Ashley Williams again the thorn in Arsenal’s side as he heads-in winner

Arsenal were beaten for the first time in the Premier League since August by Everton at Goodison Park tonight.

The Gunners were beaten 2-1 by the Toffees, with the home side scoring through Seamus Coleman (44) and Ashley Williams (86).

It ended a 14-game unbeaten run in the Premier League for the Gunners.

Arsenal had taken a first half lead through Alexis Sanchez (20).

The two goals that Arsenal conceded were both from crosses, with Shkodran Mustafi’s presence sorely missed at the heart of the defence.

Arsenal have now failed to keep a clean sheet in 11 successive games.

The result keeps Arsenal in second place in the Premier League table, three points behind leaders Chelsea.

The Blues though can stretch their lead to six points with a win at the Stadium of Light against Sunderland tomorrow night.

The Gunners only two Premier League of the defeats this season have both been against the Merseyside clubs. Liverpool winning 4-3 at the Emirates on the opening weekend of the season in August.

The win moves Everton up to seventh place in the Premier League table, four points behind fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur.

Arsenal made the brighter start, with Mesut Ozil firing high over the bar in the 8th minute after neat build-up play.

Everton were looking without too much success to bring their twin strikers Romelu Lukaku and Enner Valencia into the match. The Toffees did force a couple of early corners, but these came to nothing.

The Gunners took the lead in the 20th minute through Alexis Sanchez.

Phil Jagielka gave away a free-kick Arsenal on the edge of the Everton penalty area.  It was a rash challenge and he was booked.

Sanchez took the free kick, which was deflected past Maarten Stekelenburg into the net by Ashley Williams.

The goal put Sanchez  joint top of the Premier League scoring charts with Chelsea’s Diego Costa.

It also meant the Chilean had scored or assisted 27 goals in his last 27 league games (19 goals, 8 assists).

Everton though kept pressing for an equaliser without creating a clear opening.

Just when it seemed the Gunners would take a lead into the half-time break, the Toffees equalised through Seamus Coleman in the 44th minute.

Leighton Baines sent in a cross from the left, and his full-back partner rose to the ball into the net past Petr Cech.

Arsenal started the second-half on the front foot. Sanchez set up a chance for Ozil, but the German again put the ball over the bar.

At the other end, Ross Barkley had an opportunity from a free-kick in a central position just outside Arsenal’s penalty area. But his shot was blocked by the Gunners’ defensive wall.

Everton continued to look a threat, with Barkley and Lukaku combining – with the Belgian putting his shot wide of the post.

Lukaku then had a shot blocked by a defender, with Coleman’s follow-up also blocked.

Arsenal made a double substitution bringing on Olivier Giroud and Alex Iwobi for Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Camberlain.

Iwobi went close to giving Arsenal the lead, but after being set up by Sanchez he sent his shot wide.

The decisive moment of the match came in the 86th minute. Williams rose above the Arsenal defence to head his first goal for Everton at the right end from Ross Barkley’s corner. Williams also scored the winner for his previous club Swansea in a 2-1 win at the Emirates Stadium last season.

In a frantic finish, Phil Jagielka was shown a second yellow card for bringing down substitute Lucas Perez.

From the resultant free-kick, Everton defenders cleared two shots off the line from Nacho Monreal and Iwobi. Sanchez went down looking for a penalty, and Everton went up the pitch to nearly score again with Petr Cech leaving his goal unguarded playing as a striker.

So Arsenal missed the chance to go top of the Premier League (for 24 hours at least), as Everton came from behind to secure a first victory since October.

Ronald Koeman also continued his excellent recent record in matches against Arsene Wenger.

Arsenal next head for another match in the North West against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Arsenal: Cech 6, Bellerin 6, Gabriel 6, Koscielny 6, Monreal 6, Coquelin 8 (Perez), Xhaka 6, Walcott 5 (Giroud), Ozil 5, Oxlade-Chamberlain 5 (Iwobi), Sanchez 7

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