Jordan Pickford 6/10, Dominic Calvert-Lewin 5/10 in Everton loss
Missed chances and a poor offside call cost Everton in their 2-0 defeat at Arsenal on Sunday. This was a sixth Emirates defeat in a row for the visitors, though the result scarcely reflected a match in which goalkeeper Petr Cech was the standout Arsenal player. Manager Marco Silva spoke before the match of the need to play with courage, and his team showed enough bravery in terms of their attacking approach, but a combination of defensive frailties, wastefulness in front of goal and an in-form Cech conspired to ensure the away side remain winless at Arsenal since January 1996.
The result is the only measuring stick that matters -- a defeat is still a defeat -- but the tactics and performance offered encouragement for an Everton rebuild still only six league games into its development. This squad remain a work in progress and some way off reaching the level Silva and their supporters desire, but this proactive and purposeful team display showed the way forward in these matches against the top teams.
The search for a first clean sheet of the season extends to an eighth match in all competitions. While the result felt harsh on the away side, Everton have now conceded two goals in each of their three away games this term. Needing to score three to have any chance of winning an away match is unlikely to yield many results. Injuries have hit the defence hard and this forced rotation has also disrupted a back line still trying to find its feet, but Silva needs his players to start shutting opponents out or results will continue to slip away.
Manager rating out of 10
7 -- Silva sent his team out with an approach far removed from previous trips to the Emirates. This bold approach ended in defeat but there is plenty of encouragement to take from the performance.
Player ratings (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Jordan Pickford, 6 -- Pickford had surprisingly little to do beyond one early save and twice picking the ball out of his net, especially for a goalkeeper conceding 10 goals in two games against Arsenal last season.
DF Jonjoe Kenny, 6 -- The home side targeted the stand-in right back, a task Kenny stuck to impressively in the first half, but the space Alexandre Lacazette found on his side of the pitch for the opening goal reflected poorly on Kenny's awareness.
DF Michael Keane, 7 -- Surprise inclusion after suffering a skull fracture less than a month ago, but the centre-back impressed, delivering a composed defence display while threatening from set pieces at the other end of the pitch.
DF Kurt Zouma, 5 -- In trying to prevent Arsenal stealing possession in a dangerous area in the build-up to their second goal, Zouma succeeded only in gifting the home side the ball in an even worse spot and leaving the Everton defence wide open.
DF Lucas Digne, 6 -- Attacking enthusiasm occasionally sees Digne caught out of position defensively, though wayward crossing was the bigger disappointment, finding a teammate just once with 10 attempts.
MF Idrissa Gueye, 8 -- Vastly improved on the last match, Gueye won a game-high 10 tackles and played an instrumental role in regaining possession and delivering the high press Silva sought from his players.
MF Tom Davies, 6 -- No doubt a proud moment for the young midfielder as the 20-year-old captained Everton for the first time in a league game. Some neat touches and a sharp through-ball highlighted his potential, while a handful of wayward passes in promising positions showed the progress still required.
MF Theo Walcott, 6 -- Hassled Arsenal defenders into mistakes, frequently retrieving the ball deep in the opposing half, but there was a distinct lack of production from a player capable of much better in the final third.
MF Gylfi Sigurdsson, 7 -- Sprang Walcott through on goal with a clever pass in the first half and played a more prominent role in possession after his struggles against West Ham in the last match.
MF Richarlison, 7 -- Back from suspension and a constant threat in possession. His Everton career remains in its infancy, but his recent three-match suspension and promising performance here underlined his ever-increasing importance to this team.
FW Dominic Calvert-Lewin, 5 -- Wasteful decision-making in the final third proved his downfall. The biggest mistake in this regard came in the second minute when the young forward chose to go it alone with Richarlison unmarked at the far post.
Substitutes MF Bernard, N/R -- Unfortunate not to start and did future chances no harm with a sprightly cameo.
FW Cenk Tosun, NR -- Tested Cech from distance after some neat footwork.