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Demarai Gray punishes Arsenal late on at Goodison Park

Everton players celebrates after Demarai Gray scored the winner against Arsenal in a Premier League clash at Goodison Park on Monday, 6 December 2021. | PHOTO: Getty Images |

Demarai Gray’s stoppage-time stunning goal saw Everton pick a dramatic 2-1 victory over Arsenal and relieve the pressure on boss Rafael Benitez.

Arsenal midfielder Martin Odegaard scored the opener to put the Gunners in front just before half-time at Goodison Park with a neatly worked volley from Kieran Tierney’s cross.

Everton 2-1 Arsenal

Everton players join Richalison to celebrate after the forward scored the equaliser against Arsenal in a Premier League tie on Monday, 6 December 2021. | PHOTO: Getty Images |

But despite twice being denied by VAR, Richarlison equalised with 10 minutes remaining of normal time, before Gray completed the turnaround with a stunning 25-yard effort in the second minute of stoppage time.

Now without a win in four Premier League visits to Goodison, Mikel Arteta’s side missed the chance to return to fifth place in the table a place Manchester United now sits on.

Everton was unbeaten in their three previous home games against Arsenal in the Premier League and made a bright start to proceedings.

This season’s top scorer Gray and Abdoulaye Doucoure were off target, while Anthony Gordon had a shot blocked inside the box.

The hosts thought they had taken a 44th-minute lead when Richarlison headed in Andros Townsend’s cross, but VAR denied them as the Brazil international strayed marginally offside.

Everton 2-1 Arsenal

Everton winger Demarai Gray celebrates after scoring the winner against Arsenal in a Premier League clash at Goodison Park on Monday, 6 December 2021. | PHOTO: Getty Images |

The visitors capitalised in first-half stoppage time, Odegaard arriving late to neatly volley home Kieran Tierney’s centre to put more pressure on Everton boss Rafa Benitez who saw his director of football Marcel Brands depart Goodison Parl earlier this week.

Odegaard almost turned provider eight minutes after the restart, the former Real Madrid midfielder’s cross finding Gabriel Magalhaes, whose header was brightly saved by Jordan Pickford.

Everton and Richarlison were denied by VAR again four minutes later, the latter offside by a fraction once more as he received Doucoure’s pass before slotting beyond Aaron Ramsdale.

But their persistence paid off 10 minutes from time, Richarlison reacting quickest to head home the rebound after Ramsdale had done brilliantly to turn Gray’s initial effort onto the crossbar.

Eddie Nketiah then squandered a glorious opportunity to snatch the points for Arsenal; the substitute somehow hitting the post with a close-range header.

It proved costly as Everton snatched all three points in the second minute of added time, Gray embarking on a strong run before bending a wonderful 25-yard strike in off the post.

With both sides not involved in European fixtures this season, both Everton and Arsenal will be back in action in the weekend. Arsenal hosts Southampton at the Emirates on Saturday 12 December a day before Everton make a trip to London for a clash with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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