Post-Match Report

Report: Everton 1-0 Arsenal

Bukayo Saka in action against Everton

Everton -

Goodison Park
Premier League
Premier League
              Tarkowski (60)
Tarkowski (60)
1 0

James Tarkowski netted the only goal of the game to clinch victory for Everton and condemn us to only our second league defeat of the campaign.

The defender headed home a Dwight McNeil corner just before the hour mark to start the Sean Dyche era with a win, but for us it was an afternoon of frustration as plenty of good opportunities went begging.

It meant that our 14-game unbeaten run in the Premier League came to an end, while we still await our first win at  Goodison Park since 2017.

First half frustration

The opening 45 minutes saw little in the way of goalmouth action, despite us dominating the possession stats, with only a weak effort from Thomas Partey giving something for Jordan Pickford to do in the opening exchanges.

Having kept us a bay, Everton visibly began to grow in confidence and Dominic Calvert-Lewin began to find himself at the forefront of their attacks. He firstly headed a corner wide before shooting at Aaron Ramsdale but our shot-stopper easily dealt with the danger.

However we did carve out our best chance of the half on the counter-attack when Buyako Saka slipped in Eddie Nketiah for the first clear sight of goal in the game, but our in-form striker screwed his effort well wide of the near post.

The big opportunities then all started falling the home side’s way, and after Calvert-Lewin was a stud’s length away from sending Abdoulaye Doucoure’s centre into an open goal, the midfielder looked destined to power home a header a minute later when he was left unmarked in the box but let us off the hook.

On a rare foray forward towards the end of the first half, Saka saw a volley beat Jordan Pickford but Conor Coady was in the right place to clear off his own goalline, but the last word of the opening 45 went to the Toffees and Calvert-Lewin was again a whisker away from heading a cross into the net but the ball dropped wide of the far post.

Hosts find the breakthrough

It was more of the same when the second half kicked off and Ramsdale had to show great reactions to push away a heavily deflected Idrissa Gueye shot from distance within a couple of minutes of the restart, but we looked dangerous when we did get forward and after a sweeping counter-attack saw great runs by Gabriel Martinelli and Nketiah create a cutback for Martin Odegaard, the skipper uncharacteristically skied his shot when he looked set to score for the fourth-straight away league game.

And that miss proved crucial as just before the hour mark Dyche’s new team took the lead when McNeil sent a teasing corner towards the far post, and Tarkowski rammed home a header to get Goodison rocking.

With a precious three points now in their grasp, Everton sat back to protect them, allowing us a few more sights of goal. Leandro Trossard saw two efforts from a similar position fail to find their intended target, and Saka was next to waste a good chance when he was found at the back post by Granit Xhaka but shanked the ball off target.

There was plenty more late pressure but the Toffees threw everything at us, and that meant that a late drive from Oleksandr Zinchenko which whistled over the bar was our best late chance of note as we failed to score in a Premier League game for just the second time this campaign.

Facts and stats

Sean Dyche became just the second manager to beat a side starting the day top in his first Premier League game in charge of a club.

Everton have won three consecutive league games against us at Goodison Park for the first time since March 1977 to August 1978.

They also recorded their first Premier League win against a side starting the day top of the table since January 2012, having been winless in their previous 15 such games.

All eight of James Tarkowski’s goals in the Premier League have been scored when Sean Dyche was his manager, scoring seven times for Burnley and once for Everton.

We named the same starting XI in five consecutive Premier League matches for the first time since April-May 2015 (six games).

What’s next

We host Brentford next weekend at the Emirates Stadium, before we then take on Manchester City at home on Wednesday, February 15 in a crunch top-of-the-table game.

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