Sports Desk, Dec 6 (EFE).- Everton rallied for a 2-1 home victory over Arsenal on Monday, snapping an eight-game winless streak in the Premier League and relieving some of the pressure on head coach Rafael Benitez.
The Toffees recorded their first win since Sept. 25 despite having two goals disallowed for offside by VAR at Goodison Park in Liverpool.
The first goal waved off was a header off a free kick by Brazilian forward Richarlison in the 44th minute. The game was scoreless at that juncture, but just a couple of minutes later Martin Odegaard put Gunners ahead with a left-footed volley off a cross from the left side by Kieran Tierney.
After the break, Everton controlled possession but once again had an apparent goal by Richarlison taken away by VAR at the one-hour mark to the great frustration of the Brazilian and the home fans.
The Brazil international, however, finally got the ball in the back of the net – and sent the crowd into a frenzy – in the 80th minute when he headed the ball home after a long-range shot by Demarai Gray had tipped off the fingertips of goalie Aaron Ramsdale and then clanked off the crossbar.
A few minutes later, Arsenal had a golden chance to score but Eddie Nketiah hit the post with a header from point-blank range.
Everton then kept pressing forward in search of three points and were rewarded two minutes into second-half stoppage time.
On the play, Gray created space a couple of meters outside the area and fired a remarkable blast that ricocheted off the post and into the back of the net, setting off a huge party at Goodison Park.
“This group of players, they are giving everything,” Benitez said in an on-field interview afterward. “You can be more precise in the final third or you can make mistakes or not, but the team spirit, the commitment, the desire is there. And it’s what the fans expect and it’s what the players want to do.”
With the win, the Toffees now are in 12th place with 18 points and are eight points clear of the relegation zone.
Arsenal, meanwhile, have hit a rough patch of their own with three losses in their past four Premier League games, including a 4-0 shellacking at the hands of Liverpool on Nov. 20.
The Gunners are currently in seventh place, one point behind Manchester United. EFE