Arsenal goalkeeper Bernad Leno’s blunders were decisive in a 1-0 win for the visitors in the English Premier League on Friday, allowing Everton their own goal.
The only otherwise daring thing is that the sluggish match came out of the stadium as hundreds of Arsenal fans staged a protest in front of the Emirates Stadium before and after the kickoff. He used fireworks and fires to demonstrate against the ownership of Stan Crocken amid anger over the club joining the Super League.
Everton finished eighth, but the team was only one point behind rivals Liverpool and touching the distance for Champions League places. Arsenal finished ninth.
Everton’s manager Carlo Ancelotti said his team was still fighting for a place in the top four, adding that the race could go on until the last match of the season.
“We’re still connected at the top of the table,” Anselotti said. “This is the one we need. We have to keep fighting.”
Arsenal started the match brightly and seemed to be in control in the early stages. But Everton began to cause problems for Arsenal, with Dominic Calvert-Levine, Richardson and Gelfi Sigurdsson all moving closer in the first half.
Everton came close to taking the lead when Sigurdsson’s 20-yard free kick hit the wall and hit the crossbar in the 39th minute. The midfielder also scored in around 47th, but Arsenal center back Rob Holding scored a key block to keep the ball out for a corner.
Arsenal thought it a penalty in the 52nd when referee Jonathan Moss pointed to the spot when Richardson hit Dani Cabellos on his shin. VAR confirmed the dishonesty, but Nicholas Pepe was found simply upside down in the buildup.
Arsenal closed in 64 when Callum Chambers met just behind Bukayo Saka’s free kick, but his shot bounced into the turf before going wide. Cabellos tested Everton’s goalkeeper Jordan Pickford two minutes later, but the midfielder’s strong shot was kept away.
It was Richardson’s run behind Arsenal’s defense that finally broke the deadlock in the 76th, which was freed from the left. He was cut inside and his shot seemed to be covered by Leno, but the ball was stuck between his legs and lined up for his own goal. Richardson ran the Corner flag and performed a festive dance.
“The best-looking goal I’ve ever seen,” said Everton defender Mason Holgate, ironically. “Obviously it was not the most spectacular performance.”
But he said the team dug deep and “beat them and put them three points away from home.”
It was Everton’s first win at Arsenal in the Premier League in 25 years.
Arsenal substitute Gabriel Martinelli almost made an equalizer in added time, but Pickford pushed the ball for a shot.
“We were the better team, but we didn’t have enough quality in the final third,” said Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta. “This is detrimental to confidence, as we have lost five points in the last two matches.”