Arsenal came with all three points with a 1-0 win at Goodison Park. It was a difficult, hard fought win for the Gunners as Vermaelen’s 7th minute header separated the two sides. The win takes Arsenal third, one point above Tottenham and 6 above Chelsea. Third place means automatic qualification for Champions league group stages next season.
Here are some thoughts on the Gunners’ win.
1. Arsenal can win without Van Persie scoring:
It was one of those unusual days when the Arsenal skipper wasn’t able to find the back of the net. Van Persie has scored 26 goals in the Premier League this season. Arsenal have been called a one man team this season but last night it was different. The hero was Thomas Vermaelen, who scored a wonderful header beating four Everton defenders. Vermaelen has got 5 goals in the league this season. It was his goal that won Arsenal the game.
2. Arsenal are finally above Spurs:
Arsenal were 13 points behind their fierce rivals Tottenham, 6 behind Chelsea, 2 behind Liverpool and level on points with Newcastle some two months ago. Arsenal have overcome that deficit and are now 1 above spurs, 6 above Chelsea, 9 above Newcastle and a massive 13 points above Liverpool. It’s been a good run of form for the Gooners. They have won the last 6 Premier League games in which 4 games were amazing comebacks. Tottenham fans were feeling so proud and were confident that they were gonna finish above Arsenal but the story does not go so. Still there is time (9 games) but surely the confidence Arsenal are in shows that they are surely gonna finish third and above Spurs.
Goal keeper 6.5 : Szczesny was good in goal. Saved a few good efforts and kept a well deserved clean sheet.
Full Backs 7: Sagna and Gibbs were both amazing. Delivered some teasing crosses in and defended well against the Everton wingers.
Centre Halves 9 : it was Koscielny and Vermaelen that won Arsenal this match. Vermaelen got the goal and both were solid at the back and had their best performances in the Arsenal red and white. Cahill, Osman, Drenthe and Jelavi?, all were kept out and weren’t allowed a proper sight at goal. They won all the headers against the likes of Maroune Fellani and Jelavi?. This centre back pair is probably the best in the Premier League. If consistent, Arsenal would keep a clean sheet in every match.
Midfielders 7 : They had an excellent game on the night. All dominated the Everton midfield and were electrical throughout.
Wingers 6.5 : Wenger chose Aaron Ramsey to play out in the left wing. This tactic helped Ramsey come in deep and build up play. He got at the end of many chances but spurned what was a hat trick opportunity. Walcott on the other side had a nice partnership with Sagna and made some good runs down the wing.
Striker 7 : Robin can Persie didn’t score this time but still Arsenal won. He had a contribution as he assisted Thomas Vermaelen’s goal. He came deep throughout the game and helped Arsenal dominate the game. He was in many build ups and had quite a few difficult chances but couldn’t find the back of the net. He has scored 33 goals this season in all competitions.
This was a good win and next match is against Aston Villa at the Emirates. Arsenal should win it and get the three points. Chelsea and Tottenham face each other at Stamford Bridge which means either of them would drop points and it would benefit Arsenal.