Arsenal moved fourth in the Premier League table and made it two away wins out of two this season as Leandro Trossard’s second-half strike unlocked resolute Everton at Goodison Park.
Substitute Trossard produced a classy finish from Bukayo Saka’s perceptive 69th-minute cutback to give Arsenal the breakthrough they had struggled to make despite dominating large parts of an uninspired game.
Everton seemed content to hold out for a point which would have moved them out of the relegation zone, and they they were handed an early reprieve when Gabriel Martinelli’s composed 21st-minute finish was ruled out because a VAR checked deemed Eddie Nketiah to have been offside in the build-up.
Toffees goalkeeper Jordan Pickford pushed Martin Odegaard’s fierce strike away shortly after the break, while David Raya – who replaced Aaron Ramsdale in goal for Arsenal in his first appearance since signing on loan from Brentford in August – had precious little to be concerned by.
Raya’s surprising inclusion made him the first goalkeeper to start for Arsenal other than Ramsdale since March 2022, when Bernd Leno played against Aston Villa.
Sean Dyche’s side failed to manage any possession inside Arsenal’s penalty area during the first 30 minutes, although Abdoulaye Doucoure unsuccessfully appealed for a penalty against William Saliba once they eventually entered the box.
Striker Beto made his home debut for his new side following his arrival from Udinese for a reported £30m in August, while Dominic Calvert-Lewin returned for the first time since 20 August by replacing the Portuguese during the second half.
Third-bottom Everton will seek their first win of the season when they visit 10th-placed Brentford in the late kick-off in the top flight on Saturday.
The Gunners will end a seven-year absence from the Champions League by hosting PSV Eindhoven in the group stage on Wednesday, before Tottenham arrive for the north London derby four days later.