Arsenal 2-0 Everton: Giroud, Rosicky down toothless Toffees

2 Comments

Romelu Lukaku missed a few early chances, and Arsenal got back to winning ways following the midweek Champions League disaster with a mundane 2-0 victory over Everton at the Emirates that pushed their Premier League top-four cushion back to three points.

Olivier Giroud scored before halftime on a corner, and Arsenal sat back from there, with Everton lacking the quality necessary to put the Gunners’ lead under pressure. Tomas Rosicky scored a deflected goal in the final minute of regulation to put the game out of sight.

Despite Arsenal’s possessional dominance early on, the first chance fell to Lukaku on a 17th-minute break, but Gunners goalkeeper David Ospina impressively came off his line and put in a pinpoint tackle, somehow avoided hacking down the big Belgian and instead dispossessed the striker and killed off the chance.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

Arsenal continued to test the Everton solidarity, and found chances few and far between. Olivier Giroud came very close to opening the scoring in the 27th minute, but missed wide with a free header after John Stones whiffed on Alexis Sanchez’s cross. Everton began to grow in the game as the second half dragged on, and they eventually overtook Arsenal for the lead in the possession stats. Gabriel Paulista put in a great tackle after the half-hour mark on Lukaku after making a mistake on the earlier breakaway, and Arsenal struck on the other end.

The Gunners, always good on set-pieces, scored as Giroud atoned for his earlier miss with a one-touch goal off a corner that evaded all the other bodies in a crowded penalty area, dragging it across to the far post and into the back of the net for the lead six minutes before the break. They nearly had another but Tim Howard stretched to keep out a driving shot from Alexis Sanchez.

Following halftime, again Everton controlled much of the ball but had little to show for it. Ospina wasn’t required until the 66th minute when Lukaku volleyed a shot with his back to goal that was destined for the top corner, but Ospina rose to tip it over the bar. Again Ospina was needed on 72 minutes when Seamus Coleman’s cutback from the byline found Aaron Lennon alone in the box but his shot was right at the Arsenal keeper.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

John Stones nearly finished off the game for his own side with an awful back-pass to Howard with 10 minutes to go, but Mesut Ozil couldn’t capitalize as Howard saved.

The game was put to rest in the 89th minute when Tomas Rosicky collected at the top of the box and rifled a low shot on net. It was headed straight for Tim Howard’s clutches, but the ball clipped Phil Jagielka on the way through and took enough of a deflection to sneak over Howard, who was already on the ground to collect. Giroud nearly collected a second goal in the seven minutes of stoppage time that followed, but he missed his second clear-cut headed chance of the game when he drove a free header into the ground and it jumped wide of the post.

Arsenal collected the three points to keep pace with Liverpool, pushing them back to three points clear in the top four and leapfrog Manchester United back into third position. Everton, meanwhile, remain just six points above the relegation zone, and while it’s still somewhat unfathomable that the Toffees should be worried about the drop, the relatively thin margin for error below them will cause concerns for some. Their position at this point in the season is Everton’s worst since 1998/99 season.

LINEUPS

Arsenal – Ospina, Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Gibbs, Coquelin (Chambers 88′), Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Rosicky 82′), Ozil, Alexis (Welbeck 87′), Giroud.

Goals: Giroud 39′, Rosicky 89′

Everton – Howard, Coleman, Jagielka, Stones, Garbutt, McCarthy, Besic (Naismith 77′), Barry (Gibson 84′), Mirallas (Lennon 62′), Barkley, Lukaku.

Report: Edinson Cavani set to join Inter Miami next summer

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Edinson Cavani is reportedly set to make a big splash in Florida.

According to Uruguayan journalist Alvaro Izquierdo, Cavani, 32, is set to join David Beckham’s Inter Miami next summer. The club will make their MLS debut next season.

The specifics of the supposed move are not know, but per the report from Izquierdo, Cavani will join Miami on a free transfer after his contract with PSG expires in June. Since joining in 2013, El Matador has been irreplaceable for the French giants, scoring over 160 goals and becoming the club’s all-time leading goalscorer. This season, Cavani is off to a perfect start -scoring in the first two games of the Ligue 1 season.

[ MORE: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

The striker is one of the first superstars linked to Miami, but the general vibe given off by owners Jorge Mas and Beckham is that the club will look to spend big – similar to Atlanta United, LAFC and LA Galaxy.

Miami has signed three players so far ahead of their 2020 MLS debut – Christian Makoun, Julian Carranza, and Matias Pellegrini all currently makeup the squad.

‘But hey this is MLS’: Wayne Rooney slams MLS’ travel arrangements

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Wayne Rooney is not a fan of MLS’ travel arrangements.

D.C. United lost 1-0 to the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday in Canada, and had to fly back to the nation’s capital before prepping for a midweek showdown with visiting New York Red Bulls. To the 33-year-old Englishmen the trip should’ve taken six hours, not half a day.

MLS is notoriously known for the lack of charter flights it offers its teams, a mere four per season is the reported amount each team is allocated. Traveling on commercial flights has caused routine delays for a slew of team’s this season, with certain teams arriving only hours before the first whistle in some cases.

Players, however, will reportedly push for better travel in the upcoming CBA negotiations. Not only for Rooney, but for the majority of professional athletes around the world, flying charter is customary.

Upon his arrival to D.C. in 2018, Rooney turned down first-class flights offered by the Black-and-Red, among other fine accommodations. “If you are going to be part of the team, you have to be part of the team,” Rooney said on his decision to reject first-class flights and private hotel rooms. “All in and do the same things. I don’t want special treatment — I wanted to be treated the same as the players. I’m part of this team.”

Rooney, despite being on his way out of D.C. to join Derby County in January, is certainly a part of the team.

He is also now a part of the complex fight for better travel in MLS.

Vela scores 24th, LAFC clinches playoff berth

Getty Images
Leave a comment

SANDY, Utah (AP) – Carlos Vela scored his MLS-leading 24th goal of the season, Tyler Miller had four saves and Los Angeles FC beat Real Salt Lake 2-0 on Saturday night to clinch a playoff berth.

LAFC played a man down after defender Walker Zimmerman, who was shown a yellow card for time wasting in the 17th minute, was given a red for unsporting behavior in the 48th., Real Salt Lake’s Aaron Herrera, who blocked two would-be goals in the first half, was shown a straight red for denial of a goal scoring opportunity on Vela, who then converted from the spot to make it 1-0 in the 64th minute.

Vela, whose 15 assists are tied with Diego Valeri of the Portland Timbers for the league lead, broke the MLS record for combined goals and assists. Sebastian Giovinco’s had 22 goals and 16 assists for Toronto FC in 2015.

Miller has eight shutouts this season for LAFC (18-3-4), who have won four consecutive games and seven of their last eight dating to June 28.

Adama Diomande side-netted a rising right-footer to cap the scoring in the 82nd minute.

Salt Lake (12-10-4) had its six-game unbeaten streak, including three straight wins, snapped and allowed multiple goals for the first time since a 4-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls on June 1.

Lampard: ‘We need more personality’

Leave a comment

Frank Lampard‘s baptism of fire as Chelsea boss continued on Sunday, as the Blue coughed up a 1-0 lead and were lucky to draw at home against Leicester City.

[ MORE: Pulisic watch. How did he do?

After being hammered at Manchester United in their opening PL game last weekend, then losing to Liverpool on penalty kicks in the Super Cup final in Istanbul on Wednesday, Chelsea started superbly against Leicester but only led 1-0 thanks to academy graduate Mason Mount scoring his first goal for the club.

Speaking to our partners Sky Sports after the game, Lampard revealed he was not happy at all with the second half display and urged his young side to show more personality on the pitch.

“It was a really good start, fantastic, and we could’ve been two or three goals up. We were quick, bright, energetic, then we allowed Leicester back in the game and in the second half I was not very happy, we offered them too many chances on the counter attack,” Lampard said. “We can only look at ourselves. In all our matches I have been delighted in big passages of having the ball but we didn’t have enough angles or options to keep the ball moving. We have to have more personality, we saw that in midweek, but today we didn’t have that.”

The most disappointing thing for Lampard will be the way Leicester grabbed hold of the game in the second half.

Brendan Rodgers‘ side launched counter after counter as Jorginho and N’Golo Kante were overrun in midfield by James Maddison and Youri Tielemans, and both Maddison and Jamie Vardy should have won the games for the Foxes.

“You can attack, but still be in positions to not allow the counter-attack,” Lampard added. “I’m not here to play great attacking football and then concede counter-attack goals. We need to show more than we did. I was under no illusions that there would be moments like this. We have to work on the pitch on the things we can improve.”

Lampard is spot on with his assessment, but how does he change things?

The most obvious thing is that he needs his team to be more consistent. They’ve started their last three games fast but failed to make the most of big chances and have been made to pay for that with some sloppy passing in midfield.

It is still early days for Lampard in his first season as a PL boss, while many of his youngsters are also finding their feet in the top-flight. Chelsea’s fans will stay patient but the fact that have yet to grab a win shows there is plenty of work to do but the Blues have shown flashes of brilliance, usually at the start of games.

Having a consistent lineup is one thing, but Lampard now needs his players to be brave, show their personality and stand tall for the cause as he ushers in his new era. Too many of them went missing in the second half against Leicester at Stamford Bridge, which will be more than a little concerning for the Chelsea legend.