Arsenal’s hopes of a top-four finish in the Premier League were dented on Sunday as Everton captain Phil Jagielka took advantage of an unexpected late recall to score the winner in a dominant 1-0 victory at Goodison Park.
The veteran defender, who was brought into the team for a rare appearance after Michael Keane had to withdraw in the warm-up through illness, scored after 10 minutes to earn his side a well-deserved third straight league win.
It marked a significant setback for disappointing Arsenal, who remain fourth in the table but missed an opportunity to leap ahead of their third-placed north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
Unai Emery’s side stay on 63 points, one behind Spurs, level with fifth-placed Chelsea and two clear of Manchester United in an increasingly tight battle for the Champions League berths.
Arsenal, who have conceded at least one goal in every league away match this season, came closest with one curling second-half effort from Henrikh Mkhitaryan but were outplayed and outfought by Silva’s team.
They had only two attempts on target in the whole match and, with Mesut Ozil failing to offer much inspiration as captain for the day, endured one of their more frustrating lackluster away days.