner, as Calum Chambers's near-post flick on found Aubameyang unmarked at the back post.

However, Pickford was agile enough to keep out Aubameyang's volley, with the only other notable incidents being a VAR penalty check when Dominic Calvert-Lewin's goalbound shot struck Lucas Torreira's hand.

Team news

Fabian Delph made his first appearance since November 3 to return to the Everton midfield as one of three changes from last weekend's draw at Manchester United. Djibril Sidibe also returned from a knock to start at right back and Mason Holgate replaced Michael Keane at centre back.

Mesut Ozil was the most high-profile casualty from the sweeping changes Freddie Ljungberg made in his last game at the helm of the Arsenal, but there were four other new faces after last weekend's home loss to Man City. At left back, with Sead Kolasinac out, Bukayo Saka was drafted in as an emergency defender, David Luiz was recalled for Sokratis, while in midfield Granit Xhaka made a rare start in place of Matteo Guendouzi, Reiss Nelson came in for Nicolas Pepe and Ozil's replacement was Emile Smith-Rowe.

Then for the second match in a row, Ferguson opted to replace his substitute Cenk Tosun with Moise Kean, much to the forward's obvious disgust as he marched straight past the Scot and down the tunnel.

Match stats

  • Everton have kept consecutive league clean sheets against Arsenal for the first time since August 1978
  • This was Arsenal's first goalless draw in 77 Premier League games, since drawing 0-0 at West Ham in December 2017
  • Everton failed to record a single shot on target in a Premier League home game for the first time since New Year's Day 2018, when they lost 0-2 against Manchester United
  • At 24y 50d, this was Arsenal's youngest starting XI in a Premier League match since May 2011 (24y 24d vs Fulham), while it was the also the first time the Gunners named three teenagers in a league game in their starting lineup since March 2007 vs Reading
  • No manager has taken charge of more Premier League games without ever losing than Everton caretaker Duncan Ferguson (3, same as Pat Rice and Trevor Brooking)
  • Cenk Tosun became the third substitute to be subbed off in a Premier League game this season, with the other two occasions also being Everton players (Alex Iwobi v Man City and Moise Kean v Man Utd)

What the managers said...

Ferguson: "It's fantastic for the club for someone of that pedigree to come in. I haven't spoken to him [Ancelotti] yet, but hopefully I will tonight over a couple of glasses of red wine."

Ljungberg: "The club has told me they want me to stay so I will sit down with Mikel on Monday and talk to him. He came down after the game and said similar things to what I just said.

"What I put on here today, I know they're young and don't have any experience - some even made their Premier League debuts and we had an 18-year-old at left back who's a winger - but they did really, really well and dominated a game against Everton away from home. We, as a club, should be very proud of that."

Man of the Match - Calum Chambers

The centre back produced a dominant display at the heart of the visitors' defence at Goodison on Saturday as Arsenal recorded a first shutout in 15 games.

The watching Arteta can only have been impressed with he saw from the 24-year-old, who spent last season on loan at relegated Fulham.

In fact, on the basis of this near-faultless performance, do not be surprised if the new Gunners boss decides to build his back line around the occasional England international.

What's next?

Everton face Burnley at Goodison Park on Boxing Day (3pm).

Meanwhile, Arsenal take on Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on the same afternoon.

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