Everton boss Rafael Benitez spoke of it being a “perfect” night after his side’s winless run came to an end in dramatic fashion with a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over Arsenal at Goodison Park.
After Martin Odegaard’s volley in first-half stoppage time put the visitors ahead, Richarlison — having had two efforts ruled out for offside via VAR checks either side of the opener — drew things level with a 79th-minute header, on the follow up after Demarai Gray hit the bar.
Gray then secured the Toffees’ first win in nine Premier League outings by sending a fine strike in off the post in the second minute of time added on at the end.
Benitez said in his post-match press conference: “I think we saw the character in the first games (of the season) and today it was even better, in terms of two goals disallowed and the reaction of the team, the fans behind the team, everybody delighted at the end because of the great goal Demarai scored, and three points after that bad run.
“So I think everything was, you can say, perfect, no? In terms of the players, the fans, the performance, and the final score.”
The game ended with the crowd in delirium, having earlier seen a small number of Everton fans leaving their seats in a protest over the running of the club. The demonstration happened in the 27th minute, with it being 27 years, come 2022, since they last won a trophy.
Benitez said: “I think since I came here, from day one the fans have been really good.
“The frustration of the fans in some games, it’s because obviously, they want to see the team winning. But nobody can complain about the commitment, the desire, the effort of the players.
“We can complain about decisions in the final third or mistakes, but not about the commitment. Today I think the fans could appreciate that from the first minute.