Top-Four Chasers Arsenal Beaten At Goodison Park

Phil Jagielka's goal is enough to take the three points for the home side although in truth, they could have scored more (Twitter)
Phil Jagielka’s goal is enough to take the three points for the home side although in truth, they could have scored more (Twitter)

Phil Jagielka scored the only goal as Everton saw off Arsenal at Goodison Park to claim their third consecutive Premier League win.

Concise News reports that Jagielka, who was only called into the starting XI as a replacement for Michael Keane shortly before kick-off, poked home early on following Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s header from Lucas Digne’s long throw. Keane was dropped out of the matchday squad due to illness

Arsenal were poor in the first half and, while they did improve in the second period, they never genuinely tested Jordan Pickford in the Toffees goal.

Victory for Everton means they leapfrog Watford into ninth while Arsenal remains in fourth.

But it only took the club captain 10 minutes to get on the scoresheet as he capitalised on confusion in the Arsenal box to fire home his first goal since April 2017 from close range.

The hosts went on to dominate for much of the first half with Brazilian pair Richarlison and Bernard causing problems as they found plenty of space in behind the Gunners‘ wing-backs.

While the visitors did improve after the break with the introduction of Aaron Ramsey and Pierre Emerick-Aubemeyang, the Toffees were still largely the better side.

Bernard should have doubled his side’s lead on 59 minutes when a mistake by Ainsley Maitland-Niles presented him with a one-on-one with Bernd Leno which the German goalkeeper saved well.

And there were more opportunities for the hosts as the game drew to a close, as Gylfi Sigurdsson could only shoot straight at Leno from Richarlison’s cut-back, while the Brazilian skewed his own effort wide with the goal gaping.

There were further opportunities for Bernard, Andre Gomes and substitute Theo Walcott as the Toffees piled on the pressure but they could not find a second goal.

However, they escaped their wastefulness as they claimed a victory which sees them string together three consecutive league wins for only the second time this season and the first since October.

Arsenal were not sharp

When the Gunners arrived at Goodison Park, they were chasing a fourth-straight win across all competitions and they were unbeaten in the league since a 3-1 defeat to Manchester City in early February. Victory would have taken them to third on the log, above Spurs.

But they looked a side devoid of confidence and ideas in the first 45 minutes on Merseyside.

In fact, it only took them 10 minutes to continue their unwanted record of being the only Premier League side to not keep an away clean sheet as Jagielka poked in the hosts’ eventual winner.

With the injured Granit Xhaka missing from Arsenal’s midfield, Barcelona loanee, Andre Gomes was able to dictate the game’s tempo, with neither Matteo Guendouzi nor Mohamed Elneny able to impose themselves.

The Gunners did improve after the break as Emery changed his side’s shape by bringing on a second striker, i.e Aubemeyang, but still, they could not find a way to breach the Everton backline.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan went closest with a curling effort from the edge of the box but the fact Pickford only made two saves says a lot about Arsenal’s performance in the encounter.

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