Everton were 2-0 up and cruising to victory against Arsenal at Goodison Park on Saturday.
Then it all fell apart. Rapidly.
Roberto Martinez’s side conceded two goals in the final seven minutes as they let a late lead slip for the second time in as many weeks to start the season with back-to-back 2-2 draws.
[RELATED: Recap – Everton 2-2 Arsenal]
Speaking to reporters after the game, Martinez bemoaned his sides finish to the match and promised to try and put things right as the Toffees chucked away another two points from a commanding position.
“We ran out of energy and it became a feeling of wanting the game to end,” Martinez said. “We are not that sort of side that’s not the way we play. I was delighted with the performance for 80 minutes I thought the first half was phenomenal. We’ll make sure going forward we make it a 90-minute performance.”
Martinez was right, his side took their foot off the pedal in the second half and barely got going as they attacked the Gwladys Street End.
If they would have held on for victory, Martinez, other pundits and fans would have said “well, that was a professional display” but the truth is Everton were naive, sat back deeper and deeper as the game went on and invited the late pressure which proved to be their downfall.
You also have to applaud some of Arsene Wenger’s tactics, as the Arsenal boss wasn’t afraid to make changes early and often. He took off Alexis Sanchez at half time as the Chilean attacker was placed in an unfamiliar central strikers role instead of out wide. Olivier Giroud came on and caused havoc. The Frenchman almost scored three times before he netted a last-gasp equalizer to break the hearts of Everton’s fans. Santi Cazorla also jumped off the bench to set up Aaron Ramsey’s goal to make it 2-1, as Wenger introduced his subs superbly.
That said, the Toffees’ season has got off to a sticky start and this result will leave a nasty taste in the mouth.