Trossard’s moment of quality lifts Arsenal
LIVERPOOL, England (AP):
The classic chant “1-0 to the Arsenal” was heard at Everton on Sunday as Gunners fans celebrated a Premier League win that was a throwback to its pragmatic style of the mid-1990s.
A 69th-minute goal by substitute Leandro Trossard was a rare moment of quality in a game more typical of the Arsenal way celebrated in song before Arsene Wenger’s arrival as coach in 1996 began a new era of creativity.
Trossard cleverly guided a first-time, left-footed shot into the net off the far post after Bukayo Saka cut back a pass he could take smoothly in his stride for the 1-0 win.
It capped a standout week for the Belgium winger who scored a similarly impressive goal with his right foot Tuesday in his national team’s 5-0 rout of Estonia in a European Championship qualifying game.
“I’ve been practising all my life with both feet and it helps you in the game as an attacker,” Trossard said.
Trossard had come on midway through the first half to replace Gabriel Martinelli who was injured within a minute of play restarting after the Brazil forward thought he had given Arsenal the lead. It was ruled out by an offside spotted on video review.
Winning when not playing at a high level is always the mark of a team with trophy ambitions and the three points kept Arsenal in sight of Premier League pacesetters Manchester City. The defending champions’ five straight wins have opened a two-point gap to Tottenham, Liverpool and Arsenal.
Everton were happy to play spoilers to Arsenal, letting last season’s league runners-up have 75 per cent possession of the ball.
It resulted in a third straight 1-0 loss for Everton at home this season and their two goals in five games is the worst scoring ratio in the English Premier League.
It made for a comfortable Arsenal debut for goalkeeper David Raya, on a season-long loan from Brentford. He replaced Aaron Ramsdale who was rested after starting for England on Tuesday in a 3-1 win over Scotland.
“I cannot have two players in each position and not play them,” Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta said. “David has tremendous qualities, like Aaron has.”
Ramsdale could return Wednesday when Arsenal plays its first Champions League group-stage game in seven years, at home to PSV Eindhoven.
Everton are already 18th in the 20-team standings and a third straight fight against relegation seems possible for a proud club looking in severe decline.
Some boos were heard inside Goodison Park at the final whistle and it is unclear if the possible exit of unpopular owners can quickly change the mood.
Everton this week said majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri has agreed a sale to Miami-based 777 Partners which must be approved by the Premier League and the Financial Conduct Authority regulatory body.