Arsenal claimed their first English Premier League win at Everton in six years as Leandro Trossard’s second-half strike proved enough to secure the points at Goodison Park on Sunday.
Everton, still without a win this season, had managed to frustrate the visitors who had a Gabriel Martinelli goal ruled out for offside via VAR in the first period.
But the Londoners were eventually rewarded for their domination as substitute Trossard’s shot cannoned in off the post after a clever build-up in the 69th minute.
Unbeaten Arsenal joined Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool on 13 points from five games, two points behind leaders Manchester City who have a 100 per cent record.
A third successive 1-0 home defeat left Everton third from bottom with one point.
Arsenal face a huge week ahead with their return to the Champions League on Wednesday followed by next weekend’s north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur.
Everton might have hoped that Mikel Arteta’s side would be distracted by those impending dates, but were ultimately unable to live with an Arsenal side that never hit top gear.
The Merseysiders offered very little to suggest they will be far away from the relegation strugglers this season with a display high on graft but sadly lacking in quality.
Arsenal’s last league win at Everton in 2017 ended the reign of Ronald Koeman and while Sean Dyche is unlikely to suffer a similar fate, he has a huge task on his hands.
“We defended in numbers which you have to do against teams like this often — not always, but often.
“We did well on that side of the game but with the ball we were miles off.
“We gave it away too many times,” Dyche said.
Arsenal made a surprise team selection with England goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale replaced by David Raya.
Raya had a relatively quiet afternoon though as most of the play was at the other end of the pitch.
Everton were given a let-off in the 17th minute when Martinelli was played through on goal and finished with a curled finish reminiscent of Thierry Henry in his pomp.
Arsenal’s celebrations were cut short though as a VAR check ruled that there was an offside in the build-up and shortly after Martinelli was forced off with a muscle injury to be replaced by Trossard.
For all Arsenal’s possession they were guilty of over-elaboration at times and Everton were hanging on grimly for what would have been a morale-boosting draw.
But Arsenal eventually unpicked their defence with a short-corner eventually being fed in to Martin Odegaard who released Bukayo Saka on the right side of the penalty area.
The England forward cut the ball back for Trossard who opened his left foot and placed a shot in off the far post.
Arsenal were comfortable after that as they ended their Goodison Park hoodoo.
“I think we played an incredible game, we kept them quiet and created many, many chances,” Arteta said.
“We gave very, very little away. They haven’t created a single chance. It’s about intelligence but also about the fight,” he added.
The only negative for Arteta was the injury to Martinelli.
“He felt, I think, something in the action in the run for the goal.
“He’s not normally a player to have muscular issues, but he had to come off. Let’s see,” Arteta said.