Report

Arsenal fall short despite late win over Everton

19 May 2024
Arteta

Havertz scores late winner as Arsenal beat Everton 2-1 but it's not enough

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Kai Havertz scored a late winner as Arsenal beat Everton 2-1 at Emirates Stadium, but the Gunners fell short in the Premier League title race.

Arsenal needed to win to stand any chance of beating Manchester City to the title, and for a long time it looked as though Mikel Arteta’s side would not hold up their end of the bargain.

The hosts even fell behind as Idrissa Gueye opened the scoring in the first half, but Takehiro Tomiyasu swiftly cancelled out that goal.

A combination of the woodwork and some fine goalkeeping from Jordan Pickford then kept Arsenal at bay until the 89th minute, when Havertz tucked the ball in following Ashley Young’s error.

But with City beating West Ham in Manchester, the Gunners ultimately finished two points behind Pep Guardiola’s team, who sealed an unprecedented fourth straight Premier League title.

The title race

Position Pos Club Played Pl GD Points Pts
1 Man City MCI 38 +62 91
2 Arsenal ARS 38 +62 89
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How the match unfolded

Arsenal were well on top early on – Tomiyasu failing to direct a header on target after he was picked out by Declan Rice, who was subsequently denied by his England team-mate Pickford.

As news filtered through of an early goal for Man City against West Ham, Pickford was at his best to deny Gabriel Martinelli, who was in for the injured Bukayo Saka.

Having weathered the storm, Everton almost took the lead on the half-hour mark – Dominic Calvert-Lewin seeing a crisp strike clatter the left-hand post.

Yet Everton had their goal in the 40th minute, as Gueye’s free-kick deflected off Rice and looped in beyond David Raya.

Idrissa Gana Gueye, Everton

Everton's advantage was short-lived, though, with Tomiyasu atoning for his earlier miss as he lashed home from inside the area, with that goal coinciding with news of West Ham getting one back against Man City, and a huge roar of encouragement from the Gunners faithful.

Takehiro Tomiyasu, Arsenal

Calvert-Lewin stung Raya’s palms as Everton threatened on the counter, though the post came to the visitors’ rescue when Havertz saw a header clip agonisingly off the woodwork.

As City went 3-1 ahead, Arsenal kept pushing – Pickford making a stunning stop with his legs to deny Odegaard, with Amadou Onana blocking Emile Smith Rowe’s follow-up.

Smith Rowe rattled the crossbar in the 83rd minute, but Everton’s resolve was finally broken when Young’s pass was intercepted by Gabriel Jesus. Odegaard failed to connect properly with his attempt, but Havertz was on hand to finish.

Havertz

The goal was confirmed after a VAR check for handball by Jesus, but Arsenal’s title hopes were still dashed, despite the electric atmosphere at the Emirates. 

Plenty of cheer, but no joy for Arsenal

It was fitting that Arsenal ended what has been a superb campaign on a high note, and they certainly had plenty of chances – having 26 shots in total – before Havertz finally got the job done.

But competing against City is a gargantuan task, and Arsenal could just not get over the line in the end.

Arteta will reflect on a fantastic season, and now the challenge is to somehow go one better next season.

The atmosphere at full-time was one of celebration – Arsenal’s fans know just how close they came, but it was not enough.

See: Arteta: We want more and we will get it

Pickford in his pomp

With UEFA Euro 2024 just around the corner, England manager Gareth Southgate will be thrilled to see Pickford in such solid form.

Only Castrol Golden Glove-winner Raya, with 16, has kept more Premier League clean sheets than Pickford (13) this season, and the 30-year-old was excellent on Sunday.

While he was beaten by Tomiyasu’s low shot, Pickford had already made smart stops to thwart both Rice and Martinelli, though his standout save was the one to frustrate Odegaard in the second half, and he was unlucky to be on the losing team.

Premier League

Position Pos Club Played Pl GD Points Pts
13 Fulham FUL 38 -6 47
14 Wolves WOL 38 -15 46
15 Everton EVE 38 -11 40
16 Brentford BRE 38 -9 39
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Club reports

Arsenal report | Everton report

Key facts

Arsenal’s 89 points this season is their second most in a single Premier League campaign, after the 90 earned by their title-winning side of 2003/04.

Everton lost their final Premier League game of the season for the 15th time – no side has done so more in the competition’s history.

William Saliba became the first outfield player to play every minute for Arsenal in a single Premier League campaign.

Jurrien Timber made his second Premier League appearance for Arsenal, with the other coming in the opening game against Nottingham Forest. He’s the fifth player in Premier League history to make just two appearances in a season with those coming in the first and last games, after Gary Gardner (2012/13), Elliot Bennett (2013/14), Marek Rodak (2020/21) and Jesurun Rak-Sakyi (2021/22).

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