New Everton manager Sean Dyche enjoyed a dream start as a much-improved side deservedly edged out Premier League leaders Arsenal at a raucous Goodison Park.
Dyche was appointed as boss last Monday following the departure of Frank Lampard, who was sacked with Everton in the relegation zone.
But the hosts picked up their first victory in 11 games in all competitions courtesy of a link-up between two men who played for Dyche at Burnley.
Centre-half James Tarkowski rose at the far post to power home a header from Dwight McNeil’s corner to spark the sort of joyous scenes that have been witnessed rarely at Goodison this term.
Everton had enjoyed much the better chances in the opening period too, but striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin could not convert from the excellent Amadou Onana’s low cross and also flicked a header wide.
Arsenal were outfought for large periods and failed to find any rhythm, although January signing Leandro Trossard forcing Jordan Pickford into a sharp save late on.
The Gunners were unable to find the leveller and will see their lead at the top cut to two points if champions Manchester City beat Tottenham on Sunday.