We lost pace in the race for the top four as our away day woes continued at Goodison Park.
We are yet to keep a clean sheet on our travels this season in the Premier League, and Phil Jagielka's early goal from a long throw proved to be the difference.
It was an especially lacklustre first half from the Gunners. Alexandre Lacazette had our first sight at goal in the opening five minutes, when his cross-cum-shot was deflected away for a corner.
From then on though the hosts took control, and after taking the lead on 10 minutes they visibly grew in confidence.
The opening goal came from a long throw on the left wing. We were punished for not clearing the danger and after the ball was flicked on, Phil Jagielka stabbed home from close range.
We failed to even muster a shot on target for the rest of the half, with Lacazette cutting a forlorn figure up front.
Unai Emery responded at half-time by bringing on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Aaron Ramsey, and the latter was soon involved, coming close twice in the opening 10 minutes of the second half.
But in truth we failed to create enough to earn a point, against an energetic Everton side who played with plenty of confidence.
It means there is now very little margin for error in our final six games as we chase that prized Champions League place.
HOW IT HAPPENED
WHAT IT MEANS
Unai Emery was still without injured duo Laurent Koscielny (foot) and Granit Xhaka (groin), so Mohamed Elneny came into midfield for only his third league start this season.
Aaron Ramsey dropped to the bench and the only other change from last week's win over Newcastle was Henrikh Mkhitaryan for Alex Iwobi.
We resume our Europa League campaign on Thursday night, at home to Napoli in the first leg of the quarter-final. Our next Premier League game is another away fixture – at Watford – the following Monday night.
THE RUN IN
There are now six games remaining in the Premier League season and the race for the top four remains closely contested.
Here are the remaining Premier League fixtures for the sides in the hunt for the top four places…
April 15 – Watford (A)
April 21 – Crystal Palace (H)
April 24 – Wolves (A)
April 29 – Leicester City (A)
May 4 – Brighton & HA (H)
May 12 – Burnley (A)
April 13 – Huddersfield Town (H)
April 20 – Manchester City (A)
April 23 – Brighton (H)
April 27 – West Ham United (H)
May 4 – Bournemouth (A)
May 12 – Everton (H)
April 8 – West Ham (H)
April 14 – Liverpool (A)
April 22 – Burnley (H)
April 28 – Manchester United (A)
May 4 – Watford (H)
May 12 – Leicester City (A)
April 13 – West Ham United (H)
April 21 – Everton (A)
April 24 – Manchester City (H)
April 28 – Chelsea (H)
May 4 – Huddersfield Town (A)
May 12 – Cardiff City (H)
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