Everton’s goalless draw with an uninspiring Arsenal side was overshadowed by the announcement prior to kick-off that Carlo Ancelotti was to be appointed Everton’s new manager and that this match was to be Duncan Ferguson’s farewell as caretaker manager.

With Ancelotti watching the proceedings in the stands, the Blues started the strongest of the two sides in the overwhelming midday sunshine but failed to have a single shot at Bernd Leno’s goal. Their task was not aided by former Gunner Alex Iwobi being forced off with an injury after only 11 minutes.

In the second half, Arsenal began to take control of the game and had several chances of their own, the most notable being when Jordan Pickford had to scramble across the goal to bat away Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s goal-bound shot. Everton were perhaps unlucky to have been denied at least two claims of handball in the penalty area from Arsenal defenders, but each time VAR ruled ‘no penalty’ meaning a game with such vibrant build-up was to end 0-0.

Duncan Ferguson was given a warm reception by the Goodison faithful on the final whistle having done some stellar work to stabilise the Toffees in his four games in charge and restore the buzz around the ground just in time for the honour-laden Ancelotti to take the reins. Although perhaps not fondly remembered for the match, the date of 21st December 2019 could very well go down as the beginning of something special in the history of the club.

21st December 2019 – Premier League

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