Two marginal offside calls could have dismayed many teams but Everton came back from that disappointment and a goal down to Arsenal to triumph 2-1 courtesy of two goals from Richarlison and a corker by Demarai Gray with just minutes left on the clock.
Everton entered Monday’s game without a win in their last eight EPL matches, managing just two points out of 24.
Their Football Director, Marcel Brands left his post on Monday just days after a video circulated with Brands confronting an Everton fan after the dismal 4-1 loss to Merseyside rivals, Liverpool.
Goodison Park was on edge and some fans had decided to stage a walkout in the 26th minute of the match so it was left to Benitez and his team to deliver.
A tepid opening quarter was soured when the returning Yery Mina went off injured after 31 minutes to be replaced by Mason Holgate.
And the Everton fans thought they had the lead on 44 minutes when Richarlison headed in but he was denied by millimetres on VAR review.
Two minutes later, Arsenal went galloping down the left and a teasing cross from Kieran Tierney was guided past Jordan Pickford. A crushing blow to an ailing Everton team.
Benitez needed to pick his player up during the interval and they came back into the second half in a battling mood.
Again, Richarlison was denied by a toe in the 59th minute when he got on the end of a great pass from Abdoulaye Doucoure.
The thick VAR lines were not able to save Richarlison.
But the Brazilian kept putting himself in the positions to cause Arsenal harm and he finally got his due when he got on the end of a rebound in the 79th minute to head over Aaron Ramsdale.
The crowd was now ecstatic and bouncing.
Edward Nketiah wasted a great chance to put Arsenal back in the lead when he headed against the post when he should have scored in the 84th minute.
Everton did not waste their second life as Gray blasted past Ramsdale in the second minute of six that was added on, and the roof literally went off Goodison Park.
The celebration was raucous and the elation was visible. Arsenal still had a chance to snatch a point in the last second but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang dragged his effort wide.
Everton are up to 12th position with 18 points from 15 while Arsenal stay seventh with 23 points.
Everton travel to London to face Crystal Palace on Sunday while Arsenal are home to Southampton
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...