English centre-back Phil Jagielka scored the only goal as Everton beat Arsenal 1-0 to secure three points, denting Gunners' chances of securing a top-four Premier League finish.
Jagielka, who was called into the starting line-up as a replacement for Michael Keane, struck early as he capitalised on Lucas Digne's long throw. The visiting side's inability to keep a clean sheet away from home – they remain without one under coach Unai Emery – once more cost them as they slipped and passed on the chance to go back above Spurs into third place.
Arsenal enjoyed large spells of possession but Everton looked more convincing to add on to their lead, as Richarlison, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Man of the Match Dominic Calvert-Lewin all coming close to scoring.
The Gunners did improve in the second-half as Emery made a few changes to his side. He brought in a second striker in the form of Aubemeyang but wasn't able to find a way to breach Everton's defence.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan came closest to equalising for Arsenal with a curling effort from the edge of the box but was denied by the goal-keeper. The fact that Jordan Pickford made only two saves in the game, speaks volumes of Everton's defenders.
Everton meanwhile continued to threaten as Sigurdsson had two shooting chances from the edge of the box, while Richarlison also fired a wide shot from 15 yards.
There was a late flare-up on the sidelines between the two managers when Arsenal's Shkodran Mustafi sent Everton's Calvert-Lewin sprawling on the touchline, but the defender escaped with a warning.
Everton boss Marco Silva, in a post-match interview, said, "The fans can be the key for us, we have to give them what they expect. I came to a big club like Everton to give our fans what they deserve. It is a matter of keep working to achieve what we want."
Arsenal is back in Europa League action on Thursday, when they host Napoli in the quarter-finals. Meanwhile, Everton's next game is an away fixture against already-relegated Fulham on Saturday.
About the Author
Jeet Ghosh is a Football Journalist, living and working in Kolkata with 7 years of experience. He has also worked with Sportzwiki and India.com. Jeet is a sports lover but has special liking for football. He follows the football league’s around the world and is somewhat partial towards Real Madrid.