Everton Beat Arsenal to Move out of Relegation by One Point
Everton beat Arsenal to move out of relegation by one point
New manager Sean Dyche enjoyed a dream start as Everton side stunned Premier League leaders Arsenal at a raucous Goodison Park.
Dyche was appointed last Monday following Frank Lampard being sacked with the team in the relegation zone.
This was Everton’s first victory in 11 games in all competitions courtesy of a link-up between two men who played for Dyche when he was in Burnley.
Centre half James Tarkowski rose at the far post to power home a header from Dwight McNeil’s corner to spark the sort of joyous scenes that have been witnessed rarely during this season.
Everton had enjoyed much the better chances in the opening period too, but striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin could not convert from the excellent Amadou Onana’s low cross and also flicked a header wide.
Arsenal were outfought for large periods and failed to find any chance to make a goal, although January signing Leandro Trossard forced Jordan Pickford into a sharp save later on.
The Gunners were unable to find the leveller and will see their lead at the top cut to two points if champions Manchester City beat Tottenham Sunday evening.
Thousands marched down Goodison Road before kick-off, protesting against Everton’s board and its running of the club but what a suprise transformation there has been on the pitch in just five days under the experienced Dyche.
The former Burnley boss has already set about changing the mindset of a team who have been having a bad season.
Setting up in a 4-5-1 formation, Everton snapped into tackles and gave high flying Arsenal no room to breathe with Vitalii Mykolenko’s late challenge on captain Martin Odegaard in the second minute setting the tone.
The home side’s pressing and ferocious tackling was epitomised by Belgium midfielder Onana, who made more tackles four than any other player on the pitch, with each challenge greeted by a roar from the home fans.
Calvert Lewin could possibly have done better with his chances but could not find the target, while Abdoulaye Doucoure restored to the team after a falling out with Lampard had led to him being omitted sent a free header wide.
It did not cost them though, as Tarkowski nodded in at the back post on the hour mark before wheeling off to celebrate a goal that ended a run of four consecutive home defeats with a statement win.
It was just their fourth league victory in 21 games this season, taking them out of the relegation zone by a point, but they could return to the bottom three depending on other results this weekend.