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Stunning Gray strike earns Everton win

Published on: 06 December 2021

Martin Odegaard scored his third goal of the season from Kieran Tierney's cross

Demarai Gray's superb injury-time strike earned Everton a first win in nine games to end a bruising week with a stunning comeback against Arsenal.

After a week in which the hosts were thumped by Liverpool and director of football Marcel Brands left the club, Rafael Benitez's team responded with a much-improved display that showed the character and resilience fans were looking for.

Richarlison had brought Everton level with 10 minutes of normal time remaining after Martin Odegaard scored the game's opener from Kieran Tierney's cross in first-half stoppage time.

That the winner came after Richarlison had also had two goals ruled out for offside by the video assistant referee before getting the equaliser will only have added to the home fans' delight.

The scenes at the final whistle were a complete turnaround from last Wednesday, when the mood turned ugly after a 4-1 defeat by their city rivals.

Victory lifts Everton to 12th in the table, eight points above the relegation zone.

Gray proves cut-price talisman again

Few fans can have expected such a performance after recent showings - had Everton failed to win this would have been their worst run of form since 1994.

Instead it was reminiscent of the club's early season form when they chalked up successive comeback wins at home and climbed to fourth.

And it was the perfect response to dozens of fans who left their seats after 27 minutes in protest about how the club is being run, with the timing a reference to the club's 27-year wait for a trophy.

The result also vindicated Benitez's insistence that the club would return to winning ways once injured players returned.

In keeping with their success earlier in the season, it was Gray who was Everton's most dangerous player, but he was aided by Richarlison, who showed great perseverance to score at the third time of asking.

His header in a poor first half, moments before Odegaard scored for Arsenal, was clearly offside but the frustration for the Brazilian and the 35,000 Everton fans inside a raucous Goodison Park was palpable when a second goal was ruled out because his toe was inches beyond the Arsenal defensive line.

When his goal eventually came, it changed the mood among a set of fans who have been angered by a familiar run of form under majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri, despite the British-Iranian spending close to £500m over the past six years.

But there was further delight to come when Gray found the top corner for his fifth goal of the season.

Having arrived for only £1.7m in the summer, he is proving to be a cut-price talisman.

More to follow.

Player of the match

GrayDemarai Gray

with an average of 8.08


EvertonAvgSquad number11Player nameGrayAverage rating


Squad number7Player nameRicharlisonAverage rating


Squad number16Player nameDoucouréAverage rating


Squad number23Player nameColemanAverage rating


Squad number21Player nameAndré GomesAverage rating


Squad number6Player nameAllanAverage rating


Squad number5Player nameKeaneAverage rating


Squad number24Player nameGordonAverage rating


Squad number14Player nameTownsendAverage rating


Squad number22Player nameGodfreyAverage rating


Squad number1Player namePickfordAverage rating


Squad number4Player nameHolgateAverage rating


Squad number13Player nameMinaAverage rating


Squad number17Player nameIwobiAverage rating


ArsenalAvgSquad number3Player nameTierneyAverage rating


Squad number8Player nameØdegaardAverage rating


Squad number32Player nameRamsdaleAverage rating


Squad number18Player nameTomiyasuAverage rating


Squad number7Player nameSakaAverage rating


Squad number4Player nameWhiteAverage rating


Squad number6Player nameGabriel MagalhãesAverage rating


Squad number35Player nameGabriel MartinelliAverage rating


Squad number34Player nameXhakaAverage rating


Squad number5Player nameParteyAverage rating


Squad number9Player nameLacazetteAverage rating


Squad number20Player nameNuno TavaresAverage rating


Squad number30Player nameNketiahAverage rating


Squad number14Player nameAubameyangAverage rating


    Line-upsMatch StatsLive Text


Formation 4-4-1-1


    1Pickford23Coleman13MinaSubstituted forHolgateat 31'minutes5Keane22GodfreyBooked at 51mins24GordonSubstituted forIwobiat 87'minutes16Doucouré6Allan11GrayBooked at 90mins14TownsendSubstituted forAndré Gomesat 66'minutes7Richarlison


    2Kenny4Holgate8Delph15Begovic17Iwobi20Tosun21André Gomes25Gbamin32Branthwaite


Formation 4-2-3-1


    32Ramsdale18Tomiyasu4White6Gabriel3TierneySubstituted forTavaresat 65'minutes5Partey34XhakaBooked at 63mins7Saka8ØdegaardBooked at 74mins35MartinelliSubstituted forNketiahat 71'minutes9LacazetteSubstituted forAubameyangat 85'minutes


    14Aubameyang16Holding17Cédric Soares19Pépé20Tavares23Sambi Lokonga25Elneny30Nketiah33Okonkwo

Referee:Mike DeanAttendance:38,906Match StatsHome TeamEvertonAway TeamArsenalPossessionHome36%Away64%ShotsHome11Away10Shots on TargetHome5Away3CornersHome3Away3FoulsHome8Away12Live TextPost update

Match ends, Everton 2, Arsenal 1.

90'+8'Full Time

Second Half ends, Everton 2, Arsenal 1.

90'+8'Post update

Attempt missed. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Eddie Nketiah.

90'+6'Post update

Attempt saved. Alex Iwobi (Everton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Richarlison.

90'+6'Post update

Attempt blocked. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Martin Ødegaard with a cross.

90'+4'Post update

Foul by Thomas Partey (Arsenal).

90'+4'Post update

Richarlison (Everton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.


Demarai Gray (Everton) is shown the yellow card for excessive celebration.


Goal! Everton 2, Arsenal 1. Demarai Gray (Everton) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by André Gomes.

90'+1'Post update

Attempt blocked. Martin Ødegaard (Arsenal) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Eddie Nketiah.

90'Post update

Attempt saved. Abdoulaye Doucouré (Everton) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.


Substitution, Everton. Alex Iwobi replaces Anthony Gordon.

86'Post update

Foul by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal).

86'Post update

Mason Holgate (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

86'Post update

Attempt saved. Bukayo Saka (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Takehiro Tomiyasu.


Substitution, Arsenal. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang replaces Alexandre Lacazette.

84'Post update

Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal) hits the left post with a header from the left side of the six yard box. Assisted by Bukayo Saka with a cross.

82'Post update

Attempt blocked. Martin Ødegaard (Arsenal) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Eddie Nketiah.


Goal! Everton 1, Arsenal 1. Richarlison (Everton) header from the centre of the box to the top left corner.

79'Post update

Attempt saved. Demarai Gray (Everton) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

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