Arsenal dug deep to secure a narrow but well-deserved win over struggling Everton at Goodison Park.
The Gunners – who replaced England goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale with David Raya – have suffered away at Everton in recent years, losing on four of their past five visits.
But the Toffees, still without a Premier League win this season, were desperately short of quality and Arsenal substitute Leandro Trossard broke the deadlock with a classy side-foot finish after 69 minutes.
Arsenal had Gabriel Martinelli’s sweeping first-half finish narrowly ruled out for offside against Eddie Nketiah in the build up, but the home side could not hold out in the second period as Trossard finished off some patient Gunners probing around the box.
Manager Mikel Arteta was clearly elated as his side maintained their unbeaten start to the season and moved back to within two points of leaders Manchester City.
The home side, meanwhile, look destined for a season of relegation struggle and were a far cry from the side who overpowered Arsenal in manager Sean Dyche’s first game in charge in February.
Arsenal joy as Goodison hoodoo ends
Arteta’s beaming smile in front of the visiting fans after the final whistle said it all.
The Spaniard was celebrating a vital victory at a venue where he was adored as a player but where he has endured painful experiences as a coach.
The Gunners have cracked in the past in the hothouse atmosphere of Goodison Park, notably last season when they suffered a damaging defeat on Dyche’s introduction as Everton boss.
There were no such problems here as they controlled matters against a desperately poor Everton side who gave Raya the most comfortable of games on his Premier League debut for the club.
The new signing from Brentford looking at ease with ball at his feet and was able to indulge in some pretty tame catching practice from a succession of aimless Everton crosses.
The early departure of Martinelli, who went off with a hamstring injury moments after seeing his goal ruled out for offside, was a blow but Trossard made his mark with a clever side-foot finish following neat build-up from Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka.
Arsenal may have approached the game with a degree of trepidation given past results here, but this was a test they passed comfortably.
“It was a long time without a win here,” Arteta said.
“We played a great game, we didn’t give anything away. We dominated the game and created numerous chances. The score should probably have been bigger.
“I really enjoyed this. Against Manchester United, I saw my face after and it was a bit of relief. This was enjoyment.”