By Andrew Howard

Everton U23s were thrashed 4-0 by Arsenal on Friday night and now sit second from bottom in the Premier League 2 table.

Despite creating plenty of chances in the second half, the young Blues were ultimately punished by a ruthless Arsenal side to deepen David Unsworth’s problems.

In a first half which lacked quality from both teams, Arsenal broke the deadlock on 36 minutes, when Gunners captain Flo Balogun fired past Everton keeper Harry Tyrer.

The Toffees came out after the break looking a lot more purposeful, and were almost level when Tom Cannon surged into the box and rifled towards goal, only to be denied by a fine save from Arthur Okonkwo.

Tyler Onyongu then almost restored parity from the resulting corner, powering his header down – again Okonkwo to Arsenal’s rescue.

Everton continued to play some impressive stuff in the hunt for an equaliser, but were hit on the counter attack in the 73rd minute, and Salah Oulad M’hand doubled Arsenal’s advantage.

As Unsworth’s side committed bodies forward in chase of the game, the Gunners capitalised to put Everton to the sword with two more late strikes.

Ryan Alebiosu added a third for Arsenal with an emphatic finish before substitute Zak Swanson scored a fourth in stoppage time to compile the misery on Everton’s Under 23s.

Despite the disappointment however, Unsworth will be pleased with his side’s reaction in the second half, playing some of their best football of the season and creating a hatful of opportunities.

Everton will face Burnley on Monday in the Premier League Cup, and a break from their poor league campaign so far may just be welcomed.