Arsenal 0 Everton 1: Bernd Leno howler gifts Toffees the points amid angry Kroenke out fan protests at the Emirates

BERND LENO’S horror gaffe summed up the state of Arsenal right now.

A club at war between fans and owner, heading for their worst league finish since Blackburn won the title and capable of shooting themselves in the foot in ever more creative ways.

Back in December they lost at home to Burnley with a comical own goal courtesy of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s haircut.

But this was worse as Leno, kept on last summer while cup-winning goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez was sold, somehow deflected a routine Richarlison cross through his own legs and into the net.

The embarrassment ended an amazing night at the Emirates which began with thousands of fans protesting against Stan Kroenke outside the stadium.

This week’s failed European Super League breakaway sparked Gooners disgusted by their club’s role into that grotesque plot into action. 

But the anger towards Kroenke is the result of more than just their involvement in the most reviled proposal in recent football history.

It is a product of a decade of decline under the absent American’s stewardship, as Arsenal have regressed from one of Europe’s elite to a mediocre member of the Premier League.

Just like at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday for Chelsea’s stalemate with Brighton, the game was overshadowed by the protests outside the stadium.

That night the raging Blues supporters seemed to be speaking for all football fans in their opposition to the proposed European Super League breakaway.


Yet last night, with that shameful plot now foiled, this was much more of an individual club issue as fuming fans called for Silent Stan to sell up.

Even Gunners legend Ian Wright got in on the act with a punchy #KroenkeOut tweet.

The protests continued into the game as fireworks went off between the fourth and fifth minute.

Arsenal’s chances were few and far between in the match itself as Carlo Ancelotti’s organised side did well to nullify the likes of Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe.

But Saka did squander a decent opportunity 18 minutes in when a Calum Chambers cross was headed his way and he volleyed straight at Jordan Pickford.

Everton were back to nigh-on full strength after a recent injury crisis and twice came close to breaking the deadlock ahead of the interval.

First, Richarlison drove into the box and had a smart shot well saved by Leno, with the rebound just evading Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Then Gylfi Sigurdsson came a whisker away from adding to his free-kick goal collection as he fired a 25-yard set-piece onto the crossbar.

Arsenal thought they had a penalty when ref Jon Moss pointed to the spot shortly after the break.

There were question marks whether Richarlison had actually even caught Dani Ceballos for the offending challenge.

But in the end it did not matter anyway as VAR spotted a marginal offside against Nicolas Pepe in the build-up.

Arsenal did step it up as Chambers volleyed over before Ceballos’ blast from outside the box was well parried by Pickford.

But then with 14 minutes to go, Leno’s ricket undid them as he somehow managed to divert Richarlison’s cross into his own net.

One witty banner in the pre-match protests read “Pin the fail on the Kroenke” – but it was red-faced Leno who was left looking like an ass by full-time.

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