REPORT | EVERTON 2-1 ARSENAL

Demarai Gray’s screamer earned Everton a deserved three points over Arsenal at an electric Goodison Park.

Martin Odegaard had fired the visitors ahead before Richarlison levelled on 80 minutes and set the scene for the summer signing to steal the headlines in added time.

It was exactly the result needed after the chaos of the last few days at the club following the heavy Merseyside Derby which culminated in Director of Football Marcel Brands leaving the club on Sunday.

The victory also ends the Toffees’ eight-match winless run that stretched back to the start of October.

It wasn’t all good news on that wet Monday night as Lucas Digne was left out of the matchday squad with rumours flying around that the Frenchman has fallen out with manager Rafael Benitez.

Meanwhile, Yerry Mina returned to the starting line-up but only lasted half an hour before being replaced by Mason Holgate.

However, it was a much-improved Everton performance with heavy pressing and a lot of desire on display.

The Blues also had the better chances in the first half and Richarlison looked to have headed them in front minutes before the break but was offside.

Right on the stroke of half-time, Odegaard met Kieran Tierney’s cross and gave the Gunners the lead, a cruel blow for the Toffees who had undoubtedly been on top for the first 45.

They continued in the same vein after the interval and Richarlison had another goal ruled out for offside after being slipped in by Abdoulaye Doucoure and slotting past Aaron Ramsdale.

But it was third time lucky for the Brazilian with ten minutes left as Gray’s speculative effort cannoned off the bar and Richarlison was there to loop his header over Ramsdale and restore parity at Goodison.

The Grand Old Lady was shook to its very foundations two minutes into stoppage time as Gray raced towards goal, cut inside and thumped home the winner via the post.

It was a valuable win for Everton, which pushes them up to 12th in the table, and the players deserved it after restricting their opponents to few chances, although they did survive a scare late on when Eddie Nketiah’s close-range header hit the post and bounced off the striker out of play.

Richarlison ran the show from the first minute, showing the character and will to win Evertonians crave so desperately in their players, and was unlucky not to bag a hat-trick.

There was a negative atmosphere going into the match, with a planned walkout on 27 minutes in protest at the board’s running of the club which didn’t exactly come off as intended.

The on-pitch response was emphatic, while of course not eradicating all issues, and it was a night where the club and fans came together in harmony and a fantastic result was produced.

Repeats of that are exactly what is required if Everton are to salvage their season.

About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.