Player ratings as Bernd Leno howler hands Toffees victory

    Arsenal enjoyed a lot of the ball but were unable to prevent themselves from falling to a 1-0 defeat to Everton at the Emirates on Friday.

    With fireworks and fan protests echoing in the background, the first half was played at a fast tempo. It was end-to-end, with both sides enjoying a number of half-chances, but neither really did enough to threaten the opposing goalkeeper before the break. Gylfi Sigurdsson saw a free-kick clip the top of the bar, but that was the closest either side came in the first 45.

    Seven minutes into the second half, Dani Ceballos went down and was awarded a penalty, only to see the decision overruled for an offside earlier in the move. Arsenal continued to press but found themselves 1-0 down in the 76th minute as Richarlison’s cross somehow squirmed through Bernd Leno and into the back of the net.

    Arsenal tried to find an equaliser but a combination of Everton’s stubborn back line and a painful lack of creativity saw the Gunners slump to defeat.

    Bernd Leno
    Leno was at fault for the goal | James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

    Bernd Leno (GK) – 4/10 – A generally solid game but ruined it all with a shocker to gift Richarlison a goal.

    Calum Chambers (RB) – 6/10 – A bit of a mixed bag from Chambers. He was brilliant with the ball at his feet, whipping in some really dangerous crosses, but at the back, things were a bit shaky. Gave Digne far too much space too often.

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    Rob Holding (CB) – 6/10 – Captained the side but didn’t particularly lead by example. Managed to keep Calvert-Lewin quiet and pulled out a great block for Sigurdsson but mixed that with some bizarre decisions and sloppy fouls.

    Pablo Mari (CB) – 7/10 – Another quietly excellent performance. Positioned himself perfectly to keep Calvert-Lewin at bay and looked very happy with the ball at his feet.

    Granit Xhaka (LB) – 6/10 – Had a bit of a tough time dealing with Richarlison, but given he’s not a left-back, you have to let him off. Didn’t look comfortable moving forward because of the Brazilian’s threat on the counter.

    Nicolas Pepe
    Pepe had some dangerous spells | James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

    Thomas Partey (DM) – 7/10 – As a defensive midfielder, Partey’s ball recovery was excellent. He enjoyed the physical battle with Everton’s midfield, but when on the ball, he was a little sloppy and missed a few chances to get things moving.

    Dani Ceballos (DM) – 6/10 – Did well driving forward but ruined his evening with a questionable tumble for the overruled penalty and some of the worst corners you’ve ever seen.

    Bukayo Saka (RM) – 5/10 – Started off hot but quickly fizzled out. Struggled to get past Digne and generally looked tired. In desperate need of a rest.

    Emile Smith Rowe (AM) – 5/10 – Really struggled to deal with Everton’s physicality. There was no space for him to pass into, and he couldn’t even drop deep because Allan was there to suffocate him.

    Nicolas Pepe (LM) – 6/10 – This game is why Arsenal fans get so annoyed with Pepe. The Ivorian had some moments of pure magic and easily could have created one or two goals, but then offered up some poor decisions. Needed to do more.

    Eddie Nketiah
    Nketiah was a passenger | Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Eddie Nketiah (ST) – 3/10 – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had malaria and still probably would have done more.

    Martin Odegaard – 6/10

    Gabriel Martinelli – 6/10

    Willian – 6/10

    Ben Godfrey
    Godfrey had a solid game | James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

    Jordan Pickford (GK) – 7/10 – Had a busy second half and needed to make a handful of impressive saves. Earned his side the victory.

    Seamus Coleman (RB) – 7/10 – Enjoyed his battle with Pepe and profited from the fact Xhaka never joined in Arsenal’s attacks. Could focus one-on-one and did well.

    Ben Godfrey (CB) – 7/10 – Nketiah made life incredibly easy for him, but Godfrey was impressive. Won so much in the air and was happy to put in a crunching tackle when needed.

    Mason Holgate (CB) – 6/10 – Looked to lose his composure a little with a ferocious challenge on Pepe. Generally solid but the odd reckless flash won’t endear him to Everton fans.

    Lucas Digne (LB) – 7/10 – Fair play to Everton’s kit supplier for making pockets deep enough to hold Saka. Digne won the battle all night long and looked dangerous with his crosses as well.

    James Rodriguez, Thomas Partey
    Rodriguez struggled | Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

    Allan (CM) – 6/10 – Did well to stifle the space for Smith Rowe but needed to offer more on the ball. Too many sideways passes.

    Andre Gomes (CM) – 5/10 – A little too negative with his passes. Stopped Everton from making any real moves before being hauled off for Delph.

    Gylfi Sigurdsson (CM) – 5/10 – Began well but quickly lost his grip on the game. Had lots of fans calling him a crab on Twitter for his love of a sideways pass.

    James Rodriguez (AM) – 4/10 – Looked like he was running through syrup at times. Couldn’t deal with Partey’s pressure and was anonymous for most of the game.

    Richarlison had a good game | Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

    Dominic Calvert-Lewin (ST) – 4/10 – Nketiah was the worst striker on the pitch, but Calvert-Lewin was a close second. Admittedly didn’t get a lot of help from his team but did almost nothing to help himself either.

    Richarlison (ST) – 7/10 – Looked like Everton’s danger man right from the get-go. Enjoyed running at Xhaka and was smart enough to exploit the Swiss’ weakness for the goal. Needed some help from Leno but deserved every bit of it.

    Fabian Delph – 6/10 – Had the wrong socks on. No idea why.

    Tom Davies – N/A

    Yerry Mina – N/A

    For more from ​Tom Gott, follow him on ​Twitter!

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