Baines: We're Not Doing Ourselves Justice

@Everton

Leighton Baines says Everton are “not doing ourselves justice at the moment” – but insists he “believes” the Toffees will turn around their form.

Everton were beaten 5-2 by Arsenal at Goodison Park on Sunday afternoon and sit 18th in the Premier League after winning two of their opening nine matches.

Wayne Rooney got the Blues off to a dream start against the Gunners when he bent home a delightful 20-yard strike on 12 minutes.

Baines admitted he had expected Everton to go on and win the match following Rooney's exquisite finish but the hosts were pegged back by Nacho Monreal’s equaliser five minutes before half-time.

Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette struck either side of Idrissa Gana Gueye’s 68th-minute dismissal and when Toffees' substitute Oumar Niasse scored in stoppage time Aaron Ramsey had already netted Arsenal’s fourth.

Alexis Sanchez completed the scoring on the final whistle.

"I did feel going into the game we were going to win it – I believed that,” said Baines. 

“I was looking forward to the game and believed it was perfect for us. Going a goal in front, it had that feeling, but unfortunately it did not turn out that way.

“The obvious way to lift confidence is by finding a way to win again. We have been trying to do that for the past few weeks. Everyone will have an opinion about what we need to do – that is what the game is about.

“I have been in teams that have been on unbelievable runs of form and, with the exact same players, have been in a rut and not been able to string together any results. It is hard sometimes to understand why.

“We have a good group and a good manager, and unfortunately we are not doing ourselves or the football Club justice at the moment.”

Baines agreed with boss Ronald Koeman’s view that Gueye’s sending off was a decisive moment in the contest.

The Senegalese midfielder was outstanding in the opening 45 minutes and robbed Swiss international Granit Xhaka deep in Gunners’ territory to lay the platform for Rooney to break the deadlock.

Gueye, however, was yellow carded for a foul on Sanchez before the break and received his fatal, second caution midway through the second-half for a mistimed challenge on Xhaka.

“It was a pivotal moment,” said Baines. “It was 2-1 at that point, so we were still in the game and had a chance. The game did get away from us after that.

“Arsenal were very good, you have to give them credit. Their players' awareness of space and ability to get between the lines provided them with real attacking quality.

“At times, we did struggle to stop it.”

Everton’s next chance to engineer an upturn in fortunes comes on Wednesday night, when they travel to Chelsea for a Carabao Cup fourth-round tie.

The Toffees then return to Premier League action with a game at Leicester in seven days' time.

“The games do keep coming around and giving us an opportunity – and at some point we have to take it,” said Baines.

“All we can do is keep trying to step up and be there doing what we can. At the minute, that has not been good enough.

“We have been desperately trying to address it but not been able to get it right at this moment.

“But we have to keep believing in ourselves and each other, as difficult as that may be. And, as hard as it may be to understand from the outside, I honestly do believe in this group. We just have to keep going.”

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