Former Gunners striker Ian Wright has reacted to league leaders Arsenal suffering a shock defeat against Sean Dyche’s Everton on Saturday (4 February).
Mikel Arteta’s side were firm favorites to pick up all three points prior to their trip to Goodison Park this weekend. Everton were languishing at the bottom of the table on goal difference before the game.
Arsenal were expected to extend their lead over second-placed Manchester City to eight points and as expected, Arteta fielded a strong starting eleven. Despite having 71% of the possession, it was Everton that made more use of the ball by having more shots on target.
The deadlock was broken in the 60th minute when centre-back James Tarkowski nodded Dwight McNeil’s corner into the back of the net.
The Toffees were then defensively sound and managed to hold onto their lead to secure all three points against Arsenal. The win took Dyche’s men to 18th place with a game in hand over West Ham United.
Wright believes that Arsenal deserved to lose the game and didn’t do enough to warrant the three points. He tweeted after the game:
“Everton deserve that. We have to learn from it and move on. Top of the league, everyone is going to be up for playing us. Half chances key in these types of games. Lots for the team to take away from that defeat. We go again boys! Give Sean Dyche his flowers.”
The Arsenal faithful will be disappointed not to make the most of this opportunity, considering Everton have not been in great form. However, credit must be given to Sean Dyche for making an instant impact. His players looked assured and stuck to the basics, enabling them to grind out the win.
The race for the Premier League has opened up again. If Manchester City win against Tottenham Hotspur tomorrow (5 February), Arsenal’s lead at the top could be cut to just two points.
Mikel Arteta reviews Everton’s triumph over Arsenal
Arteta watched his side stumble in their quest for their first Premier League title since the 200-/4 season, following a shock 1-0 defeat to Everton at Goodison Park. Reflecting on the result, the Gunners boss told the Guardian:
“It was a really tough match, we knew it was going to be tough, we started the game pretty well but after 20 minutes we started to lose a little bit of control and played the sort of game they wanted to play one set piece, that’s what they do, and they slowed the game down, we have to create much more than we did today we needed more composure.”
The Spaniard also challenged his players to react positively to the defeat by playing better. He added:
“I’m so proud of the players this is not going to be a rose pathway, it’s going to be tricky, difficult, you will have to react to disappointment, dig in and play better than we did today.”