Everton 0 Arsenal 1

Thomas Vermaelen struck for consecutive Premiership fixtures to secure Arsenal’s sixth consecutive Premiership victory at Goodison Park. The win takes the Gunners into third place and above Spurs who were held at home by Stoke. The solitary goal of the game came with the north London side in the ascendency, and despite the Toffees rallying late on, the determination,the desire and the willingness to fight for the team proved too much for the Merseysiders.

Since their goal less draw at the Reebok in early February, Arsenal have taken 18 points and score 19 goals from the six games played. One can only wonder what could have been had the summer transfer fiasco been averted. Against Everton, the Gunners enjoyed a fluent start, and were ahead after only eight minutes. Theo Walcott set up Aaron Ramsey, but his shot was blocked for a corner. Robin Van Persie took the corner and rising above Marouane Fellaini, Vermalen was able to find the target.

It was a deserved lead, and their fluent football and play suggested that Arsenal would increase their advantage, however, Van Persie and Ramsey were unable to convert further chances. Everton slowly found their game, and will feel that they should have levelled through Royston Dtrenthe just past the half hour mark. Nikica Jelavic was adjudged to be in an offside position in the build up, but replays suggested that the official on that side had got the decision wrong. On such fine margins games can turn, and Arsene Wenger has had enough cause for complaint during this season, so perhaps the Gunners had earned that slice of good fortune.

Wojciech Szczesny was called into action to deny Felllaini’s header from a Leighton Baines free-kick, and the home side commenced the second half as Arsenal had the first. But under the discipline of a stronger back four lead by Vermaelen and the improved Laurent Koscielny, the visitors lines were not to be breached. It was a fitting return for former Toffee Mikel Arteta, who was a favourite at Goodison Park during his eight years there, but here he was with a bigger task ahead of him. Tomas Rosicky continues to delight and enforce with Alex Song going about his robust business in his usual efficient manner.

Van Persie saw chances to add to his goal tally, but squandered a fine chance after being set up by substitute Gervinho, but in the end it mattered not. Arsenal rose to third place in the Premiership for the first time this season, and for Wenger and after all he has been through this will count as some kind of minor miracle.