Everton overcame two disallowed goals to beat Arsenal on Monday night as Demarai Gray scored an incredible winner in second-half stoppage time, giving the Toffees their first Premier League win since September and condemning the Gunners to their second defeat in three games.
A horrible first half finally sparked into life towards its end when Ben Godfrey left his studs on Takehiro Tomiyasu’s face, somehow avoiding a red card despite the incident being checked by the video assistant referee.
Richarlison had a goal chalked off for offside shortly afterwards, straying beyond the last defender to flick in Andros Townsend’s free kick.
The Gunners opened the scoring with the first piece of incisive attacking play, Martin Odegaard arriving on the scene to convert Kieran Tierney’s cross.
The atmosphere on Merseyside turned toxic when Richarlison was again caught offside by VAR, having converted Abdoulaye Doucoure’s nice pass.
However, the Brazilian wasn’t to be denied at the third time of asking, craning his neck to head in after Demarai Gray had hit the bar with a curler.
The ending was frenetic and either side could have snared a winner, with substitute Eddie Nketiah squandering a glorious opportunity at the back post, but it was Gray who sent Goodison Park into raptures with a thunderous effort from distance.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had the game’s final chance but couldn’t steer his effort beyond Jordan Pickford, with the final whistle blowing soon after.
The win moves Everton up to 12th while Arsenal are seventh, four points off the Champions League places.
Right, got your breath back yet? Nope, neither have we, but here’s some player ratings anyway.
Jordan Pickford (GK) – 6/10 – No chance for Odegaard’s goal. Made a couple of saves.
Seamus Coleman (RB) – 6/10 – Beaten for pace by Tierney on a few occasions. Tried to get up the pitch and did some good work at points.
Yerry Mina (CB) – 5/10 – Rushed back from injury too early, having to be substituted after half an hour with a knock.
Michael Keane (CB) – 6/10 – Reasonably steady throughout. Not too good, not too bad.
Ben Godfrey (LB) – 4/10 – Somehow stayed on the pitch despite booting Tomiyasu in the face. Caught Saka a few times and eventually went into the book for it.
Anthony Gordon (RM) – 5/10 – Looks like he ‘cares’ – being a local lad and all – but there’s a definite lack of quality preventing him from contributing for his side. Nasty challenge on Tavares somehow went unnoticed.
Abdoulaye Doucoure (CM) – 7/10 – Had a good opportunity to open the scoring but dragged his shot wide. Got forward on occasion and provided a nice pass for one of Richarlison’s disallowed goals.
Allan (CM) – 5/10 – Neither side got a foothold in midfield and Allan was part of that, looking an unstable and chaotic presence throughout.
Demarai Gray (LM) – 8/10 – His shot hit the bar and came back to Richarlison for the leveller. Got the winner with an extraordinary strike from distance. Not overly influential during the game, but if you’re a Toffees fan, you don’t care, right? Now has five league goals this season, his best ever haul.
Andros Townsend (CF) – 5/10 – Put in some nice deliveries from set pieces.
Drifted out wide just so he could cut in with the ball when he got it, producing some decidedly average results.
Richarlison (ST) – 7/10 – Provided some nice turns and flicks during the game’s infancy. Just went a little too soon to have his header disallowed for offside. Again went too quickly before converting Doucoure’s pass. Finally grabbed the equaliser, heading in on the rebound for his 50th goal in English football. God loves a trier.
Mason Holgate (CB) – 7/10 – Replaced the injured Mina. Was brilliant in the air, winning nine aerial battles.
Andre Gomes (CM) – 6/10 – Played a part in the build-up to Richarlison’s equaliser.
Alex Iwobi (RM) – 5/10 – Glorious chance to score against his former side but was repelled by Ramsdale.
Aaron Ramsdale (GK) – 6/10 – Pulled out a few stops, including one in injury time to deny Iwobi. Could only admire Gray’s winner.
Takehiro Tomiyasu (RB) – 7/10 – Took a big rake to the face from Godfrey and carried on to his credit. Was excellent in the air.
Ben White (CB) – 4/10 – Got bullied a fair bit by Richarlison throughout. Arsenal could have done with one of the centre backs taking control when they had the lead but neither did.
Gabriel (CB) – 5/10 – See the above, but slightly better.
Kieran Tierney (LB) – 7/10 – Replaced Nuno Tavares to play in his first Premier League game since October. Beautiful cross set up Odegaard’s strike. Was all action and didn’t look like he was returning from injury. Replaced just after the hour.
Thomas Partey (CM) – 5/10 – Said before this game he’d give his career at Arsenal a 4/10 so far. Going off this performance, it’s clear to see why. Hey, at least he’s honest.
Granit Xhaka (CM) – 6/10 – Made an earlier than expected return from injury. Midfield battle was never won by either side and he looked leggy towards the end, but a decent return to the side. Booked.
Martin Odegaard (AM) – 8/10 – Looked like Arsenal’s only attacking spark during the first half and did well to stay composed and tuck in Tierney’s cross at the near post. Won plenty of duels, recovered the ball back for his side and played some important passes.
Bukayo Saka (RW) – 7/10 – Took a few heavy blows, one of which looked like it might result in his withdrawal, but soldiered on. Used the ball well and his cross to Nketiah should have gotten him an assist.
Alexandre Lacazette (ST) – 4/10 – Had 24 touches of the ball and didn’t do anything meaningful with any of them.
Gabriel Martinelli (LW) – 4/10 – Went down with what looked like cramp and was replaced by Nketiah. Really very little else to report.
Nuno Tavares (LB) – 6/10 – Replaced Tierney and was similarly steady down the left. Got clattered by Gordon.
Eddie Nketiah (LW) – 3/10 – Had the chance to win Arsenal the game but inexplicably headed against the post when it was harder to miss.
Pierre Emerick Aubameyang (ST) – 4/10 – Had the game’s final chance but could only steer his effort wide.