Arsenal 2-1 Everton: Gunners overcome Everton to cue muted celebrations at the Emirates

Kai Havertz’s controversial 89th-minute winner secured a 2-1 victory for Arsenal over Everton at the Emirates. However, with reigning champions Manchester City beating West Ham United 3-1, the Premier League title remains in the trophy cabinet at the Etihad for at least another year – marking the second successive season that the Gunners have been denied towards the concluding stages of the campaign.

As it happened

With Manchester City kicking off late against West Ham United over 200 miles away, Arsenal flew out of the traps against a sold-out home contingency at the Emirates Stadium as Takehiro Tomiyasu planted an unmarked header at the back post wide of the post. However, the unwanted news of Phil Foden sensationally putting City ahead after only two minutes would have undoubtedly made its way up to the capital.

The rout in Manchester continued, and aware or unaware of Pep Guardiola’s side’s newly-established two-goal lead, the Gunners continued to menacingly hunt down the game’s opening goal. Visiting goalkeeper Jordan Pickford denied Gabriel Martinelli – recalled to Sean Dyche’s starting eleven in the absence of the injured Buyako Saka – with a brilliant one-handed save.

However, Everton came close to celebrating against the run of play shortly after the half-hour mark with Dominic Calvert-Lewin beating Raya, but rattling the outside of the left-hand post before firing the rebound into the side netting.

Nonetheless, nothing could prevent the visitors from fortuitously taking the lead in the 40th minute as Idrissa Gueye’s free-kick deflected off Declan Rice in the Gunners’ wall on its trajectory into the back of the net leaving Raya with absolutely no chance of producing the save.

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Everton’s lead would only last four minutes as the marauding forward Tomiyasu – who had earlier spurned a glorious chance to break the deadlock – expertly slotted Martin Ødegaard’s delivery past Pickford.

With Mohammed Kudus pulling a goal back for the Hammers close to half time at the Etihad with a stunning overhead kick – to give Arsenal hope of lifting their first Premier League trophy in over two decades – Mikel Arteta’s side commenced proceedings after the restart in a carbon copy of the first as Havertz planted his header off target.

Calvert-Lewin forced Raya into an awe-inspiring save for the cameras with time ticking by in the second half, as at the opposite end of the pitch Havertz’s backwards glancing header struck the frame of the goal. After peppering Pickford’s penalty area with several goalscoring opportunities – with substitute Smith-Rowe striking the woodwork again for Arsenal, Havertz survived interventions from VAR, referee Michael Oliver and the on-pitch monitor – after it appeared Gabriel Jesus had handled the ball in the build-up – to fire home the three points for the hosts from close range.

The lineups

ARS: Raya; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tomiyasu; Ødegaard, Rice, Partey; Havertz, Trossard, Martinelli

EVE: Pickford; Coleman, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Young; Garner, Gueye, Onana, McNeil; Doucouré; Calvert-Lewin


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