Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti said the Toffees “are back” after a howler from Arsenal’s Bernd Leno gifted his side a crucial win in their bid for a Champions League place. The Merseysiders had failed to win in six games in all competitions but moved to within three points of the top four with a victory which was achieved amid a backdrop of protest. Over 1,000 Arsenal supporters gathered outside Emirates Stadium to show their anger about owner Stan Kroenke’s role in the failed European Super League.
The goal came when Everton forward Richarlison tried to roll a pass across the six-yard box. Leno should have scooped it up, but the ball slipped through the Arsenal keeper’s hands, hitting his leg on the way in. That was a rare moment of goalmouth action on the night as Everton won at Arsenal in the league for the first time since 1996. Gylfi Sigurdsson came closest before that when his 30-yard free-kick hit the bar. Arsenal were awarded a penalty in the second half after Richarlison nicked Dani Ceballos – but it was overturned by the video assistant referee for a Nicolas Pepe offside in the build-up. Gunners boss Mikel Arteta said: “We were the better team but there are certain decisions that we can’t control.
Gabriel Martinelli almost saved Arsenal in injury time but Jordan Pickford kept out his shot. Leno also came up for a late corner but could not make amends for his costly error. Arsenal’s chances of qualifying for next season’s Champions League now rely on winning this year’s Europa League – they sit nine points behind the European places in the Premier League, while the first leg of their Europa League semi-final is at Villarreal on Thursday. They were without forwards Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang because of injury and illness on Friday night and had to arrive at the ground early to avoid the protests.