Demarai Gray stunner and Richarlison earn Everton vital victory over Arsenal | Premier League

The plan was to protest six years of mismanagement under Farhad Moshiri, but Everton, and Demarai Gray in particular, had other ideas. Goodison Park roared just fine, and with the release of the long-awaited victory after Gray’s stunning injury-time goal gave Rafael Benitez’s side their first win of the night matches.

Arsenal took the lead through Martin Odegaard and survived two VAR decisions to disallow Richarlison’s goals for offside. But Everton will not deny. Richarlison leveled 10 minutes from the end before Gray beat Andre Gomez’s pass on the left, taking down two Arsenal defenders before sending an unstoppable finish into Aaron Ramsdale’s left post.

Emotions have always dictated events on the pitch, and Everton managed to subdue a protest in the 27th minute with a display more forceful and committed than they produced in the Merseyside derby. Andros Townsend shook Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale straight from the start while Ben Godfrey stunned the home team’s 50-50 victory with Takehiro Tomiyasu fierce and clean. Godfrey started at left-back in place of France international Lucas Digne, who was unhurt but was removed from the squad completely, and escaped a VAR review for a possible red card offense when he hit the Japan international in the face with his buttons. A lucky deferment, especially for Tomiyasu, who was able to follow through with treatment.

Various groups of Everton supporters called for a mass exit in the 27th minute to commemorate 27 years without a cup at the end of this season, the longest drought in the club’s history, and to register their discontent with the club’s “governance and management” during Moshiri’s six years in power. Expectations, the biggest shareholder was nowhere to be seen and at the exact time of the protest Everton was attacking from an angle.

Gray crossed the entire face of the goal but no teammate was on hand to convert at the back post. Some fans left their seats in the 27th minute, others booed, and the majority stood on their feet to urge their team to continue. A banner reads: “Bill time’s up” in front of Everton chief Bill Kinwright. Most problematic for Benitez was another injury, Lery Mina, which forced the influential defender out just 31 minutes after returning from a two-month absence.

The greater intensity from Everton did not turn into a greater threat in front of goal, although they were the team that scored the most in the first 20 minutes with Arsenal struggling to find rhythm or composure on the ball. Gray fired the ball after a fine run into the net and Abdoulaye Doukuri sent a long shot into the corner, but the home side barely tested Ramsdale before Richarlison headed home a Townsend free kick into the right post. Relief was evident among the Everton players as they celebrated the Brazil international, but the downturn began when the VAR ruled out the goal for an offside break against the scorer.

Richarlison celebrates a draw with Everton as they win the comeback
Richarlison celebrates a draw with Everton during their return win. Photo: Peter Powell/EPA

From 1-0 on the cusp of the first half, Everton found themselves 1-0 down to Arsenal by the time the whistle came.

The threat from the visitors increased marginally as the first half progressed and Kieran Tierney set up the break with a superb shot from the left. Alexandre Lacazette, who leads the attack line in place of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, fired the Scotland defender behind Seamus Coleman and a perfectly crossed pass fell behind Martin Odegaard’s unmarked Everton defense to defeat Jordan Pickford with a controlled shot into the bottom corner. . Richarlison slammed his fists on the ground at the sudden shift in fortune. His desperation will grow, and Everton is skeptical.

Richarlison convincingly beat Ramsdale for the second time early in the second half, when he was found in space to the right of Arsenal’s penalty area by Doukuri. The Everton striker swept the finishing touch inside Ramsdale’s near post and was ready, along with everyone else on the field, to restart the game when the fearsome VAR intervened again. After a lengthy review, the goal was disallowed for another aggravating offside call against Richarlison. The Brazilian was left with his head in his hands, while Goodison was in a state of anger when the incident was repeated on the giant screens inside the stadium.

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Everton, to their credit, responded admirably to the latest setback as the returning Gomez injected much-needed creativity into their midfield. Gomez was involved in the equalizer, turning Richarlison’s pass into Gray who cut inside and curled over Ramsdale. Misfortune seemed to interfere again when Gray’s attempt hit the crossbar but Richarlison responded brilliantly by sending a header over and into the Arsenal goalkeeper. The VAR did not make it a triple.

Mikel Arteta introduced Eddie Nketiah before Aubameyang and the substitute was supposed to win the match late when Bukayo Saka sent a cross to the back post. Without any hints, Nketiah headed against the post from close range as luck finally shone on the hosts. Gray will take full advantage of it.

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