Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno’s blunder, who conceded an Everton own goal, decided in the 1-0 victory for the guests in the English Premier League on Friday.
The only other mess in this otherwise boring match came outside the stadium, when hundreds of Arsenal fans protested in front of the Emirates Stadium before and after the start. They fired pyrotechnics and rockets to demonstrate against Stan Croenke’s property amid anger over the club’s accession to the Super League.
Everton remained in eighth place, but the team was only one point behind rival Liverpool and in the touching distance from the places in the Champions League. Arsenal remained in ninth place.
Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti said his team was still fighting for a place in the top four, saying the race could come down until the last game of the season.
“We are still attached to the top of the table,” Ancelotti said. “It simply came to our notice then. We must keep fighting. ”
Arsenal started the match brightly and seemed to control in the early stages. But Everton began to create problems for Arsenal, as Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Richardson and Gilfi Sigurdsson approached in the first half.
Everton were close to taking the lead when Sigurdson’s 20-yard free kick curled over the wall and hit the crossbar in the 39th minute. The midfielder also almost scored in the 47th minute, but Arsenal central defender Rob Holding made a decisive block to take the ball into the corner.
Arsenal thought there was a penalty in the 52nd minute when referee Jonathan Moss pointed to the spot after Richardson cut Danny Chebalos on his shin. VAR confirmed the foul, but it turned out that Nicolas Pepe was offside in the accumulation.
Arsenal came close in the 64th minute when Bucaio Saka’s free kick found Calum Chambers’ right-back, but his shot bounced off the plate before moving to the side. Sebalos tested Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford two minutes later, but the midfielder’s strong shot was parried.
Richardson’s run behind Arsenal’s defense finally broke the deadlock in ’76 after being released from the left. He cut inside and his shot seemed to be covered by Leno, but the ball ran between his legs and over the own goal line. Richardson ran to the corner flag and danced.
“The best looking goal I’ve ever seen,” said Everton defender Mason Holgate ironically. “Obviously it wasn’t the most beautiful performance.”
But he said the team had dug deep and “beating them and taking three points away from home is huge.”
It was Everton’s first away win at Arsenal in the Premier League in 25 years.
Arsenal reserve Gabriel Martinelli almost scored an equalizer in added time, but Pickford just got his hand to the ball to repel his shot.
“We were the better team, but we didn’t have enough quality in the last third,” said Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta. “It’s detrimental to trust because we’ve lost five points in the last two games.”