Only an unexpected strike by Donny van de Beek offered any sort of joy for the visitors on the day, aside from the joy in the away end when it became clear that Liverpool would not be winning the league. Still, having spent so much of this season in fear of relegation, Everton will not be overly fussed – or indeed fussed at all – by what unfolded on this final day. “I don’t think it is anything for me to really chew on too much,” said Lampard. “It was a difficult game for the players.”
All Arsenal could do was win this match and see where it might take them, and they started like a team with genuine belief that a late turnaround in the race for the top four might be possible. It was a full onslaught in the early exchanges, with Everton looking predictably leggy.
An opening goal was coming, and there was no surprise when it originated from the energetic feet of Martinelli. His shot struck the arm of Alex Iwobi, formerly of Arsenal, and the penalty was awarded following a VAR review. Martinelli was decisive this time, firing low and hard to Asmir Begovic’s left.
Martinelli was involved again for the second goal, flicking a corner into the path of Nketiah, who converted from close range. There were more chances to follow, with Bukayo Saka racing through, before Everton conjured a goal from nothing. Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s cross was met by Van de Beek, who was all alone in the box.
To concede in such a way would have been a source of annoyance for Arsenal, although it would not have compared to their frustration at events in Norwich, where Tottenham were winning comfortably.