Everton struck twice in the final 11 minutes to end an eight-game winless run with a 2-1 victory over Arsenal that lifts the pressure on manager Rafael Benitez.
Everton were lucky not to go down to 10 men midway through a tepid first half when Ben Godfrey’s stamp on to the face of Takehiro Tomiyasu went unpunished by VAR.
Richarlison brought the game to life when his header found the far corner from Andros Townsend’s free kick, but had just strayed offside.
Moments later, Arsenal had a half-time lead rather than a deficit as Kieran Tierney’s cross perfectly picked out Odegaard to steer into the bottom corner.
There was no sense of Everton’s players giving up on their manager after the break as they came flying out the traps and thought they had levelled, when Richarlison smashed home at the near post from Abdoulaye Doucoure’s pass.
However, again he was denied by VAR for the finest of margins.
It was third time lucky for the Brazilian 11 minutes from time as he sent a looping header over Aaron Ramsdale after Gray’s shot rattled the Arsenal crossbar.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta had dropped Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from his starting lineup and did not even introduce the club captain with his first change to his forward line as Eddie Nketiah replaced Gabriel Martinelli.
That decision came back to haunt the former Everton midfielder as Nketiah headed on to the post with the goal gaping six minutes from time.
Two minutes into stoppage time, Gray produced the moment of quality that could turn his side’s season as he charged towards goal and unleashed an unstoppable drive in off the post.
There was still time for Aubameyang to salvage a point, but his wayward finish with just Jordan Pickford to beat with the last kick of the game showed why Arteta felt he could not trust the Gabon international from the start.
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