Don Carlo talks to Sky. “It was a good, important result. We are still attached to the top of the table. It is what we needed. We had to keep fighting, the team played a good game. We had difficulties but tried to play all the time, we had opportunities and were good defensively. Honestly, it was a draw … but it can happen. Against Spurs and Palace we deserved to win, but today we got the points. When you have options on the bench, it is better. It was important after five games without victory, so we will keep fighting. I always said the race will be decided at the last game, and it will be so.”
Everton defender Mason Holgate speaks to Sky. “It’s brilliant. Over the last few weeks we’ve been hit and miss with results and performances, so to see it come together today is massive with where we want to be at the end of the season. The three points are huge. Arsenal are one of the teams who want the same thing we do. But we have to consistently keep this form going on. It was the best-looking goal I’ve ever seen! It was all about fighting and digging deep. We didn’t look majorly threatening, but against Palace we had a lot of chances but didn’t score, so it’s massive for us.”
Everton have kept their top-four hopes alive in slightly farcical circumstances! It wasn’t a very good match at all, but Richarlison’s thrusting run was the difference, forcing Bernd Leno into a dreadful mistake. The Toffees stick on seventh-place Liverpool’s shoulder; they’re now on 52 points, one behind their city rivals, both teams with six matches left to play. Arsenal have played one more, and are stranded in ninth on 46 points. European football next season is almost certainly dependant on their winning the Europa League. So all is not yet lost.
FULL TIME: Arsenal 0-1 Everton
There’s just time for a minor brouhaha as the hosts show their frustration, then the whistle goes. Everton win at Arsenal in the Premier League for the first time in 25 years!
90 min +3: Martinelli wriggles his way down the inside-left and from a thicket, fires a low shot goalwards. Pickford does extremely well to react to this unexpected turn of events. Brilliant reaction save! Corner.
90 min +2: Most of the first two are taken up with medical attention for Coleman, who was shoved to the ground and went down in the wholly professional clock-management style.
90 min: There will be four added minutes for Arsenal to save themselves. They needed seven against Fulham.
89 min: Mina comes on for Richarlison as Carlo Ancelotti showcases some old-school Italian tactical nous. Speaking of Everton’s Brazilian sort-of-match-winner, here’s Espen B: Maybe it’s not entirely in the spirit of today’s game, and maybe it has never been fully acceptable, but all I could think of watching Richarlison’s celebration, had he done that in the days of Chopper Harris or Tommy Smith, I assume he would have found his legs separated from the rest of his body. Is it wrong that I would have found it a little funny if one of the Arsenal players would have clobbered him?” Guardian disclaimer: we don’t like to see it, won’t somebody think of the kids, etc.
88 min: Arsenal keep stroking it around slowly, as the quips keep rolling in. “William coming on is more heart sinking than kitchen sinking,” suggests Matthew Stephens.
86 min: Rodriguez is replaced by Davies, as Everton look to keep hold of what they have. “Richarlson wasn’t doing a victory dance,” writes Mary Waltz. “He was imitating Leno’s footwork.” Ow.
84 min: The scorers the last time Everton won here, in 1996? Graham Stuart and Andrei Kanchelskis (with a little help from David Seaman). It was a 2-1 comeback victory, Ian Wright having given the Highbury hosts the half-time lead.
82 min: Arsenal have to throw the kitchen sink at it now. On comes Willian, as Chambers exits stage left.
80 min: If Everton hold on for this victory, it’ll be their first at this stadium, their first away at Arsenal since 1996, and their tenth win on the road this season. The last time they had an away record like that, they won the 1986-87 First Division.
78 min: There’s a long wait for VAR, of course there is, but Richarlison wasn’t offside earlier in the move. Poor Leno would have been hoping and praying for an out, but it wasn’t to be. That’s an awful mistake, and the blood drains from the poor guy’s face. Richarlison, it should be noted, celebrated as though he’d just beaten every man twice before curling home from 30 yards. But hey, a goal’s a goal’s a goal.
FARCICAL GOAL! Arsenal 0-1 Everton (Leno 76 og)
Richarlison dribbles down the right, sent clear by Allan, and reaches the byline. He fires low towards the near post. Leno goes down for an easy claim … but takes his eye off the ball, which flies between his hands, then legs, then squirts into the net. Oh dear.
74 min: Arsenal make a double change. Pepe and Nketiah are replaced by Odegaard and Martinelli.
72 min: A couple of minutes ago, Partey took a shot so wild and high, I decided not to embarrass him by reporting it. That’s something I now regret, because now the structure and rhythm of this Charles Antaki zinger has been thoroughly compromised: “Good to see Thomas Partey coming to the aid of us all by trying to bring down the helicopter.” Sorry, Charles.
70 min: A quick throw down the right wing catches Everton asleep. Saka enters the box and looks for Nketiah at the near post. Pickford reads the danger well and steps in between the Arsenal men to catch the ball in his midriff.
69 min: Delph also has the wrong socks on. They’re blue and white, instead of white and blue, if that makes any sense. I can only report on what’s happening.
68 min: Delph’s very first act is to hang out a leg and clip Smith-Rowe. Yellow card.
67 min: Ceballos picks a Rodriguez pass in midfield and counters. He sends Pepe into space down the left. Pepe returns the pass, allowing Ceballos to cream one towards the top right from distance. It’s parried well by Pickford. Nothing comes from the resulting corner.
66 min: Gomes, who has done very little tonight, is replaced by Delph.
64 min: Saka sends the free kick into the mixer. The ball drops to Chambers, who from 12 yards hits a first-time volley down into the ground, and miles over the bar. Just a half-chance for a defender; it would have been a good one for one of Arsenal’s attackers.
63 min: The VAR check is over. Just a yellow. The fact that it wasn’t a particularly high slide tackle saved Holgate there. Pepe felt that, but after some attention he’s back up and about.
62 min: Sigurdsson clears the second corner. Arsenal have moved up a gear, though. Pepe comes straight back at them, down the left, and is scythed down by Holgate. Out comes the yellow, though VAR are going to check if it warranted more.
61 min: Arsenal keep the pressure up, though, winning a corner out on the right. Ceballos takes. The ball ends up with Xhaka out on the left. He crosses. Pepe tries to swivel a volley goalwards, but his effort is blocked. Another corner.
60 min: Pepe drops a shoulder to make some space out on the left. Coleman for once isn’t tight. He flashes a cross through the six-yard box, but there’s nobody there to poke home.
59 min: Saka works his way down the right and lays off to Chambers, who fires low. Holgate sticks out a leg and nearly deflects the ball into the top right. Not sure Pickford was getting to that. Just the side netting, and nothing comes of the resulting corner.
58 min: Or perhaps it never went away. Your poor desensitised MBM reporter.
56 min: Allan is booked for a tug on Saka. He’s not happy about it.
55 min: Richarlison sashays down the right and cuts back. The ball flicks the arm of Mari. A huge scream for a penalty kick. Everton aren’t getting one. Neither side deserves to be winning right now, so all of this is about right. Correct answer, just not sure of the working-out.
Scrub that! No penalty!
53 min: The old VAR rulers have been whipped out, and Pepe has been caught offside earlier in the move. That’s an equally ridiculous decision, with barely a millimetre in it, but this is the New Football, and here we are.
Penalty for Arsenal
52 min: This is as soft as kittens. Richarlison brushes Ceballos’s shin. The midfielder goes down after a fashion. There’s been contact, so … but … well … y’know. Penalty it is, though.
49 min: … some needless pushing. Free kick, pressure off.
48 min: A corner on the right leads to a corner on the left. Then from that …
47 min: Richarlison slips Coleman into space down the inside-right channel. Coleman cuts back for Sigurdsson, who aims for the bottom right. Holding gets in the road to deflect out for a corner.
46 min: … Chambers tries to rescue Saka’s poor delivery but only clatters Richarlison. Free kick, pressure off.
Arsenal get the second half underway. No changes. After 20 seconds of the restart, Xhaka wins a corner down the left. And from that …
HALF TIME: Arsenal 0-0 Everton
It’s eighth versus ninth, so we shouldn’t be too surprised.
45 min: Mercifully, there will be only one extra minute added to this uneventful half.
44 min: A long ball down the left, intended for Pepe, flies harmlessly out of play. The horror, the horror.
43 min: The coppercopter still hovers above. Perhaps they think that effigy of Stan Kroenke is an actual statue, about to be toppled. That seems to be the sort of thing that triggers them. On that subject, here’s Gary Naylor: “We need the helicopter to land and the Sky Strikers to leap out and dance in a tribute to that scene in Apocalypse Now. It would liven it up a bit.”
40 min: Partey hangs out a leg and brings down Rodriguez, just to the right of the D. He wants to watch himself, having just been booked. The look in his eyes suggests he fears the worst, but the referee takes pity. Just the free kick.
39 min: Sigurdsson flips it over the wall and back down towards the top-left. It clips the top of the bar. Leno had it covered.
38 min: Richarlison turns on the jets and makes down the middle with purpose. He’s cynically clanked to the floor by Partey, who is booked. It’s a free kick in a central position, 25 yards out.
37 min: Gomes has an opportunity to release Calvert-Lewin down the inside-right channel, but his pass is dreadful and easily picked off by Mari. That’s this match in microcosm. A couple of promising situations leading to naff all.
35 min: The corner isn’t very good, but it’s only half cleared, and picked up by Rodriguez, in the box on the right. He tries to make some space for a shot, but can only manufacture a dribble that’s easily dealt with.
34 min: Gomes gets fed up with the nonsense and takes a whack from distance. It’s not very good, but it pings off Partey and out for a corner on the left.
33 min: The midfield muddle continues. There’s little time or space on offer, just about everyone in the middle third.