football

Everton 2-1 Arsenal: 6 talking points as Demarai Gray ends winless streak


Demarai Gray scored Everton’s winner in stoppage time as the Toffees came from behind to see off Arsenal after Richarlison had cancelled out Martin Odegaard’s opener

Demarai Gray grabbed a late winner

Everton’s winless run is over after Demarai Gray’s stunning stoppage time strike saw off Arsenal.

Martin Odegaard’s first-half strike looked as if it might settle the contest before Richarlison, finally, levelled after several near misses.

The Toffees have slip down the table following a poor run of form in recent months, but the roof came off Goodison Park when the summer arrival thumped past Ramsdale in stoppage time.

Everton started off the better on Merseyside and thought Richarlison’s header had given them a first-half lead, only for VAR to deny them and the Brazilian.

As is often the case, Arsenal then took advantage in stoppage time as Martin Odegaard volleyed home a cross from the returning Kieran Tierney.

Richarlison was denied once more by VAR just before the hour mark, after he again thought he’d beaten Ramsdale, only to see his celebrations cut short.

He wouldn’t be denied though and his swift reactions helped the host pick up a point

Here are five talking points from Goodison Park.

1. A potential turning point

It has been a dark time on Merseyside with Marcel Brands leaving the club amid a poor run of results.

A Merseyside derby defeat dampened the mood and protests were planned for Arsenal’s visit.

Gray has been a rare bright spark for Rafa Benitez, signed for a minimal fee in the summer.

His excellent strike didn’t give Ramsdale a chance to mood.

Winning, just like losing, is a habit, and Everton have previously thrived on momentum and could do so again.






Richarlison, after twice being denied, grabbed Everton’s equaliser

2. Richarlison’s last laugh

For so long it looked as if Everton’s No 7 was going to endure a night to forget.

The Brazilian twice had Goodison Park on their feet, only for VAR to dampen the mood.

The offside decision given for his first goal, an impressive header, was a call few could have too many complaints about.

In the second-half though Richarlison thought he’d had the last laugh as he cooly opened his body up to slot past Ramsdale.

However, VAR, with a sense of deja vu, ruled out the strike due to an extremely tight VAR call that had fans reminiscing about recent years, when a toe nail would cost you dear.

With 10 minutes remaining though Richarlison reacted quickest to a shot that rebounded off the bar and headed past Ramsdale.

3. Martin on the ball

It was his second goal in less than a week, but it again meant little.

Odegaard became the first Norwegian to score in successive Premier League games since John Arne Riise, who played on the red half of Merseyside, way back in 2002.

Odegaard’s strike at Old Trafford last week didn’t help his side pick up anything and it was to be the case again.

His signing was questioned by some in the summer, but the former Real Madrid man continues to grow in stature and, in the absence of Emile Smith Rowe, took on the role of controlling his side’s rhythm.

He was always the man most likely to provide a spark.






Martin Odegaard opened the scoring for Arsenal

4. England’s No 1

Fans in both ends chanted that their goalkeeper was England’s first choice goalkeeper, even if there is little doubt as to who remains No 1 at international level.

Both Ramsdale and Jordan Pickford were in the Euro 2020 squad for the Three Lions and continue to be picked by Gareth Southgate.

The England boss has shown great faith in Pickford, who, despite questionable club form in recent years, often produces his best moments for his country.

Ramsdale therefore faces a tough task in usurping the Everton man with the World Cup in mind in just under 12 months.

You get the sense Pickford’s level would have to drop whilst wearing an England shirt before Southgate contemplated making a change.

5. 27 minute protests

There were calls from some groups and talk before the game of a fan walkout at Goodison Park.

Everton supporters had seen their side fail to win any of their last eight games prior to Monday night’s clash. That includes home thumpings at the hands of Watford and Liverpool.

There is growing discontent towards Benitez and the club’s hierarchy and a statement was on the agenda on 27 minutes.

27 represents the amount of years since Everton won any silverware, which was an FA Cup victory over Manchester United.

Whilst a hand full of fans did stage a walkout midway through the first-half, the vast majority simply upped the volume as they bellowed out chants backing the home side.






Ben Godfrey’s stamp went unpunished

6. Godfrey’s lucky escape?

I suppose it’ll come down to whether you were wearing red or blue as to which side of the fence you sit on.

VAR checked for a potential red card after Ben Godfrey stuck his boot into Arsenal’s Takehiro Tomiyasu.

The Everton defender had been turning, seemingly unsure of his bearings before his foot went into the Japanese star.

Nothing resulted from the check, meaning Stuart Attwell, tonight’s man on VAR, clearly deemed the incident accidental, even if it was terrible upon first viewing.

Is a lack of intent a mitigating factor when it comes to violent conduct? Clearly they thought so, but it’s a decision that will have angered those associated with Arsenal.

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