The final game of Freddie Ljungberg’s temporary tenure as Arsenal boss ended in a tame 0-0 draw with Everton at Goodison Park.
In a game of very few chances, the closest the Gunners came to break the deadlock with new manager Mikel Arteta watching in the stands came early in the second half when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang shot straight at Jordan Pickford from close range.
Following an opening 10 minutes in which Arsenal began on the back foot, the visitors adapted well to the Everton threat and never looked in any serious danger of conceding.
One of Mikel Arteta’s first jobs as Arsenal manager will be to improve the service to Aubameyang, who saw next to nothing of the ball, especially in the first half, and the speed at which the Gunners moved the ball was too slow to cause Everton a consistent problem on the break.
Manager rating out of 10
6 — Ljungberg played Arsenal’s youngest Premier League side in over eight years, but you can’t help but think that starting players like Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe would have given the hosts much more to think about.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Bernd Leno, 6 — A quiet afternoon for the German, who was never seriously stretched by an Everton side that lacked potency.
DF Bukayo Saka, 7 — The 18-year-old was solid as a rock from a defensive point of view, and gave his side an outlet left as Arsenal grew as an attacking force in the second half.
DF David Luiz, 6 — A typically clumsy performance from the Brazilian during a first half in which he was fortunate to escape a booking, but enjoyed a much more comfortable second period as the visitors began to take control.
DF Calum Chambers, 7 — Looks a lot more comfortable in the middle of the defence after spending most of his Gunners career to date at full-back, and the Englishman dealt well with the combative two-man Everton frontline. Booked for a late challenge on Mason Holgate and will miss his side’s trip to Bournemouth on Boxing Day.
DF Ainsley Maitland-Niles, 7 — The right-back looked set for a difficult afternoon against Lucas Digne and Richarlison on the Everton left, but the 22-year-old was comfortable throughout.
MF Granit Xhaka, 7 — A steady display from the Swiss international, who kept playing ticking over nicely and never looked rushed. A performance to build on from the former captain.
MF Lucas Torreira, 6 — The diminutive Uruguayan is never afraid to put himself about in what was a physical game, but his side could’ve done with some more progressive passing from the 23-year-old, who was often too safe with the ball at his feet.
MF Gabriel Martinelli, 6 — The Brazilian was Arsenal’s most threatening forward player, but should have done a lot better when he was sent through on goal just before half-time, but flashed his shot wide.
MF Emile Smith-Rowe, 5 — The youngster was largely anonymous in a poor first half, but perked up after the break and helped launch a couple of Arsenal counter-attacks. Replaced by Joe Willock after 66 minutes.
MF Reiss Nelson, 5 — Another Arsenal youngster who failed to make any kind of impression in what was a big opportunity to impress his new manager.
FW Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 6 — Woefully starved of service in a frustrating first half, but a striker of his quality simply has to score when presented with a chance like the half-volley on the angle from just five yards out at the start of the second period. Replaced by Alexandre Lacazette for the final 13 minutes.
Joe Willock, 6 — Didn’t see enough of the ball to make a telling impact in his 25-minute cameo. Booked for a poor sliding tackle on Gylfi Sigurdsson in stoppage time.
Alexandre Lacazette, N/A — Unable to pattern a late opportunity.