Leno error gives Everton first Premier League win against Arsenal
London, April 24 (IANS): Everton boosted their hopes of a top-four finish and a place in next season’s Champions League as Bernd Leno’s own goal gave them a 1-0 win at Arsenal.
In a low-key Premier League encounter, the result was settled by a mistake from goalkeeper Leno when he allowed Richarlison’s cross through his legs and diverted it into the net, DPA reported.
Arsenal had earlier seen a penalty chalked off after a VAR check for offside while Dani Ceballos brought a good save out of Jordan Pickford.
Everton’s victory was their first in 25 league attempts (lost 20, drawn four) at Arsenal since a 2-1 win at the north London giants’ former home Highbury in January 1996.
Arsenal fans protested outside Emirates Stadium against owner Stan Kroenke’s role in the failed European Super League, and the first half lacked intensity.
The Gunners had the first meaningful attempt on goal when Bukayo Saka latched on to the ball in the box but saw his low effort comfortably saved by Pickford.
It was Everton who enjoyed the better of the remainder of the first half and Richarlison went close on the half hour after he shrugged off Pablo Mari, and Leno dived to beat away his shot across goal.
Gylfi Sigurdsson rattled the crossbar with a spectacular curling free-kick moments before half-time, and only a last-ditch block from home defender Rob Holding denied the Iceland international just after the break.
Arsenal were awarded a penalty when Dani Ceballos went down in the box after a kick from Richarlison, but VAR deemed Nicolas Pepe was in an offside position in the build-up and the spot-kick was overruled.
Mason Holgate’s miscued clearance from Calum Chambers’ low cross caused Pickford minor alarm, before Ceballos stung the palms of the Everton goalkeeper with a long-range effort.
The key moment came with 14 minutes left when Leno kneeled down to scoop up Richarlison’s low cross, but he instead allowed the ball to squirm through his legs and directed it into the net.