Thunderbolt Demari Gray boosted the mood at Everton as Rafael Benitez’s side came from behind to score a dramatic 2-1 win over Arsenal at Goodison Park on Monday Night Football.
It looked like another night Everton would forget when Richarlison was denied a double after a VAR offside, in the first moments following before Martin Odegaard gave the visiting team the lead in injury time at the end of the first half.
However, the Brazilian was not denied a third time with a rebounding header to equalize after Gray’s shot hit the crossbar.
Arsenal, who would be upset, Ben Godfrey not seeing red after his stud hit Takehiro Tomiyasu in the face in the first half, had a brilliant chance of their own to reclaim the lead in the final 10 minutes when Eddie Nketia hit the post. From within the six-yard area, but the points were Everton’s points as Gray’s powerful effort hit the inside of the post and came in to start the celebrations at home.
The win sees Everton, who saw a small section of their supporters walk out in protest of the club’s run in the 27th minute, advance to 12th place, relieving pressure that was building on Benitez after eight games without a win.
Meanwhile, Arsenal, who remain in seventh place, lost ground in the race for fourth place after the weekend victories of West Ham, Tottenham and Manchester United.
How Everton relieved pressure on Rafael Benitez…
Everton entered the match looking to stop their long run without a win and started in great shape, but they looked like a team that lacked rhythm in the early stages.
Benitez required “significant effort and commitment” in his show notes, and Godfrey’s early intervention thrilled home fans as they looked to get behind their side.
Everton: Pickford (6), Coleman (8), Kane (7), Mina (6), Godfrey (6), Duquerie (7), Allan (7), Gray (8), Townsend (7), Gordon (7), Richarlison (8).
Subs: Holgate (6), Gomez (7), Iwobi (unavailable).
Arsenal: Ramsdale (6), Tomiasso (7), White (6), Gabriel (7), Tierney (7), Party (5), Zacka (6), Saka (6), Odegaard (7), Martinelli (6), Lacazette (5).
Subs: Tavares (5), Nketia (5), Aubameyang (unknown)
man of the match: Demari Gray.
The 27th minute of the match – chosen because it has been 27 years since Everton’s last award – saw some Everton fans leave their seats at a planned protest, and a banner at the end of Gwladys Street read “We demand no perfect nisi. It’s time for our team.” Also,” referring to the club’s motto which translates as “Nothing but the best is good enough.”
Back on the field, Godfrey escaped a VAR check for a red card after standing in the face of Tomiasu following him. Video Assistant Referee Stuart Atwell hired referee Mike Dean to pause the match, but Godfrey, who was described by Sky Sports’ Jamie Carragher as a “lucky boy” during his halftime analysis, survived.
Everton – forced off Yerry Mina in the 31st minute, with Mason Holgate taking the lead – thought they had taken the lead in the 44th minute when Richarlison headed home a Andros Townsend free kick, but the attempt was called off for offside after a VAR check.
To add to Everton’s frustration, Arsenal scored moments later when Odegaard fired into the bottom corner after Kieran Tierney had been sent off.
After the break, Richarlison put the ball into the net again, but was again sentenced for offside after a VAR check.
And Richarlison proved lucky for the third time when he equalized in the 79th minute, heading in after Gray hit the crossbar.
Arsenal had a golden chance five minutes later when substitute Nkita bounced upside down from four yards out, and Mikel Arteta’s side proved to be wrong.
- Yerry Mina made a comeback to Everton’s defense as manager Rafael Benitez made two changes to the starting line-up for Arsenal’s match at Goodison Park. Mina came fit again in place of Lucas Digne, who was not part of the match-day squad, while another adjustment in personnel after last week’s 4-1 loss to Liverpool led to the replacement of injured Salomon Rondon, Anthony Gordon.
- Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta made four changes from the 3-2 defeat to Manchester United, bringing in Alexandre Lacazette, Bucayo Saka, Granit Xhaka, Kieran Tierney to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Emile Smith Roux, Mohamed Elni and Nuno Tavares. Smith Roe (DK) was the only one of the quartet who didn’t appear at 20.
Everton took the lead in the second minute of extra time when Gray’s powerful long-range shot hit a slate that was en route to the net, leaving Aaron Ramsdale absolutely no chance.
There was still one last chance for Arsenal, and it fell to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who was left out of the starting line-up, but the Arsenal captain’s empty run in front of goal continued to channel a long shot, and Everton stuck. to lift the darkness that was billowing over Goodison Park.
6 – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has failed to score in each of his last six Premier League matches, his longest in the competition. It is his longest career in the league in general since 14 games from February to August 2014 with Borussia Dortmund. interest. pic.twitter.com/4zhPM8Uy0a
– OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 6, 2021
What the critics said…
‘This was Everton football’
Sky Sports” Jimmy Carragher: “When you think he’s really under control as a manager, he doesn’t panic.
“This is Rafa’s greatest strength. Under pressure, he does not panic.
“It’s a big win. I mentioned when Rafa came about understanding football at Everton. That’s what it was – it’s not about possession.
“Arsenal dominated possession, but Everton were the better team. Once they got the equalizer, I felt there would be only one winner.”
Worthy Winners Everton
Sky Sports” Gary Neville: “They definitely deserved it. They were better than Arsenal, you have to get the fans involved, and Richarlison’s goals just fizzled out.
“It gave Rafa and his team something to hang on to, and he’ll be very happy. Withdrawal talks never materialised, it’s a great night for them.”
Arsenal shy in Judsion
Neville He added: “It was a really shy performance from Arsenal. You have to compete when you go to Goodison Park, I know they’re on a bad run, but those decisions, the VAR decisions, fed the fans.
“The players responded, that would be a huge relief to the fan base and the people upstairs who were also under tremendous pressure.”
What did the managers say…
Everton coach Rafael Benitez: “Obviously, when the fans, the players and everyone stick together, we are stronger. The team reacts to the goals that were rejected and conceded a goal at the end of the first half, we still scored goals and we react. Every player and fan expects that, everyone is really pleased and we hope it’s the right step forward.”
“VAR… I don’t know if the lines could be thicker or not? It was against us. I said many times that we were about to win a lot of times. Today was another example. It’s all against you but the character The ones they showed today, with the fans at the back, they can enjoy that. The fans were happy because the players gave everything.
“The fans expect commitment. You can talk about mistakes and we concede because we made mistakes against a good team. In terms of commitment, the players are there, and the fans appreciate that. They want to see a team that spent a lot of money get better. We’ll do it. It’s going to take time, but we’ll do it.” Everyone has hope now.”
Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta: “In the first half we were inconsistent with the ball. I didn’t like it. No penetration. One of the few times we did it we scored. The second half we tried to do more of these things, we created four big chances but she conceded a very difficult goal when you need to manage the game.
“We couldn’t take the ball to the final third. They won’t give you time, at Goodison you know what to expect. I think the team tried to go, we kept pressing high. We lost some important duels that put us under some pressure.
“What I want is more from my team. Today you have the game under control even though you are not giving your best and you have to find a way to win it. The way we conceded the goal and losing this match is not a good thing.
“It could have been completely different but we didn’t manage to do it. When the opponent is there for possession you have to do it and we didn’t. It wasn’t good enough.”
Man of the Match – Demarie Gray
Opta stats: Three in a row for Everton against Arsenal…
Everton won three consecutive league games against Arsenal for the first time since April 1986.
Everton have taken 10 points from losing their Premier League positions this season, more than any other team in 2021-22.
Arsenal lost consecutive matches in the Premier League when he scored the first goal in every match, the first time he has done so since December 2016, with one of those defeats also losing 2-1 to Everton at Goodison Park (the other was a 2 – 1 defeat Man City).
Demari Gray scored for Everton after 91 minutes and 21 seconds, the last winning goal in a Premier League match since December 2015 against Newcastle (92:46), and the latest at Goodison Park in the competition since March 2014 against Cardiff (92:33).
Gray has now scored five Premier League goals this season for Everton, his best ever return in a single season. Gray has scored five goals in his last 14 Premier League games, with his previous five goals coming over 54 games.
Everton travel to Crystal Palace on Sunday 12 December (4.30pm) for a match you can watch live Sky Sports Premier LeagueWhile Arsenal host Southampton on Saturday 11 December (3 pm)