Key Quotes: Ancelotti labels Arsenal victory as ‘lucky’ but ‘vital’
Carlo Ancelotti gave an honest assessment of his side's victory at Arsenal (Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images)

Carlo Ancelotti has labelled Everton’s win at Arsenal as “a bit lucky” but stressed the importance of the result in terms of the battle for European football come the end of the season. 

Ancelotti oversaw the Toffees’ first ever win at the Emirates stadium - and a first win away at Arsenal since January 1996 - but believes that a slice of good fortune went his team’s way with the VAR decisions in the second half of the game.

“​It [the wait for a win at Arsenal] is an unbelievable gift for our supporters," the Everton manager said. "It was a good result, an important victory, we are still attached to the top of the table.

"I said before this game that we had to keep fighting and we played a good game. It was a good performance – not top, but solid. We tried to play, if possible, and were lucky to score a goal. 

We were a little bit lucky with the VAR decisions, I think the fair result was a draw. Arsenal played a good game and maybe they played better with the ball but defensively we were really solid.

While acknowledging the good fortune of his side, boss Ancelotti also pointed towards the cliché of things ‘evening out over the course of a season’. 

Prior to the victory over Arsenal, Everton hadn’t won in their last five Premier League fixtures, drawing the previous three.

After five games without a win, it was an important victory against a good team. We deserved to win against Tottenham and Crystal Palace and today we got back the points we lost in our past few games, which were draws.

Finally, I can say we are back. We had a difficult moment with lots of injuries but now, we have a lot of players back and a good result. This victory can give us more motivation for the next game.”

‘The fight for European football will go on to the last day’

Everton’s win at the Emirates opened up a six-point gap to their defeated opponents in ninth with the Toffees sat one place above in eighth, and at the full-time whistle last night, Ancelotti’s men were three points off the Champions League places. For the manager, it shows progress from the previous campaign, but nothing is over yet.

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It’s three points and we keep fighting for the rest of the season," Ancelotti added. "Tonight, it’s all good news and this gives us confidence for the next games. I think that this time around, it has improved compared to last season. Now, we are in the fight for the European positions, and this is where we wanted to be at the start of the season. We are there with six games to the end, and we have to do our best every game. 

The [European] race will be decided on the last game. Maybe if we lost this game, we’d have lost a lot of the opportunity to fight for Europe and that was the motivation.

Pickford played a big part in Gunners triumph

Ancelotti’s side defended well all evening against the Gunners, and goalkeeper Jordan Pickford kept his seventh clean sheet in the league so far this season, secured with a last-minute reaction stop to prevent Gabriel Martinelli grabbing an equaliser late into time added on.

Afterwards, his boss heaped praise on the whole of the backline with specific focus on his ‘keeper.

"Jordan Pickford did really well, with a good save at the end. He was comfortable and good with the ball. His performance was really good. 

Defensively we were really solid, I am satisfied with the performance.