82 min Odegaard’s shot is blocked desperately by Godfrey, who then falls on the ball. Odegaard appeals for handball but the referee and VAR aren’t interested.
82 min “While I understand John Collin’s skepticism as to my individuality, I can assure your readers that I’m typing this from sunny but cold Chicago,” says Mary ‘Matt’ Burtz. “I will concede the possibility that those whose last names end with “z” think alike though.”
Richarlison and Gomes worked the ball across the edge of the area to Gray. He whipped a lovely curler that beat Ramsdale and clattered off the bar. It rebounded towards Richarlison, who tensed his neck muscles to lob a header over Ramsdale and into the net. That’s such a good finish.
Richarlison has scored for a third time, and this one might even count!
78 min Gray almost puts Gomes through on goal with a return pass into the area. It’s fractionally overhit, however, and that allows Partey to make a vital interception.
76 min Gordon is lucky not to be booked – at least – for a naughty tackle on Tavares. He caught Tavares at the bottom of the shin after the ball had gone, though it was with the side of the foot rather than his studs. Wayne Rooney used to tackle people like that, and he knew what he was doing too.
75 min “I can assure you that in both ice hockey (‘I didn’t mean to hurt him, I was just finishing my check’) and gridiron football (‘Yeah, it may have been a bit late, but I was already committed when he released the ball’) the speed/momentum excuse was an equally well-entrenched Regrettably Unavoidable Part of the Game,” says Fred Decker. “Oddly, once the rules were changed and officials were allowed to say (in essence) ‘Sucks to be you,’ and issue the penalty anyway, hulking defencemen and linebackers alike hastily discovered that they *could* in fact avoid making contact when suitably motivated.”
72 min Arsenal are starting to banter Everton off with fliphousery. Gabriel uses a foul by Doucoure as the cue to waste 30 seconds. As Alan Smith says on Sky, everyone does it, although the Everton fans don’t seem to share that sentiment.
70 min There’s a break in play while Martinelli receives treatment. The Everton fans are not enamoured with the interruption.
68 min It sounds like the blue line is Arsenal and the red line is Everton, which makes perfect sense.
67 min The stats say Everton have had no shots on target, which is bloody disrespectful to Anthony Gordon’s mishit cross.
66 min A change apiece: Tavares for Tierney, Gomes for Townsend. I want to see those VAR lines again. This could be a howler for the ages.
65 min Sky keep showing the VAR lines of Richarlison’s second disallowed goal, and he still looks onside to me. The blue line is actually further away from goal than the red line. Isn’t the blue line Richarlison and the red line Gabriel? If so, is this an almighty cock up?
64 min The weather at Goodison Park has turned biblical, with torrential rain and a violent wind.
62 min Both offside decisions were so tight, and on each occasion I thought the goal would be given because of the slightly thicker VAR lines this season. Wrong!
60 min Martinelli almost makes it 2-0! Odegaard put him through in the inside-right channel with a fine pass. Pickford came out, probably unnecessarily, but at least managed to force Martinelli very wide. Martinelli lifted the ball hopefully towards goal with his right foot and the ball dropped onto the roof of the net.
60 min It was such a good finish from Richarlison, too. The chance came when Doucoure put him through on the right side of the area. Richarlison’s first touch was perfectly weighted – he had pretty much no margin for error with Ramsdale in front and Gabriel coming from the side – and then he sidefooted calmly past Ramsdale.
Dear me. It’s another ridiculously tight offside decision, but it has gone against Everton.
Richarlison gets his second goal, and Everton’s first!
57 min Arsenal are having an excellent spell, perhaps their best of the match. Xhaka almost frees Tierney in the area with a sliderule pass that is desperately cut out by Coleman.
55 min Tierney, who made the goal, shapes another beautiful ball that flashes across the six-yard box. If only Arsenal had a fox in the box to finish it off.
54 min “The problem with not giving a red card to Godfrey is that it encourages dangerous play by excusing for “lack of intent”,” says William Ireland. “Either he intended it — or he wasn’t careful enough. So no card, encourages violent play that is often going to be excused. Giving a red encourages players trying not to hurt each other. It shouldn’t be a close call.”
I agree that walking football is a brilliant invention.
51 min Godfrey is booked for a poor challenge on Saka. He went slightly over the ball – not enough for a red – and put his studs into Saka’s foot. The more you see things like that, the more you think Godfrey meant the stamp on Tomiyasu.
50 min “Hi Rob,” says John Collin. “Not generally one for conspiracy theories, but are US-based Evertonian pessimists Mary Waltz and Matt Burtz the same person? I know I’ve never seen them in the same room…”
In their defence, America’s quite a big place, and the internet is even bigger.
47 min Keane drives a free-kick across the field to Gordon, who mistimes an attempted volleyed cross. The ball swirls wickedly and drops towards the Arsenal goal, where flaps it over the bar under pressure from Richarlison. Good goalkeeping.
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