Everton moved up to second in the Premier League while piling more misery on Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal with a 2-1 victory at Goodison Park.
Everton took the lead when Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s flicked header from Alex Iwobi’s cross deflected off Gunners captain Rob Holding and into his own net (22), but Arsenal levelled with Nicolas Pepe’s penalty after Tom Davies’ foul on Ainsley Maitland-Niles (35).
Everton went into half-time ahead thanks to Yerry Mina’s near-post header from a Gylfi Sigurdsson corner (44), and Arsenal came closest in a quieter second half as David Luiz hit the woodwork with a deflected effort after Jordan Pickford had fumbled a cross.
A year on from both Carlo Ancelotti and Arteta taking their respective jobs, their seasons continue to go in opposite directions as Everton’s third straight win leaves them second to Merseyside rivals Liverpool for 24 hours at least.
Arsenal, who were “so short of quality in every department” according to Sky Sports’ Jamie Redknapp, see their rut continue. They stay 15th, with just 14 points from 14 games after losing five of their last seven in the Premier League.
The opening stages were stand-offish at Goodison Park, with both sides registering just one touch in the opposition box before Everton’s opener midway through the first half. Former Arsenal winger Iwobi’s low, early cross was flicked on by Calvert-Lewin, but hit Holding and found the bottom-left corner of his own net.
With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang out with a calf injury, Arsenal lacked bite in the first half but equalised with their first shot on target as Davies’ swipe for a clearance caught Maitland-Niles in the area. Pepe stepped up and scored, becoming Arsenal’s leading goalscorer in all competitions with six.
After Calvert-Lewin had done superbly to win a corner as the clock ticked down to half-time, Sigurdsson’s resulting set-piece delivery found Mina at the near post as he peeled off Pepe and Bukayo Saka, glancing into the corner despite Bernd Leno’s touch.
Arsenal were handed a chance to level early in the second half as Pickford failed to collect Willian’s cross, but Luiz’s deflected half volley from 15 yards hit the post and fell fortuitously to a blue shirt in the penalty area.
Yerry Mina’s header on the stroke of half-time guided Everton to a third-straight victory.