James Tarkowski’s headed goal off a corner proved to be the winner in the lunch-time match-up between Premier League table-toppers, Arsenal, and strugglers, Everton, whose much-deserved victory at Goodison Park has now lifted them out of the relegation zone.
Indeed, all eight of the ubiquitous defender’s Premier League goals have come under Everton’s new manager, Sean Dyche, who took over the job from Frank Lampard just over a week ago.
The proverbial new manager bounce for Everton? It probably was, because Dyche from the get-go enjoyed a dream start as his much-improved Everton side stunned Mikel Arteta’s high-flying Gunners at a raucous Goodison Park.
The outcome of the encounter was all the more significant considering that Lampard had been sacked by the Everton board with the team in relegation waters, having previously won just four games all season.
Also, the hosts picked up their first victory in 11 games in all competitions courtesy of a link-up between two men who played for Dyche at Burnley.
Centre-half James Tarkowski rose at the far post to power home a header from Dwight McNeil’s corner to spark the sort of joyous scenes that have been witnessed rarely at Goodison this term.
Everton had enjoyed much the better chances in the opening period too, but striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin could not convert from the excellent Amadou Onana’s low cross and also flicked a header wide.
Arsenal were outfought for large periods and failed to find any rhythm, although January signing Leandro Trossard forced Jordan Pickford into a sharp save late on.
The Gunners were unable to find the leveller and will see their lead at the top cut to two points if champions, Manchester City beat Tottenham on Sunday.
Writing by Abdullahi Lamino; Editing by Tony Okerafor