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James Tarkowski opened his Everton scoring count at the perfect time, rising about the Arsenal defence to deliver the killer header which sealed their 1-0 win on Saturday afternoon.
It was the first match for new boss Sean Dyche, jettisoned into the dugout to replace Frank Lampard, and the three points lifted the Toffees out of the bottom three for the time being.
Meanwhile, Arsenal missed out on the chance to move further clear at the top of the Premier League table, and could have their lead reduced to just two points before the end of the weekend.
With a total change in fortunes, as the team fighting relegation did enough to see off the season’s best side so far, it was a huge opportunity for players on both side.
Here is Sportsmail’s RICHARD TANNER with his player ratings from Everton 1-0 Arsenal:
James Tarkowski scored his first goal in Everton colours, dispatching a second half header
Jordan Pickford 7
Credit to the men in front of him, he didn’t have a lot to do but his handling was excellent and his long clearance kicks helped keep Arsenal on the back foot.
Seamus Coleman 7
Playing for his ninth Everton manager and used all his experience to produce his usual solid show. Fine cross set up chance for Calvert-Lewin in first half added time.
Conor Coady 7
Highly-vocal as always to keep Everton organised and in shape and made vital clearance off line from Saka shot in first half.
James Tarkowski 8
Everton’s Vitali Mykolenko was able to keep Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka relatively muted in play
What a time to score his first Everton goal and his headed goal crowned a fine defensive performance.
Vitali Mykolenko 6
Considered something of the weak link in Everton’s defence but with Iwobi’s help did well to keep Saka relatively quiet.
Abdoulaye Doucoure 7
Recalled after falling out with Frank Lampard and added energy and aggression to the midfield department, although missed a great first half headed chance.
Amadou Onana 7
Hard-working midfield display who was happy to put in the hard midfield yards to help frustrate Arsenal.
Idrissa Gueye 7
Had his best game since returning from PSG, answering Dyche’s demands for hard graft in the engine room.
Dwight McNeil was influential in the win, supplying the corner which Tarkowski headed home
Dwight McNeil 7
Arguably his best game since joining Everton, he helped Coleman deal with Martinelli threat and supplied the corner for Tarkowski’s winner.
Alex Iwobi 7
Like McNeil on the right flank, helped Mykolenko keep Saka quiet and made some penetrating runs to worry his former club.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin 7
Couldn’t convert three first half chances but put in a hard-working shift as the lone striker to keep Arsenal’s defence occupied.
Neal Maupay (for Calvert-Lewin 62, 5)
Unused subs: Asmir Begovic, Mason Holgate, Demarai Gray, Yerry Mina, Ben Godfrey, Tom Davies, Ruben Vinagre, Ellis Simms.
Booked: Mykolenko, Onana.
Goal: Tarkowski 60.
Aaron Ramsdale made some good first-half saves, but could not prevent the winning goal
Aaron Ramsdale 7
Made a couple of first half saves from Calvert-Lewin but could do nothing about Tarkowski’s powerful header.
Ben White 6
Had his work cut out keeping Iwobi quiet but produced his usual solid defensive job.
William Saliba 6
Didn’t always look comfortable under Everton’s aerial bombardment.
Gabriel Magalhaes 6
Had a running battle with Calvert-Lewin who gave him an uncomfortable time.
Brazilian defender Gabriel Magalhaes was given a tough time by striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin
Oleksandr Zinchenko 6
Tried to get Arsenal’s passing game going but found spaces hard to find against such compact opponents.
Thomas Partey 5
Had tough time against Everton’s aggressive midfield tactics and came off injured early in second half.
Martin Odegaard 5
Denied the time and space to make his usual creative impact and fired a fine chance over the bar.
Martin Odegaard was not allowed to play his regular game, and blasted over a fine opportunity
Granit Xhaka 5
Like his midfield partners, he had a tough afternoon.
Bukayo Saka 5
Like team-mates found space at a premium. Came closest to scoring when his shot was cleared off the line.
Eddie Nketiah 5
Got little joy out of Everton’s solid back four but was off target with solitary first half chance.
Gabriel Martinelli 5
Produced one of his most ineffective displays the day after signing a new contract and replaced early in second half.
Gabriel Martinelli signed a contract extension at Arsenal, but followed it by being ineffective
Leandro Townsend (for Martinelli 60, 5)
Joringho (for Partey 60, 5)
Fabio Vieira (for Odegaard 77, 5)
Takehiro Tomiyasy (for White 84, 5)
Unused subs: Matt Turner, Kieran Tierney, Jakub Kiwior, Rob Holding, Amario Cozier-Duberry.
Referee: David Coote 7.