Everton stun Premier League leaders Arsenal as Sean Dyche begins his reign with a statement win
In a match that saw the debut of new manager Sean Dyche, Everton made an impressive return to form as they defeated Premier League leaders Arsenal at Goodison Park.
The Toffees, who were previously in the relegation zone, snapped into tackles and put up a solid defensive performance against the high-flying Gunners.
The match was full of drama, with protests marching down Goodison Road before kick-off, and a 4-5-1 formation that saw Everton’s pressing and ferocious tackling epitomised by Belgium international midfielder Amadou Onana.
The home side’s hard work paid off when James Tarkowski powered home a header from Dwight McNeil’s corner, sparking joyous scenes at Goodison Park.
Despite having better chances, Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin could not convert and Arsenal were outfought for large periods and failed to find any rhythm.
The Gunners, who had defeated Manchester United and Tottenham in their previous two league games, were unable to find the equaliser and suffered their second league loss of the campaign.
New Everton manager Sean Dyche said, “What a transformation there has been on the pitch in just five days under the experienced Dyche. The former Burnley boss has already set about changing the mindset of a team who have been abject this season.”
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said, “This is a major setback for my team. The free-flowing football that has lifted us to the top of the table was absent and we did not look like scoring after falling behind.”
The win took Everton out of the relegation zone by a point, but they could return depending on other results this weekend. Meanwhile, Arsenal will see their lead at the top cut to two points if Manchester City beat Tottenham on Sunday.