Carlo Ancelotti says Everton’s 1-0 win over Arsenal was just what they needed as they dragged themselves back into contention for a top four finish.
The Toffees claimed all three points at the Emirates thanks to Bernd Leno’s own goal. They stay seventh in the table, but have moved within three points of the top four. With six games left to play, a strong end to the season could see them qualify for the Champions League.
That had been looking unlikely after a poor run of results recently. The Merseyside club had gone six games without a win heading into Friday night’s fixture.
But they put an end to that frustrating form with their first win at Arsenal since 1996. And Ancelotti underlined the significance of the victory in his post-match interview with Sky Sports.
“Good result, important result because we are still attached to the top of the table,” he said.
“This is what we needed. I said before this game to keep fighting. The team played a good game, we had difficulties in the game but we tried to play all the time.
“We had some good opportunities. Defensively we were good. So I am satisfied for the performance.
“It was important. After five games without a victory it was important against a strong team. So we’ll keep fighting and I always said the race will be decided in the last game. I still think that will be so.”
Result was not fair, admits Ancelotti
Despite being pleased with the win, Ancelotti does not believe his team actually deserved to come out on top.
When Everton hit the front, it came at a time when Arsenal had been building pressure. In fact, the Toffees had offered little threat in the second half at all.
Asked if he felt his team were worthy of the three points, the Italian confessed: “Honestly, it was a draw.
“Arsenal had more control of the ball, we were good defensively but in the first half we were not so clinical in possession. Honestly it was a draw, but this can happen.”
But having dropped points from winning positions in their last two games, Ancelotti joked the success at Arsenal has levelled things out.
“The last game we played against Tottenham we could deserve to win. Against Crystal Palace we could deserve to win. I think we got the points that we lost against Palace and Tottenham.”