Everton blow for Arsenal

BIG GOAL: Everton defender Phil Jagielka (second left) celebrates with team-mates after scoring against Arsenal on Sunday. AFP

Arsenal were haunted by their dismal away form yet again as Phil Jagielka gave Everton a 1-0 victory that dented the Gunners’ Premier League top-four bid on Sunday.

Jagielka was only drafted into Everton’s starting line-up at the last minute due to an illness suffered by Michael Keane. The Everton defender made the most of his call-up with the game’s only goal in the early stages at Goodison Park.

It was another away-day flop for Arsenal, who maintained their wretched record as the only club in the top four divisions of English football not to have kept a clean sheet on their travels this season.

Unai Emery’s side remain fourth in the Premier League, but they are ahead of fifth-placed Chelsea only on goal difference as the race to qualify for the Champions League heats up.

wwEverton had already threatened from one of Lucas Digne’s long throw-ins before the full-back delivered the set-piece that led to Jagielka’s opening goal on 10 minutes.

His throw was flicked on by Jagielka himself, for Dominic Calvert-Lewin to attempt a header on goal that led to the ball taking a kindly bounce, falling to the unmarked defender who swept the ball in with the minimum of fuss from close range.

There were Arsenal appeals for offside, and television footage seemed to show that Digne’s foot might have been over the line in the process of taking his all-important throw.

But it was certainly a dramatic intervention from Jagielka, who had only been called into the team minutes before kick-off. Jagielka, 36, has suffered a difficult season at Goodison, with a series of knee problems limiting him to three starts, but his impact on this occasion could not have been greater, or much quicker.

It was also the former England international’s first goal since April 2017 as he became the oldest player to score in the Premier League this season. Despite second-half improvement from the visitors, Everton maintained their own attacking impetus and held off their opponents.

 On Friday, Liverpool needed more late goals to move top of the Premier League once more as Mohamed Salah and Jordan Henderson struck in the final 10 minutes to earn a 3-1 victory at Southampton.

Jurgen Klopp’s men had to come from behind after Shane Long’s early opener.

However, Naby Keita’s first goal for the club brought the visitors level before Salah and Henderson’s strikes took Liverpool two points clear of Manchester City, who still have a game in hand.

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Everton blow for Arsenal

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