Arsenal celebrated their 125th anniversary with a fitting 1-0 scoreline over a stubborn Everton side at the Emirates. Robin van Persie was once again the hero, scoring a stunning volley with 20 minutes to go.
It was far from a vintage Arsenal performance, especially in the second half where we struggled to create chances. Gervinho wasted a couple of great opportunities in the first half and Walcott went close in the second, but it was one of those days when we just couldn’t get out of second gear.
However, the most important thing is it’s another three points in the bag making it 22 from a possible 24. A frustrating 1-1 draw at home to Fulham the only blot on the scorecard. A terrific recovery from a disastrous start and now the Gunners sit fourth in the table.
The defence was relatively untroubled this afternoon with Everton offering very little going forward. In fact they didn’t register a shot on target during the entire ninety minutes. No doubt the back four will come under far greater scrutiny next week against Man City. Here are my ratings.
Szczesny – 7 – Came and collected everything Everton put in the box showing superb handling, and distributed well. Can’t remember him having to make a ‘proper’ save as the Toffees offered little in attack.
Djourou – 6.5 – Some sloppy passes but on the whole it was a much improved performance from Tuesday.
Mertesacker – 6.5 – Won his aerial duels but will have a far tougher task against City next week. Everton were unadventurous for most of the game and didn’t test our back line a lot.
Koscielny – 7 – Intercepted play well and swept up behind Mertesacker when required. Didn’t really put a foot wrong.
Vermaelen – 7.5 – Slotted in well at left back. Always eager tomake things happen and got forward on occasion. His determination and attitude is vital for Arsenal.
Song – 7.5 – Superb ball for Van Persie that lead to the winner, Cesc would have been proud of that one! Otherwise, solid game from Song and the best of the midfield trio.
Ramsey – 5.5 – Disappointed with Rambo’s performance. Gave away some sloppy passes and didn’t really get going at all. Also failed to make the most of a good opportunity in the first half.
Arteta – 6.5 – Tidy from the Spaniard. Kept things moving but didn’t really try to make things happen when we were struggling to create in the second half. Booked early in the game.
Walcott – 7.5 - Always a threat and got behind Everton’s back line on several occasions, especially in the first half when he laid it on a plate for Gervinho, although some would argue he should have had a shot himself. Also forced Howard in to a fine save in the second half. Crossing was poor though.
Gervinho – 6.5 – Wasteful display. Fluffed a great chance early in the first half when Walcott rolled him in, only to miss the ball completely with the goal gaping. Also missed a one-on-one with Howard soon after. At least he gets in good positions to score but needs to be more clinical.
Van Persie – 7.5 – Stunning goal. Simply stunning. Great technique to volley home the winner. However, the goal aside, it was a relatively quiet game from RVP. Didn’t get in the game enough and things didn’t come off when he was on the ball. (Until the goal that is!)
Miquel, Rosicky & Frimpong – n/a – All on in the last 10 minutes so little time to make an impact.