London, UK | THE INDEPENDENT | Leandro Trossard netted the only goal of the game to see Arsenal finally record a victory at Goodison Park for the first time since 2017, and continue their unbeaten start to the season, reports Arsenal.com.
The Belgian was an early substitute after replacing the injured Gabriel Martinelli – who had seen a potential opener ruled out for offside – and in a game of few chances made the difference with an excellent finish on 69 minutes.
That proved to be enough for Mikel Arteta to finally taste success at the home of his former club, and see Arsenal record a fourth win from the opening five games to continue to build momentum ahead of a big week ahead.
Arteta opted to shuffle his pack ahead of the game and handed a Gunners debut to David Raya who started in goal ahead of Aaron Ramsdale, but he was rarely troubled as he recorded a clean sheet on his debut.
The first half was a quiet affair with not much goalmouth action, as Arsenal dominated possession and territory without creating too much, and the real major flashpoint coming after 19 minutes.
As the ball bobbled around the midfield, Gabriel attempted to make a clearance that defected off Beto as he attempted to close the ball down, and flew 30 yards into the path of Eddie Nketiah. He found Fabio Vieira who slid a perfect pass into Gabriel Martinelli’s path, and he slotted past Jordan Pickford to seemingly give Arsenal the lead.
However, VAR intervened and found Nketiah to be in an offside position, as it deemed that despite the ball coming off an Everton player, it was deemed not to be a deliberate act, such was the rule change in the summer.
The bad luck kept coming for Martinelli who minutes later limped off with an injury and was replaced by Trossard, but the remainder of the half passed by with little incident, with debutant David Raya barely troubled by a low Idrissa Gueye effort, while Pickford’s only major piece of goalkeeping came when a Ben White blast flew into his path.
Trossard comes up trumps
The opening minute of the second 45 instantly created more goalmouth action as he came out with more vigour, and after Vieira flashed a pass across the face of goal, Martin Odegaard cut inside and aimed for the bar corner but Pickford was equal to his effort.
But the game fell back into its similar patten as Sean Dyche’s team continued to soak up everything Arsenal threw at them, and just as it was looking like it would well be another frustrating afternoon on Merseyside, Arsenal finally carved out another opportunity – and took it.
On 69 minutes Arsenal played after a shot corner routine didn’t quite work out, the ball came back out to Odegaard who slipped a pass in for Bukayo Saka to get to the byline, and his cutback found Trossard who produced a delightful first-time finish to guide the ball into the net past the despairing dive of Pickford to put Arsenal in front.
Arsenal kept pressing for the second goal that would clinch the three points and Odegaard again tested the England international shot-stopper when he raced through, and after Pickford beat his effort into the path of Vieira, only a desperate sliding block by Vitaliy Mykolenko prevented Arsenal doubling the lead.
With the lead in tact Arsenal rarely looked troubled by opponents who fell to a third-straight 1-0 defeat on their own patch, and Arsenal managed to record a 12th clean sheet on travels in the Premier League since the start of last term to end their Goodison hoodoo.
A big week begins when Arsenal make a long-awaited return to the Champions League on Wednesday as host of PSV Eindhoven at Emirates Stadium in an 8pm kick-off. Then, the following Sunday is the first north London derby of the season as Arsenal take on unbeaten Tottenham Hotspur at home in a 2pm start.