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Trossard strike earns Arsenal victory at Everton

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Leandro Trossard joined Arsenal from Brighton in the January transfer window

Arsenal dug deep to earn a tight but well-deserved victory over Everton at Goodison Park.

The Gunners, who have replaced England keeper Aaron Ramsdale with David Raya, have lost four of their last five visits to Everton.

But, with the Toffees still without a Premier League win this season, Arsenal replacement Leandro Trossard broke the deadlock after 69 minutes with a brilliant side-foot finish.

Eddie Nketiah ruled Arsenal’s sweeping first-half finish to be offside in the buildup, but the home team couldn’t hold out in the second half as Trossard finished off some persistent Gunners probing around the box.

Manager Mikel Arteta was visibly overjoyed as his team maintained their unblemished start to the season and closed the gap on leaders Manchester City to two points.

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Meanwhile, the home team appears set for relegation and is a long way from the side that defeated Arsenal in manager Sean Dyche’s debut game in charge in February.

After the final whistle, Arteta’s joyful smile in front of the visiting fans said it all.

The Spaniard was enjoying a crucial victory in a stadium where he was a fan as a player but has had a difficult time as a coach.

The Gunners have struggled in the hothouse atmosphere of Goodison Park in the past, most recently last season when they suffered a crushing defeat on Dyche’s debut as Everton manager.

There were no such issues today as they maintained control against a desperately weak Everton team that provided Raya with the easiest of games on his Premier League debut.

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The new Brentford signing seemed at ease with the ball at his feet and was allowed to engage in some quite rudimentary catching practice from a series of meaningless Everton crosses.

The early departure of Martinelli, who limped off with a hamstring injury minutes after having his goal ruled out for offside, was a blow, but Trossard made his imprint with a beautiful side-foot finish after good work from Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka.

Arsenal may have entered the game with dread considering previous outcomes here, but this was a test they easily passed.

Everton fans clapped their players off after the final whistle, although it appeared to be out of habit rather than any recognition of skill from Sean Dyche’s players, given there was none on display from the home side.

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There were also boos for referee Simon Hooper, but the bottom truth is that Everton put in a poor display, lacking coherence, creativity, and even the smallest bit of attacking quality.

Jordan Pickford was brilliant in goal, and James Tarkowski and Jarrod Branthwaite made vital defensive stops, but this was an otherwise devastating example of the class divide between the two sides.

Everton fans are left with more questions than answers following the announcement that owner Farhad Moshiri has decided to sell his 94.1% stake in the club to American investment company 777 Partners, which has raised more questions than answers.

Even Goodison Park’s normally hostile atmosphere lacked the edge that has so often troubled Arsenal in the past, with the noise dampened for lengthy stretches, maybe worn down by the ongoing strain of having to lift a club that has been run in such a way that it is unfit for purpose.

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Everton’s new £25 million striker Beto tried everything he had, but even the best forwards would struggle to make up for the lack of service from midfield. was also replaced by Dominic Calvert-Lewin, but also suffered the same fate due to a lack of wide balls.

Everton appeared doomed to another sad season of struggling to keep their heads above water after only one point from five games.

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