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African All Stars

Iwobi’s Everton secure comeback win against Arsenal

11:03 EAT 07/12/2021
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The Nigeria international made a second half appearance as the Toffees ended their eight-game run without victory

Alex Iwobi made a cameo appearance as Everton bounced back from a goal deficit to defeat Arsenal 2-1 in Monday’s Premier League match.

The Nigeria international did not make Rafael Benitez’s starting XI as the Spanish tactician preferred Anthony Gordon, Allan, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Demarai Gray in a four-man midfield against the Gunners.

In the 44th minute of the keenly contested encounter, Brazilian forward Richarlison thought he had given the hosts the lead after heading Andros Townsend’s free-kick past goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

However, VAR came to the rescue as the goal was chalked off as the South American star was adjudged to have been in an offside position.

Before the first half was brought to a halt, Martin Odegaard’s calm side-footed volley gave the North London giants a slim lead into the half-time break.

Two minutes before the hour mark, Richarlison’s goal was chalked off for offside. Doucoure teed up the forward, and he made no mistake in firing the ball past Ramsdale, Notwithstanding, it was cancelled following the intervention of VAR.

Eleven minutes before full-time, Richarlison’s third strike stood as he headed into the empty net after the Gunners’ goalkeeper was beaten by Gray’s curling strike that kissed the crossbar.

In the closing minutes of the tension-soaked affair, Gray had the final say with a screamer from 20-yards that cracked the right post before sailing into the net.

While Nuno Tavares replaced Kieran Tierney in the 65th minute, Ghana prospect Edward Nketiah replaced Gabriel Martinelli six minutes later as Alexandre Lacazette was subbed off for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with five minutes left on the clock.

Whereas, Cote d’Ivoire international Nicolas Pepe was an unused substitute.

Addressing the media after the thriller, Benitez attributed Everton’s triumph to the powerful synergy between Evertonians and players.

"I think today was, as I was saying from the beginning, fans, players, all together - we are stronger," said Benitez.

"You could see today the spirit. Even the decisions - good or bad - against us, the reaction of the team was amazing and the fans were right behind them.

"Everything was perfect in the way it happened - the team showed character in adversity and everybody was really delighted at the end.”