Williams winner hands Arsenal rare defeat

Ashley Williams' 86th-minute header ensured all three points as Everton ran out 2-1 winners at Goodison Park against Arsenal. The Gunners, who haven't lost since the opening day against Liverpool, needed the win to keep pressure on Chelsea in the Premier League table.

Everton's Ashley Williams wheels away in celebration after his late header gave the home side a 2-1 win over Arsenal, at Goodison Park..   -  Getty Images

Ashley Williams proved to be the unlikely hero for 10-man Everton as it handed Arsenal its second Premier League defeat of the season by securing a dramatic 2-1 victory at Goodison Park on Tuesday.

Defender Williams headed home Ross Barkley's corner in the 86th minute to clinch just a second league victory in the last 11 outings for Ronald Koeman's side.

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Alexis Sanchez's 12th league goal of the season had given the visitors a 20th-minute lead, though his free-kick needed a deflection off the unfortunate Williams to find the net.

Yet any ideas Arsene Wenger's men had of taking over from Chelsea at the top of the league disappeared when it conceded late on in each half to lose on its travels for the first time since March.

> Read: 'Aggressive' Everton delight Koeman after rallying to stun Arsenal

Everton levelled just prior to the interval when full-backs Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman conjured up an equaliser, the former's right-footed cross setting up the latter to head home from close range.

Williams then popped up with a winner, although that was not the end of the drama. Phil Jagielka saw red in injury time after picking up a second booking, as the host just about held firm in a frantic finish.

Barkley, in as one of four changes from the defeat at Watford, was involved in the opening goal too, surrendering possession to trigger an Arsenal counter-attack that was emphatically halted by Jagielka's lunge on Francis Coquelin that saw the defender pick up his first yellow card.

> Read: Wenger bemoans referee error in Arsenal defeat

Sanchez capitalised on the set-piece opportunity, his low strike from the edge of the area clipped off Williams' standing leg and beyond wrong-footed goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg.

But, after a tepid start, Everton eventually warmed to its task.

Romelu Lukaku and Aaron Lennon both wasted opportunities to test Petr Cech by blasting wide before Coleman scored a deserved equaliser a minute before the break.

Having gambled on running into the penalty area from his usual position on the flank, Coleman was picked out by an inviting centre from Baines to nod his side level.

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Arsenal wasted a glorious chance to retake the lead in the opening minutes of the second half when Mesut Ozil lifted his shot over after meeting Sanchez's low cross from the left.

The German looked set to have another opportunity as Hector Bellerin's pass put him through on goal, only for Stekelenburg to rush from his line and smother the danger.

At the other end, Cech was relieved to see Barkley drag a low, left-footed drive just wide of the target.

Wenger summoned Alex Iwobi and Olivier Giroud from the bench in an attempt to find a winning goal in the final 20 minutes, yet it was Williams who had the final say with his first Everton goal.

The Wales international rose high to powerfully head home, then showed strength in his own penalty area to defy Arsenal during an injury-time goalmouth scramble after Jagileka had been dismissed by referee Mark Clattenburg.

 

Key Opta Stats

- Everton has won the most points from losing positions in the Premier League this season (11).
- Arsenal has lost on a Tuesday in the Premier League for the first time since February 2006 v Liverpool.
- Ashley Williams netted his first Premier League goal for Everton in what was his 15th appearance.
- Williams' goal was the first that Arsenal have conceded from a corner in the Premier League this season.
- Alexis Sanchez has had a hand in 27 goals in his last 27 Premier League appearances for Arsenal (19 goals, 8 assists).

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