By George Overhill

4th Feb, 2023 | 3:10pm

Jeff Stelling reacts live at full time on Sky Sports as Everton beat Arsenal in Sean Dyche's first game

Jeff Stelling called Sean Dyche’s first game in charge of Everton “absolutely sensational” as he reacted at the final whistle of the 1-0 win.

The Toffees defeated league leaders Arsenal at Goodison Park to introduce the new manager’s regime in the best way, after all the disappointment of the transfer window.

James Tarkowski headed a Dwight McNeil corner past Aaron Ramsdale on 60 minutes and the home side battled to hold onto the win.

Reacting immediately after the final whistle live on Sky Sports Soccer Saturday (4 February, 2.28pm) Stelling said: “Everton have done it, they’ve beaten Arsenal by a goal to nil. James Tarkowski with his first Everton goal, his first goal in fact since August 2021 was the decisive issue. Arsenal are beaten for just the second time this season…

“Everton needed the win to take them out of the relegation zone at the other end, and that is just what they’ve done. Southampton, Bournemouth and now Wolves in the bottom three, Everton fourth from bottom on 18.

“What a start for Sean Dyche, absolutely sensational.”

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About time

Perhaps Dyche won’t need any signings if he can transform the belief in the current players to this degree, as the likes of Dwight McNeil and Neal Maupay looked men transformed.

It was some new manager bounce for the former Burnley boss, and fans will have to hope that wasn’t all it was because if he can keep this level from his players for the long term then the relegation battle will be very winnable.

Already the three points lifted Everton out of the bottom three at full time, and just like Frank Lampard managed last year, it is crucial they stay out of it for the final day.

The form since the World Cup has been pretty miserable, losing against three relegation rivals to leave the Toffees 19th in the table when Dyche came in.

But beating the possible champions in his first game is the ideal start, although it is the games against the teams around Everton that will be most important.

If he can get his players to produce similar performances in the so-called relegation six pointers from now on then there can be every confidence that the season is not lost.