LIVERPOOL, Sporting Alert – Ashley Williams contributed to his team going behind in the first half and then made up at the other end with a late winner and Everton beat Arsenal 2-1 in the Premier League at Goodison Park on Tuesday.
The centre-back deflected home a free-kick from Alexis Sanchez in the 20th minute to give Arsenal a 1-0 lead but Seamus Coleman grabbed a priceless equaliser for Everton before the halftime break.
Williams then sealed the win for the home side with two minutes remaining in regulation as Arsenal missed the chance to go top of the English Premier League table standings.
Arsenal started out the brighter of the two teams but blew several chances to open the scoring.
However, the Gunners grabbed the lead when Sanchez’s low free-kick effort took a deflection off Williams and went past Maarten Stekelenburg, who was already going the wrong way.
Stekelenburg managed to get a hand to the ball but he couldn’t keep it out his net.
With one minute left in the first half, Everton grabbed an equaliser when Leighton Baines delivered a brilliant right-footed cross to pick out an unmarked Coleman and headed into the far corner from six yards out.
Williams then secured the win for Everton in the 88th minute when he headed home a Ross Barkley corner kick to send manager Ronald Koeman into early celebrations.
“We came back with great character,” Koeman said. “If you show that aggression and commitment it is difficult to beat Everton at Goodison Park.
“I hope the players will learn how we started and what we did after 20 minutes. That is what we need to show.
“It is always possible to lose games against teams like Arsenal but not in the way we started.
“I hope we realise how strong we can be if we play like this.”
The home side, which ended the 14-game undefeated run of Arsenal, was winning for just the second time in 11 games.
Leading centre-back and captain Phil Jagielka was sent off in stoppage after picking up his second yellow card and will miss the Merseyside derby.
Arsenal came close to grabbing an equaliser but a crazy double goalline clearance protected the three points for Koeman’s side.
Gunners manager Arsene Wenger blamed referee Mark Clattenburg for his team’s defeat.
“Of course, it was no corner. You can see it was no corner,” he said after his team failed to put extra pressure on Chelsea before they kick-off on Wednesday.
“I am really disappointed in Mr Clattenburg. He is in a really good position to see it and it is not the first time we are really unlucky with his decisions.
“The referee made his decision but that does not explain why we did not head the ball.
“We have to look at ourselves. We started well and after that lost a bit of urgency.
“We were a bit too comfortable and Everton made it very physical.
“I believe they disturbed our game and we created less. In the end unfortunately we didn’t take our chance or two.
“They played a cup game tonight. That is a big difference from what I saw recently from them.
“I don’t think they can repeat that in every game.”