Arsenal 1-0 Everton

Robin van Persie´s 70th minute left-footed volley condemns Everton to a customary defeat at Arsenal.

The stats prior this one made for ugly reading for Evertonians, with Everton having not won at Arsenal since a 2-1 victory at Highbury in January 1996 – the last time the sides met before Arsene Wenger took over eight months later. Since then, the Gunners have won 13 of their 15 home league matches against Everton.

It was little wonder then that David Moyes sounded particularly pessimistic about his sides chances prior the game, admitting he wasn´t confident his Everton side would be able to score against Arsenal.

But despite the negatives, fans were buoyed to see the return of Louis Saha, one of two changes to the side that lost in particularly disappointing fashion to Stoke City last weekend, with Louis Saha and Phil Neville replacing injured duo Jack Rodwell and Leon Osman.

Everton set-up relatively well, were well-organised and frustrated Arsenal, limiting the Gunners to half chances which Theo Walcott, Gervinho and Aaron Ramsey all squandered, with only the one real chance falling to Gervinho, who found his effort on goal saved well by Tim Howard´s legs

But again, despite the return of a recognised proven striker in Louis Saha, Everton´s problem was painfully evident – being unable to offer absolutely any threat in the final third, offering just one tame attempt on target all match, prompting David Moyes to haul off the lazy static, ineffective Louis Saha for Sylvain Distin on 65 minutes – whilst pushing Fellaini to a more advanced role.

Within five minutes of the change, Van Persie´s opened the scoring on 70 minutes with his one opportunity of the game, smashing Alex Song´s chipped ball into the back of Tim Howard´s net with a crisp volley.

The goal proved enough to condemn Everton to a fourth defeat in six league games.

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