Everton 1-0 Arsenal: James Tarkowski gives Sean Dyche perfect start

Everton 1-0 Arsenal: James Tarkowski gives Sean Dyche the perfect start to his Everton reign with his first EVER goal for the Toffees to see off the Premier League leaders and move out of the bottom three

  • Everton ended their 105-day winless run in the Premier League by beating league leaders Arsenal 1-0
  • Arsenal’s lead at the top of the table could be cut to just two points if Man City can beat Tottenham on Sunday 
  • Gunners skipper Martin Odegaard bizarrely marks Everton’s Tarkowski before the defender scores the opener

Sean Dyche got off to a winning start as Everton manager as two of his former players combined for the winning goal against Premier League leaders Arsenal.

James Tarkowski headed in a corner from fellow Burnley old boy Dwight McNeil after an hour to lift the roof off Goodison and their team out of the relegation zone.

After a season of doom and gloom, Everton made the most of their new manager bounce as Arsenal were knocked out of their stride.

Their lead at the top will be cut to two points on Sunday with a Manchester City win and Dyche would love the way his players backed each other up after Neal Maupay went down in injury-time.

Dyche’s first line-up made a statement with midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure recalled for his first start since August having trained on his own following a fall-out with previous manager, Frank Lampard.

James Tarkowski gave the hosts the lead in the 60th minute after a brilliant performance in the opening 45 minutes against Arsenal

Everton began the game at a brilliant pace and got the crowd behind them very quickly with their impressive pressing

Dominc Calvert-Lewin could have scored a hat-trick in the first half as he looked constantly dangerous in the Arsenal box

Though there had been anti-board protests outside Goodison and an aeroplane carrying the banner “League’s worst-run club”, Evertonians got fully behind their team once the opening opening whistle blew.

Dyche received a rousing ovation when he walked to the dug-out and the players responded with Amadou Onana and Doucoure asked to support Dominic Calvert-Lewin in a 4-1-4-1.

Early challenges by Vitali Mykolenko and Dominic Calvert-Lewin set the tone for Everton’s workrate and the crowd responded by turning up the volume.

Arsenal dominated possession but did little with it. In contrast, Everton always carried a threat.

They forced a succession of corners, made Aaron Ramsdale save from Calvert-Lewin and watched in agony as Onana fired across the penalty area without a team-mate getting a touch.

Doucoure also misplaced a header when Dwight McNeil’s cross found him in unexpected space.

As Dyche stood suited and booted by the touchline barking out orders, his opposite number Mikel Arteta – once a playing favourite at Goodison Park – gestured for his players to be more proactive but to little effect.

In first-half injury-time, Everton produced their best football with skipper Seamus Coleman turning back the clock by beating Martinelli and crossing for Calvert-Lewin twisting header to drift narrowly wide.

Tarkowski scored his first ever goal in Everton colours to cap off a brilliant defensive display on Saturday afternoon

Eddie Nketiah struggled to make an impact up front for Arsenal despite being on a good run of form for the league leaders

Vitaliy Mykolenko kept Bukayo Saka quiet in the early stages of the game through his diligent pursuit of the England starlet

Everton threatened Arsenal throughout and the visitors were unable to match the aggression presented by the hosts 

Jorginho came off the bench for half an hour for his Arsenal debut after his deadline day transfer from Chelsea for £12million


Everton (4-1-4-1): Pickford 7: Coleman 6.5, Coady 7, Tarkowski 7.5, Mykolenko 6.5; Gueye 7; McNeil 6.5, Onana 7, Doucoure 7, Iwobi 6; Calvert-Lewin 7 (Maupay 62 6)

Subs unused: Begovic (Gk), Holgate, Mina, Godfrey, Vinagre, Davies, Gray, Maupay, Simms

Goal: Tarkowski 60

Booked: Onana, Pickford, Maupay, Mykolenko

Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Ramsdale 7: White 6  (Tomiyasu 85), Gabriel 6.5, Saliba 6, Zinchenko 6; Partey 6.5 (Jorginho 59 6), Xhaka 6; Saka 6.5, Odegaard 5.5 (Vieira 77), Martinelli 5.5 (Trossard 59 6) ; Nketiah 6

Subs unused: Turner (Gk), Tierney, Holding, Kiwior, Cozier-Duberry

Bookings: Zinchenko 

Referee: David Coote 7

Attendance: 39,314

They maintained the impetus after the interval with Doucoure’s lay-off to Gueye ending with a shot from the edge of the box parried away by a flying Ramsdale.

Everton chairman Bill Kenwright and the directors were absent for the second consecutive home game fearing their presence would be an unwelcome distraction.

They would love to have seen Everton take the lead after 60 minutes just seconds after Arteta had made changes by sending on January signings Leandro Trossard and Jorginho, the latter for his Gunners debut.

Before the new arrivals could acclimatise, Everton scored. 

It was a trademark Dyche goal, a corner into the mixer from McNeil and Tarkowski having little difficulty to beat his marker Odegaard and head in from close range.

The celebrations were wild with Tarkowski sprinting towards the fans with a unrecognisable burst of pace. 

It was his first Everton goal and the first he’d scored since netting for Burnley against Brighton in 2021 – when Dyche was his manager at Turf Moor.

Arsenal pressed for an equaliser but were uncharacteristically off-colour. Both Odegaard and Bukayo Saka got under the ball when well-placed and fired over. 

Trossard did shoot on target but Jordan Pickford saved. 

There was handbags injury-time as Maupay delayed play and Arsenal remonstrated with him, only to be surrounded themselves by blue shirts.

After a run of four consecutive home defeats, Everton won. 

Having been beaten only once in the league all season, Arsenal lost. New manager bounce is quite a thing.

Re-live all the action as Everton beat Arsenal 1-0 here.  

Tensions flared at the end of the game as Neal Maupay and Oleksandr Zinchenko had a coming together in added time

Sean Dyche won his first ever game against the side leading the league at the start of the day, with Everton only doing so for the fourth time in their history

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