Premier League leaders Arsenal suffered just a second top-flight defeat this season today after they suffered a 1-0 loss against Sean Dyche’s Everton at Goodison Park.
Right from the off the Toffees looked a completely different outfit to the one that struggled so badly under Frank Lampard, with the home team the better of the sides for the majority of the first half.
Dyche would have been left frustrated though that Everton were unable to take advantage of their positive display, with both Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Abdoulaye Doucoure missing glorious chances to take the lead.
Arsenal did go close to opening the scoring just before half-time, but Conor Coady did well to clear Bukayo Saka’s volley off the line.
Everton fans will have been worried that their side would struggle to match the intensity of their first-half display, although on the hour mark, the Toffees got the goal they deserved and it was a goal full of connections to Dyche’s former club Burnley. Summer signing from Burnley Dwight McNeil’s inswinging corner was met at the back stick by another former Claret, James Tarkowski, who headed back across goal and into the bottom corner.
Arsenal pushed on in search of an equaliser late on but it was a testament to Dyche’s sides defensive organisation that Jordan Pickford barely had a save to make all afternoon and Everton held on for a first Premier League win since October 22nd.
Arsenal remain five points ahead of Man City – although they now no longer have a game in hand – and speaking afterwards Mikel Arteta clearly did not want to be overly critical of his young team.
“Of course there is disappointment,” Arteta told BBC’s MOTD. ”We knew this was going to be a real test for us. We had a lot of control in periods but we struggled.
“We needed to do more to win the game. Conceding the goal the way we did was disappointing as was how we played in many areas, especially the final third.
“I love them more than before the game and last month. Now we have to be next to them when we have had a defeat.”
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