Arsenal have leapfrogged arch rivals Spurs into the top three after grinding out a 1-0 victory over Everton at Goodison Park.
The Gunners looked dangerous from the get-go, and were rewarded for their efforts early on when Thomas Vermaelen headed home Robin van Persie’s corner, his second goal in as many matches.
Everton however didn’t give up and eventually managed to bring themselves back into the game, but the Toffees were unlucky when Royston Drenthe was adjudged to have been offside when netting in Arsenal’s net however replays suggested otherwise in the 31st minute.
Luck seemed to be on Arsenal’s side for once as they managed to hold on to their sixth Premier League win on the trot pushing them above Spurs who could only manage a draw with Stoke City. Elsewhere Chelsea let go of a one goal lead to loose 2-1 to a Tevez-inspired Manchester City side meaning they lost even more ground on the top four.
Arsene Wenger was delighted with his defence who managed a clean sheet away from home against a battling Everton side:
We had a brilliant start, but slowly Everton came back into the game – we could feel that by the last 15 minutes of the first half. In the second half, for the most part we did hang on. We started to create chances again in the last 15 minutes, but it was all Everton.
We were resilient, focused and showed a great desire to defend – our defence played very well tonight. You have seen a side of us that normally people don’t know, but it was the only way to get the result tonight I felt, and it was good to know we can do that as well.
We defended well on crosses – something which is not usually our strong point – and overall we never panicked.
We must not think that the most difficult thing is done. Probably the most difficult thing still remains to do and, to achieve it, it is important we keep humility, focus and fight for each other – that is what we had to do tonight.
Arsenal are on a roll at the moment, and the most important thing for the Gunners has been their fighting mentality that has seen them win matches that perhaps they shouldn’t have and be tight defensively. If they were in the same situation a few months ago with a one goal lead and under pressure, I wouldn’t be surprised if they had drawn, but they fought til the end and threw bodies in the way when required.
Exciting times, see you later Spuds!
Arsenal’s Goal – Video Highlights: