Leandro Trossard’s magnificent winner on Sunday afternoon gave Arsenal their first victory at Goodison Park in the post-Arsene Wenger era.
Mikel Arteta’s team kept their unbeaten start to the season ahead of next weekend’s tantalizing North London derby, while Sean Dyche’s shot-shy side are still looking for their first goal of the season.
The Belgian attacker, filling in for the injured Gabriel Martinelli, settled the game with 20 minutes left.
In addition to giving David Raya his professional debut in goal, Arteta replaced the ineffectual Kai Havertz with Fabio Vieira.
After a short-corner routine, the Portuguese had the Gunners’ first shooting of the day with 10 minutes remaining, but he fired far over.
However, Everton stayed ensconced in their own half, and in the 19th minute, Martinelli appeared to receive assistance from Vieira, who passed the ball to the Brazilian and allowed him to score into the far corner.
The opportunity was created by a pass from Gabriel Magalhaes that Beto diverted and sent to Eddie Nketiah’s foot, but the Englishman was offside at the time the ball left Gabriel’s boot, and the goal was ruled out after a VAR review.
That would turn out to be Martinelli’s final play; he left the field shortly afterward due to an injury, and Trossard took his place. Meanwhile, an up to then sloppy Everton was gradually gaining confidence as the half went on.
In the 31st minute, Raya was put to the test for the first time, but Idrissa Gueye’s meek long-range effort was meat and drink for the Spaniard. In the 40th minute, a Ben White shot from a similar range went straight to Jordan Pickford’s throat.
In the first half, Arteta’s team was hesitant to take many chances, but as soon as the second half began, they sought for the forward pass, and Martin Odegaard stung Pickford’s hands a minute later.
The Toffees still showed glimpses of life in the final third, however, as an Arnaut Danjuma half-volley narrowly missed Raya’s crossbar in the 67th minute. Everton’s defense remained as firm as ever.
With 70 minutes gone, though, Arsenal’s pressure would finally pay off as, just seconds after failing with a short corner, a similar sequence resulted in Bukayo Saka cutting back for Trossard to fire a magnificent side footed strike across goal and in off the post.
The Gunners had limited opportunities to increase their lead, but they comfortably held Everton at bay to move up to fourth place in the standings, leaving the Toffees with just one point and in the relegation zone.
The Gunners are getting ready to host PSV Eindhoven in their Champions League opener on Wednesday, while Everton will host Brentford at the Gtech Community Stadium the following Saturday.