Everton beat Arsenal amid fan protests

·2-min read

A goalkeeping blunder from Arsenal's Bernd Leno has allowed visitors Everton to snatch a 1-0 win in the English Premier League.

Leno, who is ahead of Socceroos No.1 Mat Ryan in the starting line-up, allowed a shot from Everton forward Richarlison to squeeze between his legs and into the goal in a crucial win for the Toffees.

The only other fireworks in this otherwise dull Friday night match came outside the stadium as hundreds of Arsenal fans protested in front of Emirates Stadium before and after kickoff.

They set off pyrotechnics and flares to demonstrate against Stan Kroenke's ownership amid anger over the club joining the Super League.

Arsenal started the match brightly and seemed to be in control in the early stages.

But Everton started to cause problems for Arsenal, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson all going close in the first half.

Everton came close to taking the lead when Sigurdsson's 20-yard free kick curled over the wall and hit the crossbar in the 39th minute.

The midfielder also nearly scored in the 47th minute, but Arsenal centre back Rob Holding made a crucial block to put the ball out for a corner.

Arsenal thought they had a penalty in the 52nd minute when referee Jonathan Moss pointed to the spot after Richarlison clipped Dani Ceballos on his shin. VAR confirmed the foul, but Nicolas Pepe was found to be just offside in the buildup.

Arsenal came close in the 64th minute when Bukayo Saka's free kick found right back Calum Chambers, but his shot bounced into the turf before going wide.

Ceballos tested Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford two minutes later, but the midfielder's strong shot was parried away.

Richarlison finally broke the deadlock in the 76th after being set free down the left. He cut inside and his shot seemed to be covered by Leno, but the shot trickled between his legs and over the line. Richarlison ran to the corner flag and did a celebratory dance.

The victory keeps Everton in eighth, just one point behind Merseyside rivals Liverpool, and with a chance for a Champions League spot.

Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti said they were still fighting for a place in the top four, saying the race could go down to the last match of the season.

"We are still attached to the top of the table," Ancelotti said. "This one we needed. We have to keep fighting."

It was Everton's first away win at Arsenal in the Premier League in 25 years.

Arsenal substitute Gabriel Martinelli nearly scored an equaliser in added time, but Pickford just got a hand to the ball to push the shot away.

"We were the better team, but we didn't have enough quality in the final third," Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said. "It's damaging for confidence, because we've lost five points in the last two games."

Arsenal remain ninth.