Arsenal blew the chance to move eight points clear at the top of the Premier League as Everton got the Sean Dyche era off to a flyer with a 1-0 victory at Goodison Park.
The Blues showed real intensity and organisation throughout the contest and deservedly secured just a fourth win of the league campaign through James Tarkowski’s header on the hour.
The hosts belied their lowly position right from the off with Dominic Calvert-Lewin twice going close in a high-tempo first half.
Arsenal struggled to find the silky rhythm that has been a feature of their style this season, but the visitors did have their moments as Eddie Nketiah and Bukayo Saka threatened.
Everton continued to look the more likely throughout the second half and deservedly took the lead on 60 minutes.
It was a goal made in Burnley as Dyche’s former players Dwight McNeil and Tarkowski combined, with the latter heading home a right-wing corner.
Arsenal had earlier wasted a gilt-edged chance when Martin Odegaard blazed over and they almost rescued a draw but substitute Leandro Trossard could not find a way past Jordan Pickford.
The result means Arsenal remain five points clear of second-placed Manchester City, having played 20 games apiece. Pep Guardiola’s champions can cut the gap to just two points on Sunday if they win at Tottenham.
The victory sees Everton end a run of four home league defeats in a row and moves them up to 17th spot ahead of the rest of the weekend’s action.
Next up for the Toffees, it’s the small matter of a Merseyside derby at Anfield on Monday February 13. Arsenal host Brentford next Saturday.