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Premier League

  • 14 November 2010
  • • 14:00
  • • Goodison Park, Liverpool
  • Referee: H. Webb
  • • Attendance: 36279

Everton 1-2 Arsenal: Bacary Sagna and Cesc Fabregas on target as Gunners move into second spot

Everton 1-2 Arsenal: Bacary Sagna and Cesc Fabregas on target as Gunners move into second spot

Superior Gunners finishing the difference in competitive Merseyside affair

Goals from Cesc Fabregas and Bacary Sagna were enough to give Arsenal the win and keep Everton in the bottom half of the Premier league in what was a entertaining game.

Everton started quickly and Steven Pienaar decided to make an early impression on the game when he lunged in at Bacary Sagna in the first minute, and bringing Howard Webb to warn him on his further conduct.

Everton's first foray came via a corner from the right after Squillaci was forced to head the ball out. Mikel Arteta took the corner which came to nothing as Louis Saha headed wide of Lukasz Fabianski's net.

The home side had an excellent early chance to take the lead after Gael Clichy brought down Seamus Coleman on the edge of the Arsenal box. Spaniard Arteta hammered the ball towards goal but it failed to beat the wall.

The Toffees looked comfortably and dangerous in the opening exchanges and it seemed David Moyes had told his men to start the game with fervour and enthusiasm.

Arsenal's first chance came via Samir Nasri who, after making the most of an error by Leighton Baines, ran with purpose towards Tim Howard’s goal. The Frenchman however, saw his low right footed shot blocked desperately by the diving Sylvain Distin.

Moyes' men had a gilt-edged opportunity to score after a terrific and powerful run down the right flank from Coleman left Cesc Fabregas floundering. The youngster's pinpoint cross was headed high and wide over the Arsenal net by Tim Cahill; much to the chagrin of Goodison Park.
The chances continued for both side as Andrey Arshavin saw his left foot volley from outside the box float wide of Tim Howard’s net.

Moments later, the Russian's run through the Blues' midfield produced another chance but again his powerful shot failed to bring a save from Howard.

John Heitenga made himself very known to Howard Webb after a number of needless and nibbling fouls caused the referee to speak to him on a number of occasions.  It was not the first time these two had crossed swords as Webb sent off the Dutchman in the World Cup final in the summer. Webb once again had no chance but to show the defender a yellow for repeat offences.

As the home team used their advantage, Louis Saha had a half chance after 26 minutes when ponderous defending by Arsenal gifted the ball to the Frenchman. His placed left foot shot though lacked any real power or precision to trouble Fabianski.

The Everton midfield were nearly made to pay dearly for giving up possession after 30 minutes when Arsenal launched a counter attack which involved in Nasri, Sagna and Fabregas. The pulled back pass from Fabregas however, must have been directed at the invisible man as no Arsenal support was there to take the lead from a fantastic position.

As the half continued Arsenal found their rhythm and looked more dangerous.  Everton were allowing shots to rain down on Tim Howard. Soon, the pressure told. A long range shot from Nasri was parried by the American, with Arshavin pouncing on the loose ball. The Russian sent the ball gently back into the danger area for Bacary Sagna to stab the it over Howard from an acute angle. It was a fair reflection on the increasing threat the Gunners were posing.

Everton fans were given much to grumble about just before the half when Alex Song brought down Pienaar on the edge of the box but Howard Webb was unmoved.  Everton could have evened it up in unusual fashion though when on half time a corner from the left was met, unopposed at the back post by Saha who headed goalwards only for Fabianski to block, unwittingly, after the keeper had fluffed his initially lunge for the ball. 

As the half time whistle blew the boos rang out as the Toffee’s fans felt hard done by with Webb's decisions, but Arsenal, who started slowly had got better as the half progressed.

    Flying winger | Everton's Steven Pienaar and Arsenal's Alex Song battle for possession

Both managers made changes during the break. Moyes brought off Heitenga and brought on Jack Rodwell, whilst Wenger replaced Jack Wilshere with Denilson.

The Brazilian made an immediate impact when, after 48 minutes, his run and pass triggered a moment of slick passing which went to Fabregas. He kept it moving to Chamakh, who returned the favour to his captain and Fabregas stroked the ball home to double the lead.

Only a short while later, another decision from the referee drew hostility from the Goodison faithful as a marauding run from Saha was stopped abruptly by Squillaci. Webb's refusal to allow Everton to play advantage as Seamus Coleman continued the attack and put the ball in the back of the net, enraged the home crowd. Squillaci was booked, but if advantage had been played a harsher form of retribution would have prevailed.  

After 56 minutes, Everton squandered another chance after a great run down the right from Coleman was sent into the channel for Pienaar to pick up. His squared pass to Rodwell was fired high over the bar. The Everton wastefulness continued.

On the hour mark Arsenal could have but the game beyond the Toffees with another example of clinical counter attacking football. Samir Nasri picked up the ball in his own half and tore towards the Everton goal leaving Phil Jagielka in his wake, but a great save from Howard kept Everton’s third life intact.

Arsenal threatened again when Nasri, this time on the right wing sent the ball inside to Fabregas who squared it to Chamakh. Inexplicably though, the Moroccan contrived to misswhat was in effect an open goal. Shortly after Wenger made a change and brought on Tomas Rosicky for Arshavin.

With a two goal deficit, David Moyes decided to throw on more forwards to try to get something from the game. Captain Phil Neville came off for Jermaine Beckford and Yakubu replaced Arteta.

After 80 minutes Beckford could have thrown a lifeline to Everton when a long ball over the top was picked up by the former Leeds man but his shot was wide of the Arsenal goal. In a move to protect the lead, Wenger replaced Chamakh with Emmanual Eboue.

As the game drew to a close, Fabianski proved more and more valuable to Arsenal after he kept a string of chances out, but that luck ran out when after 88, from a corner on the right Louis Saha at the back post once more, headed the ball back across goal for Tim Cahill to volley the goal which sprung life back into Goodison Park. 

The chances were numerous for Everton but the common theme of the afternoon prevailed as they were not taken and this, ultimately is why Arsenal sit second in the table and Everton languish back in 13th.

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