Stunning Demarai Gray and Richarlison clinch Everton’s vital victory over Arsenal

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Stunning Demarai Gray and Richarlison clinch Everton’s vital victory over Arsenal


Goodison Park did not erupt in protest but in joy. The plan was to come out in the 27th minute to score 27 years without a trophy at the end of the season and years of mismanagement under Farhad Moshiri. Some have answered the call, although most stood up and made their team roar. Everton repaid the support in stunning style.

A ninth winless game awaited Rafael Benítez’s side, Everton’s longest winless streak since Mike Walker’s dark days in 1994, when Demarai Gray reclaimed André Gomes’ pass from the left side to the 92nd minute. The fact that Everton was still chasing victory over Arsenal at this point was quite impressive.

A team in lack of confidence and in crisis, with the departure of director of football Marcel Brands on Sunday, had seen two goals from Richarlison denied by VAR, Yerry Mina limp with a calf injury on his long-awaited return and Martin Ødegaard give to Arsenal lead a rare attack. They didn’t bend. Richarlison finally got his award ten minutes from time before Gray took center stage. The one player Benítez spent money on this summer, including £ 1.7million, cut Takehiro Tomiyasu, then Ben White and beat Aaron Ramsdale with an unstoppable long shot that flew away. Goodison was in turmoil for all the right reasons.

“Today is proof that if we are together we are stronger,” said the manager of Everton. “The frustration of the fans is because they want to see their team win but you can’t complain about the effort, the envy and the commitment of these players. “

As for Brands’ exit, Benítez said: “We have to look to the future and try to go in the right direction. Sometimes you get a clue it may be right, it may be wrong, but the reality is the club were not progressing at the rate everyone expected.

As Benítez picked up a rare victory, Mikel Arteta brooded over an Arsenal display that lacked invention and penetration and ended in a third straight away loss. His side had chances of a second goal thanks to substitutes Eddie Nketiah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but the former headed against a post at close range and the latter went bad with the last kick of the game. In truth, Arsenal came home with what they deserved.

Arteta said: “In the first half we were very inconsistent with the ball. We didn’t concede anything except the set piece but I didn’t like it. No penetration, no threat, the complete opposite of what we’re trying to do. We conceded a very sloppy goal, the first, when we have to manage the match. It is not enough to win a game.

Emotions are always driven by events on the pitch and Everton have mastered the planned event with a more intense and fiery display than in the Merseyside derby. Ben Godfrey stirred up the crowd by winning a 50-50 with Tomiyasu fiercely but cleanly. Godfrey started at left-back in place of France international Lucas Digne, who was uninjured but was completely omitted from the squad, and survived a VAR exam for a possible red card violation catching the Japan international in the face with his crampons. A happy reprieve, especially for Tomiyasu, who was able to continue to follow his treatment.

Richarlison celebrates his equalizer for Everton in their comeback win. Photograph: Peter Powell / EPA

Greater intensity from Everton didn’t turn into a greater threat in front of goal initially, although they were the more determined team for the first 20 minutes as Arsenal struggled to calm down on the ball. The home side had barely tested Ramsdale before Richarlison turned a header away from Andros Townsend’s free-kick inside his right post. Relief among Everton’s players was palpable as they celebrated with the Brazil international, but deflation set in when VAR denied the goal for a fractional offside against the striker.

From 1-0 at halftime, Everton ended up 1-0 at the whistle. Kieran Tierney made the breakthrough with a superb performance from the left. Alexandre Lacazette, leading the line in place of abandoned Aubameyang, freed the Scottish defender past Séamus Coleman and his cross landed perfectly behind Everton’s backline for Ødegaard to beat Jordan Pickford with a controlled volley. in the lower corner. Richarlison dug his fists into the ground at the sudden change in fortune. His despair and Everton’s disbelief would intensify.

Richarlison convincingly beat Ramsdale for the second time when he was found in space to the right of Arsenal’s penalty area by Abdoulaye Doucouré. After a long examination, the goal was disallowed for another tight offside appeal against the striker.


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Everton, to their immense merit, responded impressively with the return of Gomes injecting much needed creativity into the midfield. Gomes was involved in the equalizer, turning Richarlison’s pass to Gray who cut inside and looped a diving shot on Ramsdale.

Misfortune appeared to kick in again when Gray’s effort hit the crossbar, but Richarlison reacted brilliantly to lead a looping header at the Arsenal keeper and inside. VAR did not make a hat-trick. The last word belonged to Gray.

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