During last season’s relegation run-in, Everton fans unveiled a banner asking their team to “fight for us” but in truth the Blues barely laid a glove on Arsenal during their 1-0 home defeat on Sunday.
After coming within one goal of a first relegation in 72 years as they posted the lowest equivalent points total in 135 years of competition, “the fourth most successful club in English football history” as Everton proclaimed in the announcement of 777 Partners signing an agreement to buy all of Farhad Moshiri’s shares, have picked up just one point from their opening five fixtures this term when they shared the spoils with newly-promoted Sheffield United with what remains their only point of the campaign to date.
In the equivalent match against Arsenal last season – Sean Dyche’s inaugural fixture as Blues boss – the hosts were able to inflict the then table-topping Gunners’ first Premier League defeat since the previous September and derail their title push with a 1-0 win.
But this time around, the visitors were able to keep Everton at arm’s length. Opposition manager Mikel Arteta, who graced Goodison Park as a Blues midfielder for six-and-a-half years before his transfer to the Emirates in 2011, was understandably delighted with how his team nullified Dyche’s men.
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The 41-year-old of whom the Gwladys Street used to declare was “The best little Spaniard we know,” told reporters: “I’m really happy, extremely happy with the performance, the way we played. I was there for six years, I’ve not been able to do that.” Indeed, this was Arsenal’s first success at Goodison since a 5-2Read on liverpoolecho.co.uk