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Arteta slams Arsenal's home form after Everton defeat

FOOTBALL By Reuters | April 24th 2021
April 23, 2021 Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta with Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti before the match Pool via REUTERS

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta slammed his side's home form as "terrible, unacceptable" after they slumped to a 1-0 Premier League defeat by Everton on Friday to fall even further behind in the chase for European football next season.

Arsenal had plenty of chances in the second half and a penalty decision reversed by VAR before an own goal by keeper Bernd Leno gifted the visitors the three points as the Gunners lost for the seventh time at home in the league this season.

April 23, 2021 Everton's Richarlison in action with Arsenal's Granit Xhaka Pool via REUTERS

"We were the better team. We lacked some clear-cut chances and the edge in the final third. They are very well organised, but we conceded the goal in the wrong moment," said Arteta, whose ninth-placed side are nine points off the European spots.

The Spaniard also fired a broadside at the match officials, who first awarded a penalty for a trip on Danny Ceballos but then reversed the decision when VAR found that Nicolas Pepe was offside in the build-up some 15 seconds earlier.

"To disallow a penalty 15 seconds before, (after) eight or nine touches - I saw it 10 times and I don't get it. It can be taken the way they want. Zero control. Somebody has to explain that," an exasperated Arteta told Sky Sports.

Everton coach Carlo Ancelotti was delighted to bring his side's 25-year wait for a win at Arsenal to an end, and equally happy to snap a five-game streak without a league victory.

"It (winning at Arsenal) is an unbelievable gift for our supporters. A good performance - not top, but solid. We tried to play if possible and we were lucky to score a goal," he said.

"Finally I can say we are back. We had a difficult moment with lots of injuries, but this victory gives us more motivation for the next games," he added with his team one point behind Liverpool, who are seventh, and three off fourth-placed Chelsea.

Leno blunder gifts Everton 1-0 win over Arsenal

An own goal by Arsenal keeper Bernd Leno gave Everton a 1-0 win in their Premier League clash at The Emirates on Friday, gifting the Toffees three valuable points in their quest for European football next season and damaging the home side's own hopes.

Leno bundled Richarlison's low cross into the net in the 76th minute to decide the game and moved eighth-placed Everton to 52 points, one behind Liverpool and three off fourth-placed Chelsea, while the Gunners stay ninth on 46.

April 23, 2021 Arsenal's Dani Ceballos looks dejected after the match Pool via REUTERS

"To dig deep and get the win is massive. Arsenal want the same thing as we do (European football) so to take the points from them is massive. We've got to be consistent now," Everton defender Mason Holgate said.

It was Everton's first win at Arsenal since 1996 and condemned the Gunners to a seventh home defeat of the season, their worst record since the 1992-93 season.

As banners inside the ground promoted Arsenal's motto of "victory through harmony" outside it was anything but harmonious as fans gathered to protest loudly against the club's owners for taking part in the ill-fated Super League proposal.

What was happening on the pitch inside the stadium was unlikely to have improved their mood as Everton's Gylfi Sigurdsson came closest to breaking the deadlock in a dull first half with a free kick that glanced off the bar.

The hosts looked a different prospect after the break, winning a penalty for a foul on Danny Ceballos. However, VAR intervened and found that Nicolas Pepe was offside in the build-up and the spot kick was chalked off.

Calum Chambers and Ceballos went close for Arsenal before Richarlison skipped past Granit Xhaka to the byline and sent a low cross into the six-yard box, which Leno misjudged and steered between his own legs and into the net.


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