Mason Holgate called on Everton to bring consistency to their game to reach their European target after Carlo Ancelotti’s side breathed fresh life into their top-six bid with a “massive” 1-0 victory at Arsenal.
An own goal from Gunners keeper Bernd Leno – following Richarlison’s darting run into the area – 14 minutes from time moved the Blues to within three points of fourth-placed Chelsea.
The victory was Everton’s first away to Arsenal since January 1996, their first double over the Londoners since 1985/86, and meant Ancelotti’s men have now won 10 times on the road in the league this season, the best Club run since the title-winning campaign of 1986/87.
Having been the better side in recent homes games against Crystal Palace and Spurs, only to secure a point both times, Holgate felt Everton deserved a slice of fortune that came from their winner at the Emirates.
Playing centre-back alongside Ben Godfrey, the 24-year-old spoke of the importance of the victory but, after dropped points in matches they were fancied to triumph in all too often in 2020/21, Holgate believes consistency is a must for their remaining six matches.
He said: “It’s brilliant. The last few weeks we’ve been hit and miss with the performances and not had the results, and sometimes we’ve not performed so to see it all come together, dig deep as a team and get the result is massive, especially a difficult place to come like the Emirates. To get the three points is massive to where we want to be at the end of the season.
“They are one of the teams who want the same thing as we do so to beat them, take three points away from home is massive and goes towards our goal – but we’ve got to pick these up consistently.
“Over the course of the season, we’ve performed in games like this and then games that we should be winning we’ve not been getting the three points so it’s about consistently keeping this form going and keeping the results going.”
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ANCELOTTI ON VITAL ARSENAL VICTORY
Arsenal were awarded a penalty shortly after half-time when Dani Ceballos went down under a challenge from Richarlison, only for VAR to overturn the decision after Nicolas Pepe was adjudged to be offside in the build-up.
The Blues made the most of that 15 minutes from time as Allan’s lofted pass to Richarlison saw his compatriot spin Granit Xhaka, move into the area and drill a low cross that Leno spilled into his own net.
“It’s the best-looking goal I’ve ever seen!”, added Holgate. “It wasn’t the prettiest performance but, coming away to a team that loves to play football, it’s all about fighting, digging deep and then showing our quality when we’ve got the ball.
“We did without looking a major threat but there’s been games where we’ve had lots of chances and couldn’t score.
“The consistency has got to be there now. We’ve turned up in big games all season but it’s the games where they might not feel so big where we’ve not gone on to take the three points and there’s no one else to blame but us. We’ve got to work on that side of our game and see the season off properly.”