By Chris Bascombe at Goodison Park
Sean Dyche vowed to take Everton back to the glories of the 1980s. His first day in charge was more reminiscent of Joe Royle’s mid-90s ‘dogs of war’ as they secured the shock result of this Premier League season.
There were 90s echoes all around a belligerent and emotional Goodison Park as Arsenal were beaten for only this second time in the league.
In 1994, Royle’s rescue operation began with a towering Duncan Ferguson header from Andy Hinchcliffe’s corner in front of the Gwladys Street stand.
Here it was James Tarkowski meeting Dwight McNeil’s delivery, Arsenal replacing Liverpool as a side faced with a physical and emotional tour de force.
With Dyche at the helm, this was a goal handcrafted in Burnley and the hosts feverishly defended their advantage, their young Belgian Amadou Onana in imperious form to overshadow Arsenal’s midfield.
No matter what Everton’s situation, a win at Goodison Park always features high on a title contender’s checklist.
Away success in this stadium demands heart as much as skill, former Everton player Mikel Artera knows as much from personal experience. Under Dyche, the physical and psychological examination already looks several degrees tougher for visitors. That was the broader triumph of his Everton introduction.
From the early stages, one could imagine Areta rehearsing the post-match assessment in which he rated this one of his side’s trickiest tests of their title bid.
Arsenal can justly argue they have already demonstrated their mettle in their rise to the Premier League summit, but Arteta understands the idiosyncrasies of a trip here.
Pre-match, this game looked like the most welcome of gimmes, Everton in turmoil and their fans in a rebellious spirit.
But Dyche’s instant impact ensured unity for 90 minutes at least, and the response of his players offered the first glimmer of hope that whatever the outcome of a daunting start to the new reign, certain fundamentals will be restored.
There was a beauty to the clash of football culture. Evertonians loved their team’s approach, full of the raw aggression they demand. Arsenal obviously looked the more composed team, but they spent most of the game struggling to penetrate, Eddie Nketiah’s shot over from close range and Bukayo Saka’s shot cleared off the line were their best attempts in the first half.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin, meanwhile, enjoyed more service in the first 45 minutes than his last 45 appearances, Everton’s wide men prepared to dash with more energy and deliver crosses with more purpose.
In midfield, Everton were organised to close space, while the defence resolutely cleared its lines without being overly concerned whether clearances ended in the stands.
The contrast made for a tactical aficionado's dream, and although Everton upped the tempo in the second half, the home side’s corners were a constant threat. Tarkowski met McNeil’s set-piece and in a frenzied atmosphere Everton claimed the most significant win of their season.
As it happened
'Onana was sensational'
From Sam Dean...
That is the worst Arsenal have played in the league this season, and full credit to Everton for doing so much to stop Mikel Arteta's side from playing their usual passing patterns. Amadou Onana, especially, was sensational in midfield. He was the last player off the pitch at the end, having blown kisses to all four sides of the ground.
James Tarkowski and Dwight McNeil talk to BT Sport
Tarkowski is up first:
It has been tough for us and the fans.
But hopefully this is the turning point. we have to get our heads down and crack on.
We know how good they are as a team, but we know how good we are. we thought we had the better chances.
Tarkowski on his first Everton goal:
It's taken me a while. I need to score more, to be fair.
But a great time to do it, and a great day.
On what needs to be worked on:
We've not lacked technical ability but we've lacked a bit of grit.
We've got to show that to the fans, and today we did.
Full time: Everton 1 Arsenal 0
Dyche, the players, the fans, all must scarcely be able to believe they gave the league-leaders a bloody nose on home. Their winless run is over, and they've swiped it from a team unbeaten since September.
Everton thoroughly deserved that win, after displaying so much fight, and may even feel hard done by not to have snared a second goal. But what must Frank Lampard be thinking?
90+6 min: Everton 1 Arsenal 0
From start to finish, the atmosphere inside the ground has been unmatched, and the fans are roaring themselves hoarse at the thought of the final whistle. Pickford lines up to take a freekick for Everton at his leisure.
The whistle blows! Everton have their first win, and Arsenal are felled on the road.
90+5 min: Everton 1 Arsenal 0
Maupay and Zinchenko tangle themselves up, and it leads to a mass gathering as players of all sorts tussle right in front of the linesman. On review, it looks like after a quick irritation, Maupay waltzed Zinchenko to the ground. It's going to be reviewed for a moment, as Ramsdale hovers over the high Arsenal freekick.
A yellow card for Maupay is all that comes of the melee.
90+3 min: Everton 1 Arsenal 0
It's played to Zinchenko waiting patiently at the top of the box, and he scoops it up, but the shot flies over Pickford's crossbar. He winds up to take another goal kick with no particular hurry.
Trossard plays the ball neatly to Saka, but it slips past him, and when Gueye, lurking behind him, picks things up, Trossard sticks a boot in to concede a freekick.
90+1 min: Everton 1 Arsenal 0
Onana collects a springing defensive ball and goes romping down the left, battling past Tomiyasu and winning a high throw. Mykolenko puts it down, but Everton can't hold on to it, and Arsenal prepare to come again, winning a corner which Saka steps up to take.
89 min: Everton 1 Arsenal 0
Gueye blocks Trossard's ball out for a righthanded corner, which Saka steps up to take. It finds Tarkowski's head, and the ball falls with Coleman to boot it away from danger.
Zinchenko with the ball sends in an extremely optimistic strike, which falls as it should, extremely wide.
Six minutes due to be added on, which should go down well.
87 min: Everton 1 Arsenal 0
Everton have been nerveless for large spells throughout this half, looking extremely punchy with no drop in their energy. Much to the delight of the fans, who have been gleefully cheering on every scrap, defence, or interception.
In the words of Chris Bascombe:
Evertonians have not celebrated winning a corner so much since Andy Hinchcliffe was in his prime. It is a fair assumption this game would have been very different had Everton appointed Marcelo Bielsa. On the plus side, the under 21s would have won 9-0 this morning...
85 min: Everton 1 Arsenal 0
Nketiah fouls Tarkowski en route to picking up a good-looking throw-in high up by the Everton box. In the pause, Arsenal makes a like-for-like swap, bringing on Tomiyasu for White.
Pickford picks up a yellow card for timewasting after he finally unleashes his freekick, as tensions rocket upwards inside Goodison. Tomiyasu springs onto the end of the ball, when it comes.
83 min: Everton 1 Arsenal 0
Tarkowski sends a promising ball into the box which Saliba heads out efficiently. Arsenal win a freekick from their box and send the ball to Jorginho up the field, but he misplays the ball back to the royal-blue shirts of the home side.
81 min: Everton 1 Arsenal 0
Arsenal pull down Pickford's freekick, nipping forward, as Saka crosses to Trossard. Trossard curls the ball towards Pickford's goal, but miscalculates by a metre or two, to a volley of boos.
79 min: Everton 1 Arsenal 0
Iwobi crossed the ball the width of the pitch looking for an alternate route to the box, but Arsenal seize possession. Trossard gets the opportunity for a closer-range shot, but Pickford makes the save to set up a quick counter-attack for the home side.
As Doucoure waits for a long, lanky pass, he strays offside high up by the left corner flag.
Interestingly, both teams are level on attempts, 10, and attempts on target, 3. Xhaka can't make them level on goals too, after his chance in the box is blazed up to the heavens over the crossbar.
77 min: Everton 1 Arsenal 0
Iwobi picks up an aerial ball with an impressive touch, sliding into the Arsenal half before firing in a shot which is blocked out for a deep throw-in by Gabriel.
Another change for Arsenal, as Odegaard comes off for Vieira.
75 min: Everton 1 Arsenal 0
Maupay takes a knock, looking for a header, and stays down as Everton continue up the pitch, eventually winning a corner. He's back on his feet a moment or two later, and skips over to help out for the following corner.
Arsenal make a hash of defending the corner, which drops well in the centre of the fracas, and as Ramsdale topples, and Everton hack away at the ball, Arsenal should consider themselves lucky indeed not to concede a second.
73 min: Everton 1 Arsenal 0
Coady misplays the ball to Odegaard, as Arsenal mass on the edge of the box. In the end, Xhaka fires in a cross, which Pickford steps out of his goal to take with little to no drama.
Everton's first goal of the Dyche era
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 4, 2023
71 min: Everton 1 Arsenal 0
A fraction better, but Onana gets his head to it first, and sends the ball back up the pitch. Arsenal are knocking on the door, and with Everton having the second-worst record in the league this season for defending their leads, it's no surprise that his defence is celebrated almost like a goal.
69 min: Everton 1 Arsenal 0
Maupay and Xhaka get into a full and frank exchange of views, and they're dogged by White and Saliba looking to ease tensions. Things end with a playful/head-lock embrace from Xhaka to the former Brighton player.
More clever defending from Coleman sends the ball out for a corner, which Trossard steps up to take once again.
66 min: Everton 1 Arsenal 0
A corner for Arsenal, who look lathered-up post-goal, looking for their equaliser, which Trossard steps up to take. He does so shoddily, and the ball sprints back for Everton to begin their attack.
There are calls for a penalty after Gabriel skittles Gueye in the Arsenal penalty area, but concerns are waved away when Var gives the offence a quick once-over.
62 min: Everton 1 Arsenal 0
Mykolenko picks up Everton's first yellow card with a cynical, but necessary, foot stuck out at a running Saka.
A change for the home side, post-goal: Maupay on for Calvert-Lewin.
More from Chris Bascombe, from a roaring Goodison Park
McNeil to Tarkowski with a corner engineered by Sean Dyche. Everton's goal made in Burnley.
GOAL!!! Everton 1 Arsenal 0
Everton have a corner, which McNeil sends in loopily. It reaches Tarkowski at the far post and he bullets the header past a baffled-looking Ramsdale!
Dyche's first at Goodison comes from two of his former Burnley players – let the revolution begin!
59 min: Everton 0 Arsenal 0
Martinelli scythes through the centre of the pitch, dogged by Iwobi, but he hangs on, sending the ball forward to Nketiah on the left. He cuts to Odegaard in the box, who sends the ball well over the crossbar.
Two changes for Arsenal now, Martinelli and Partey off for Trossard and Jorginho.
57 min: Everton 0 Arsenal 0
Coleman boots the ball forward to Calvert-Lewin on the edge of the box. A good touch sends the ball to Iwobi, who then crosses the ball before it glances with deflection to Mykolenko, whose ensuing attempt on goal is firmly subpar.
55 min: Everton 0 Arsenal 0
A corner for Arsenal after a stretched challenge from Mykolenko on Saka sends the ball out of play. Tarkowski and McNeil usher the ball up the field, before Arsenal have a second run at them. Martinelli sends a long-range shot into the box, where it meets the dipped head of Coleman.
53 min: Everton 0 Arsenal 0
Xhaka sends in a whippy cross, looking for Saka, but Everton are able to intercept and send the ball quickly to Calvert-Lewin who sparks off unsupported, driving the attack forward. As reinforcements appear for back-up, Everton can threaten Arsenal, but coolheaded defending from Zinchenko mops up any true danger.
51 min: Everton 0 Arsenal 0
Calvert-Lewin body-checks Xhaka as the players wait wide-eyed for a falling ball, but Everton quickly win the ball back, Doucoure streaking down the right. Gueye looks to move further forward but Gabriel intervenes, overturning play and setting up Odegaard in the middle of the Everton half.
As Arsenal creep closer, Onana goes down in the box after being trodden on by the Arsenal captain.
49 min: Everton 0 Arsenal 0
Mykolenko wrong-foots Saka lurking on the right with a quick tackle that allows him to rocket the ball over the halfway line. But in no time, Arsenal have retaken possession and are looking to forget a path through to the Everton box. Strong defending keeps the ball out for a spell, before McNeil loses the ball to White in a spell of sloppy play that Everton are lucky to avoid incident from.
46 min: Everton 0 Arsenal 0
Gueye has an early chance, after Doucoure picks up a clever cross from Iwobi on the right. He cuts back to Gueye, who fires in to a surprised-looking Ramsdale, whose quick-thinking saves him at the last.
Chris Bascombe's half-time thoughts
Everton fans loved that first half, full of the raw aggression they demand. Arsenal look the more cultured team, but have struggled to penetrate. The contrast has made for a tactical aficionado's dream. One suspects if the league leaders get through this in the second half, Areta will rank it as one of those checklist away days every title contender needs to negotiate – this being an afternoon to test the heart as much as skillset.
Half-time: Everton 0 Arsenal 0
No lack of promise from Everton, who have made a good effort in neutralising a forceful Arsenal, as well as picking up some confidence-boosting chances along the way. The crowd is entirely behind them, and that cauldron atmosphere that Dyche alluded to ahead of the match will help with raising spirits in the second half.
But Arsenal certainly can't be written off, and Everton will need to put in a repeat performance of equal energy and feistiness over the next forty-five to stop Arsenal from getting off the mark.
45+3 min: Everton 0 Arsenal 0
Pickford wildly bullets out a harum-scarum pass back from Coleman which looks more like an attempt, under fire from a skidding Nketiah.
Another strong chance from Calvert-Lewin, who jinks up to meet a cleverly-crossed ball in from the right, but Ramsdale is untroubled as the half-time whistle blows.
45 min: Everton 0 Arsenal 0
Partey sends a clever ball down left to Zinchenko, who gets it to a drifting Xhaka on the edge of the box. Coady stuffs the ball out to save a more threatening attack.
Three minutes of added time.
44 min: Everton 0 Arsenal 0
The shot reaches Xhaka, the first man, who behind-kicks the ball up and out of play, unable to do much more with it. A lucky escape for Everton, all things considered.
Doucoure wins the ball in the Arsenal half to fire at Calvert-Lewin down the right, looking in vain for a way through to the box. The ball is muddled out for a throw-in for the home side, which Tarkowski leathers forward, looking for gains in the Arsenal box.
42 min: Everton 0 Arsenal 0
Arsenal have clustered themselves around the Everton goal now, probing for routes through. Gueye teams up with Iwobi to try and suppress Marinelli, wildly clawing at his face as he attempts to wrong-foot him. Slightly unnecessary, and profligate, as Arsenal win a tempting freekick from the left of the box.
39 min: Everton 0 Arsenal 0
Saka have a close-range chance in front of Pickford's goal, and Coady has to launch himself into action to wallop the clearance out of the goal. Without him, it was almost certainly in.
37 min: Everton 0 Arsenal 0
Saliba picks up a frisky Everton ball and calmly ushers it up the field to White, but Everton buzz around, looking to win the ball back efficiently. Arsenal hold on, but can't gain quick ground into the Everton half. Everton look well-drilled, barracked into positions which clog up the space that Arsenal are so used to exploiting.
35 min: Everton 0 Arsenal 0
Another chance, in quick succession, after the ball is whipped into the centre of the box, destined for the head of Doucoure, but he misses by an inch. He was well-positioned, and again, Dyche throws back his head in frustration.
But Everton are deserving of these strong chances: it just remains to be seen if they have the clinical edge to go toe-to-toe with the league-leaders.
33 min: Everton 0 Arsenal 0
Under siege from an extremely determined Partey, Doucoure twists and turns to hold on to the ball but win a freekick to rapturous applause. The kick flies in from 30 yards out and is caught handily by Ramsdale.
Another excellent chance, this time for Everton, after Onana flies down the left before sneaking past Odegaard to the left of the box, before cutting across to Calvert-Lewin, who can't quite claim it! Dyche, on the sidelines, can scarcely believe it.
More, from Chris Bascombe:
A standing ovation for Dominic Calvert-Lewin as he holds the ball and wins a throw-on. It is that kind of atmosphere at Goodison at the moment, every tackle appreciated like a goal.
31 min: Everton 0 Arsenal 0
Nketiah has Arsenal's first strong chance, picking up from Saka masterfully twisting away from Mykolenko just inside the box to fire at Pickford, but his attempt is unfocused and the strike flies out of play.
29 min: Everton 0 Arsenal 0
McNeil and Mykolenko team up on the right to muddle Saka off the ball, and Mykolenko impresses with a clearance that ushers the ball away from Nketiah looking for a gap in the box.
27 min: Everton 0 Arsenal 0
McNeil on the left fields Iwobi, who streaks the ball across the goal mouth, but Martinelli pulls the ball up and looks to reverse fortunes.
Partey loiters 25 yards out, but McNeil forces a misplayed pass, and again breaks up Arsenal's spell on the ball. But his next ball, long and diagonal across the width of the pitch finds Saka high up on the right and Everton – Calvert-Lewin in particular – spring into action to force the visitors back.
25 min: Everton 0 Arsenal 0
Commentary picks up the faint bellowing of Dyche imploring his players to 'press'! and once again, Arsenal have their rhythm disrupted by a punchy Mykolenko, who wins Everton a throw.
Calvert-Lewin fires in a righthanded shot from outside the box that is thwarted by the angle, forcing Ramsdale into a save, and when he fires the ball upfield, Onana tries to chip him with a lofty shot, but to no avail.
23 min: Everton 0 Arsenal 0
Another corner now, after the ball is tipped by Saka behind the goal line as Everton go hunting again down the left.
Iwobi tries for the near post, and Iwobi can round the six-yard area to get a head to it, but his opportunity skirts wide.
21 min: Everton 0 Arsenal 0
Everton win the first corner of the match, and McNeil fields in a deep ball looking for Onana. He's a millimetre from it, but an Arsenal head gets there first, pushing it out for another, which Iwobi takes.
This one is promising, and Tarkowski, in the midst of a tussle, gets his head to it as Everton shriek frantically for handball. No interference, but another corner, which ends a promising spell for Everton.
More from Sam Dean
No surprises in the opening 15 minutes here, with Sean Dyche's Everton setting up in a 4-5-1 shape and hoping to play long balls to Dominic Calvert-Lewin whenever they can. They have had the best chance of the game so far, to be fair, but Arsenal are also enjoying a lot of possession in dangerous areas. Bukayo Saka, especially, is seeing far more of the ball than Dyche would like.
18 min: Everton 0 Arsenal 0
He does look extremely discomfitted, but Saka is back on his feet, and waits on the sidelines to rejoin the match.
16 min: Everton 0 Arsenal 0
Gueye's splayed fingers catch Saka sneaking behind him with the ball, and the Arsenal player goes down after the unfortunate eye-poke. On the sidelines, a second medic dithers as to whether to tend to him on the pitch, before running on after he stays down. It looks pretty unpleasant, and his eye does look slightly swollen.
14 min: Everton 0 Arsenal 0
Saka picks up an intelligent lofted ball on the right, as Arsenal sneak forward once again. But Everton look largely untroubled, for now, locking up quickly under threat.
Onana is bullied off the ball in the midst of his own half, but wins the advantage and Everton can surge forward. Doucoure heads the ball into the Arsenal box, but is quickly rebuffed back.
12 min: Everton 0 Arsenal 0
Partey picks up a promising box just north of the box and fires at Pickford, who makes the stop cleanly.
He then muddles the ball through a clogged midfield to find Xhaka, who looks to set up Martinelli on the left, but he funks his final touch and skitters the ball out of play.
10 min: Everton 0 Arsenal 0
An excellent chance for Everton is stymied by a quick-thinking Ramsdale after McNeil tiptoes through the Arsenal half to fire from just outside the box. His shot takes a deflection, but Ramsdale doesn't waste a moment knocking the ball out a second time when Calvert-Lewin looks to mop up the remains.
8 min: Everton 0 Arsenal 0
A plane flies over Goodison Park trailing a banner: 'League's worst run club'. A quick pan to the glaringly-empty directors' seats underscores things whilst we wait for play to restart.
6 min: Everton 0 Arsenal 0
Fire is what Everton fans will be seeking today, and there's a bullish quality to their team in these opening minutes as they look to interrupt Arsenal's supreme control. Martinelli is once again thwarted by Coleman, but the visitors are only pushed back for a corner.
But as they look to delve into the Everton box, play is quickly overturned, and Calvert-Lewin can streak up the field, seeking Iwobi. He finds him, and Everton can pressure Arsenal, but Saliba leaps to pull off a crucial header on the edge of the box. He clashes heads with Onana, the Everton player stays down.
4 min: Everton 0 Arsenal 0
Onana shuffles the ball sideways to Iwobi on the run, who plays through the box to Calvert-Lewin. He sends the ball back under pressure, but Everton can cling on to possession for a few moments, before Saka intervenes.
Martinelli rockets down the left, as he is wont to do, and reaches level with the corner flag, but Coleman bullies him off the ball for a convenient goal kick.
2 min: Everton 0 Arsenal 0
Arsenal begin their first foray into the Everton half, which is shut down by a rampaging Mykolenko, who tumbles Odegaard on the sidelines to loud approval from the home fans.
The Arsenal captain loses a boot.
Just ahead of kick-off...
Chris Bascombe reports:
Thunderous ovation for Sean Dyche. Rafa Benitez certainly never got that when he was unveiled!
An extremely late first meeting
Despite taking place in the latter half of the season, this afternoon marks the first time that Everton are due to face Arteta's volcanic Arsenal side, after their planned meeting at the Emirates was postponed following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
In advance of his first match in charge, Dyche outlined that his aim for the club referenced reigniting the fire of the 1980s and the title-winning glory days of Howard Kendall.
“A team that embraces the past and understands it, while building the future,” said Dyche.
“I remember the mid-80s team really clearly. But they weren’t just [good] players – they had fight and they had a teamship that you could feel through a TV screen. Unsung heroes became heroes. Some unfashionable types suddenly became these brilliant footballers. You’ve got to embrace that feel. The fans played their part in that by glueing it all together.
"I haven’t forgotten that but of course we need a future version of it. I thought, ‘Can I play my part in giving some of that to it?’ I think I can. On top of that you want ability, and of course the game has changed, but the great feel to that time at the club we’ve got to embrace while building the future. Don’t forget the values of the club. I’m not saying it has been forgotten. The fire is still there, we’ve just got to ignite it.”
A day of protests
The fans have shared with BT Sport that their intentions for protesting against the board involve a peaceful protest outside the ground before kick-off, and a sit-in afterwards, with full support of Sean Dyche and his players during the match.
🎥 | Everton fans outside Goodison Park, right now. pic.twitter.com/6D0WA19mTV
— A View From The Bullens (@thebullensview) February 4, 2023
So too is Sam Dean
No surprises in the Arsenal starting lineup today - this has been Mikel Arteta's first-choice XI all season and that isn't going to change now. What is interesting, though, is the different feel to their bench. With Leandro Trossard and Jorginho now in the building, Arteta can change the structure and the style of his team. Arsenal have more dimensions now, if they need them.
Chris Bascombe is at Goodison Park
A new era dawns at Everton under Sean Dyche, but the fans' disillusionment with the club's board remains. Around 1000 fans staged a slow protest march towards Goodison Park. Everton's directors will again be absent with the club's safety advice unchanged given tensions on a matchday.
With regards Dyche's first team sheet, the inclusion of Dwight McNeil over Demarai Gray suggests the order will be to feed Dominic Calvert-Lewin with plenty of crosses. Abdoulaye Doucoure is also back having been out-of-favour under Frank Lampard.
Sean Dyche may become the most important manager in Everton history
We talk plenty about "the perfect fit" in football, some managers being stylistically suited to certain clubs.
The more aspirational Everton fans still hoping that Farhad Moshiri will somehow entice Diego Simeone, or even go back to Bielsa, might disagree, but there is something about Dyche standing on the touchline at Goodison Park which seems entirely correct given the club’s current plight.
Chris Bascombe investigates the impact that Dyche's appointment could have on a seismic season for the Merseyside club.
Read more here.
Should one change beget another?
Outside the ground, Everton fan protests are out in full force, following a sit-in protest after their last home match against Southampton.
Whilst their was unavoidable discontent at a failure in form under Frank Lampard, the majority of the fans' ire has been focused on the club board, and the appointment of Sean Dyche, it seems, has done nothing to mollify that.
Team news in full
Everton: Jordan Pickford (GK), Seamus Coleman (c), Conor Coady, James Tarkowski, Vitaly Mykolenko, Alex Iwobi, Idrissa Gueye, Amadou Onana, Dwight McNeil, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Dominc Calvert-Lewin
Substitutes: Begovic, Mina, Holgate, Godfrey, Davies, Vinagre, Maupay, Simms, Gray
Arsenal: Aaron Ramsdal (GK), Oleksandr Zinchenko, Gabriel, William Saliba, Benjamin White, Granit Xhaka, Thomas Partey, Martin Odegaard (c), Gabriel Martinelli, Edward Nketiah, Bukayo Saka
Substitutes: Turner, Tomiyasu, Holding, Tierney, Vieira, Kiwior, Jorginho, Cozier-Duberry, Trossard
Arsenal's new recruits Jakub Kiwior and West London-transplant Jorginho start on the bench as Arsenal field an unchanged XI from the team that stared down Manchester United and won. Partey, who was a doubt, appears fit and ready for action.
Everton make minimal changes too, with Ben Godfrey starting on the bench as he recovers from a knee injury. He and Demarai Gray are replaced by McNeil and Doucoure.
🔴 𝗧𝗘𝗔𝗠𝙉𝙀𝙒𝙎 ⚪️
🧱 Saliba at the back
🪄 Odegaard in midfield
🖊 Martinelli on the wing
Let’s do this - together! ✊ pic.twitter.com/ATV1rmMVjt
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) February 4, 2023
Telegraph Sport's Sam Dean is off to Liverpool
On the way to Goodison Park. Nice pre-match stat from Opta: Arsenal have won 99 of their 202 league games against Everton, and could become the first team in English league history to register 100 wins against one opponent.
— Sam Dean (@SamJDean) February 4, 2023
Arteta calls Dyche 'the right character' for Everton's circumstances
Hello and welcome to Telegraph Sport's live coverage of Everton versus Arsenal, with kick-off at Goodison Park at 12.30pm.
As January turned to February, you might forgive Everton fans from experiencing mixed emotions: on the one hand, the appointment of Sean Dyche following Frank Lampard's ignominious exit should be cause for celebration, as the beleaguered club looks to inject some much needed pragmatism to complete the nigh-on impossible task of staying in the Premier League next season. On the other, it's one month longer that the club limps on without a win, now five in total since the now scarcely-imaginable 3-0 home victory over Crystal Palace in late October.
Dyche has stepped into the least comfortable job in the league, the fans' roiling discontent at their club hierarchy unabated by the change in the management, and has the unenviable task of facing the league leaders. Arsenal, having handily managed to hold on to their five-point cushion at the top after some last-gasp brilliance against Manchester United this weekend, will find little to fear on the road.
But Dyche will seek to have his impact felt beyond this afternoon's fixture, as he looks to provide a root-and-branch overhaul of Everton's season. As per Telegraph Sport's Chris Bascombe, on his first day as manager, he set up a questionnaire for his squad to answer, asking them to detail their thoughts as to how and why things stand as they are.
“I just wanted their honest feedback,” Dyche said. “There were only two out of the whole group who didn’t respond.”
In his press conference ahead of today's match, Arteta said that he thought that in hiring Dyche, Everton have 'tried to accommodate the right character for the circumstance the club is in.
"With the limited resources [Burnley] had, they got incredible results very consistently in this very tough league. I like the character a lot, the presence, and the clarity he brings to his team.
"Hopefully after tomorrow, he will be a great fit for Everton."