If Everton do this again, there is no reason they cannot beat Arsenal

Roberto Martinez

Everton will travel to Arsenal for the FA Cup quarter-final next month, but they should hold no fear following their last performance at the Emirates.

"If you want to win the cup you have to be prepared to face everyone.  We will have to be at our best but it is something to look forward to."

So said Everton manager Roberto Martinez after his side were drawn away to Arsenal for the quarter-final of the FA Cup.

But the Spaniard and his team should have nothing to fear when they travel to London.  After all, they have already given the Gunners a run for their money once this season.

When the Toffees played Arsene Wenger's side in early December, it was Martinez's men who had more of the ball (56% to Arsenal's 44%) and had more shots (12 to the hosts' 11).  They also took a well-earned point in a 1-1 draw courtesy of a late equaliser from Gerard Deulofeu.

Following that result, Everton were just one point outside the top four, and while they have fallen further behind since, they are still enjoying a fine season.

Having already gone to North London and given the Gunners quite a game, Martinez will be hoping to replicate that and see where that takes them.

The table below shows how Everton's defenders played in that match, with Seamus Coleman excelling in terms of both duels and interceptions won and Sylvain Distin outstanding when it came to clearances both with his feet and with his head.

PlayerWon TackleEffective ClearanceEffective Head ClearanceDuel WonAerial WonInterception WonMins
Seamus Coleman 4 2 1 6 0 7 90
Bryan Oviedo 4 3 2 5 0 1 90
Phil Jagielka 1 6 3 4 1 4 90
Sylvain Distin 0 9 6 1 1 1 90

Arsenal's defenders also had to work very hard against that day's visitors, with Laurent Koscielny particularly impressive and proving that Everton did not simply go to the Emirates Stadium to sit back.

PlayerWon TackleEffective ClearanceEffective Head ClearanceDuel WonAerial WonInterception WonMins
Kieran Gibbs 3 6 3 4 1 4 90
Laurent Koscielny 2 9 6 3 1 8 90
Per Mertesacker 1 6 4 3 1 3 90
Carl Jenkinson 0 3 1 2 1 0 90

But it was in midfield that Everton really impressed, with their four midfielders in the top five performers of the day for accurate passes and Ross Barkley streets ahead in terms of key passes.

PlayerAccurate PassKey PassInterception WonBall RecoveryMins
Gareth Barry 56 1 1 7 90
Ross Barkley 47 3 1 5 89
James McCarthy 45 0 2 2 90
Mikel Arteta 43 0 2 12 90
Steven Pienaar 39 1 1 5 71
Mesut Özil 39 1 1 4 90
Aaron Ramsey 37 1 3 10 68
Kevin Mirallas 30 0 0 2 79
Jack Wilshere 26 1 1 2 68
Santiago Cazorla 20 0 1 4 68
Leon Osman 9 1 0 1 19
Mathieu Flamini 8 0 0 3 22
Tomas Rosicky 7 0 0 2 22
Theo Walcott 7 1 0 1 22

So if the likes of Barkley, Distin, Gareth Barry and James McCarthy can perform as they did the last time they visited the Gunners, Martinez could be one step closer to consecutive FA Cup victories.

image: © illarterate

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