Everton secured a huge win on Monday evening as they beat Arsenal with a last gasp winner, a beauty in fact, from Demarai Gray. The relief inside Goodison Park was immeasurable for this famous club. Here is a team that had failed to win a game in the Premier League in over two months, a team who were not putting in the performances and a team who had just been hammered at home by their eternal rivals Liverpool. All of a sudden the finger was being pointed at manager Rafa Benitez a nice guy but one who was of course on the other side of the city and more famous for being so. Is he a red, is he a blue? Even worse is he a red in disguise as a blue? Or can we just let history, be history and accept the fact that Benitez who hails from Spain loves the city of Liverpool where his family are based and wants to do the very best job at Everton.
In the end it was the director of football Marcel Brands who was sent packing albeit with 28 months remaining on his contract. When a fan had asked Brands who was in charge of bringing in players and what was going on, he replied in not so many words that he wasn't the only one responsible. Suddenly Everton were in a crisis and it wasn't just on the pitch. There was also a staged protest as next year it will be 27 years since the club have won a trophy, so in the 27th minute a walk out was planned. Hardly any fans left and perhaps it was ironic that the player who won the game, Gray, wasn't even born when the Toffees won their last trophy. So this victory over Arsenal felt like 9 points and not three. It was also though what Everton had to go through that made the victory that much sweeter. Richarlison having two goals denied by VAR (the second of which looked incredibly close) and Arsenal going ahead could have, on another day, been a killer blow. But Everton dug deep and the team didn't let anything faze them. Lest we forget Arsenal over the years have a strong record against Everton but this performance put every fan in the ground in a great mood. Everyone associated with the club will hope that this is a turning point in the clubs season.
A few weeks ago West Ham handed Liverpool their first defeat of the season and this past weekend the Hammers gave Chelsea their first away defeat of the campaign. Especially at home David Moyes side must be feared now with some fantastic wins and they are in 4th place with 27 points. Though it still looks evident that the Premier League title race is down to 3 teams in Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool. The champions moved into 1st place after Chelsea's loss as Pep Guardiola's side brushed past Watford 3-1.
Ralf Rangnick won his first game in charge of Manchester United. Though there was no goal fest and no show from Cristiano Ronaldo as United beat Crystal Palace at home just by a single goal. The unlikely hero was Fred, but Rangnick will not mind too much and this game was always going to be about the 3 points.
Finally Newcastle won a game as they edged past Burnley 1-0, the relief at St James' Park was akin to Everton's glory. Is there light at the end of the tunnel for the Magpies who have in fact lost just once now in their last five games.
Premier League Title Winners: Manchester City 1.62, Liverpool 3.75, Chelsea 6.00, Manchester United 101.00, Tottenham 151.00