Everton (Cahill 61′) 1-1 Arsenal (Van Persie 90′ + 2)
Stadium: Goodison Park
Competition: English Premier League
Date: 28 January 2009
Kickoff: 20:00 GMT, 15:00 ET
Arsenal snatched a last-minute equalizer to win a point at Goodison Park against Everton! Soccerlens brought you the action live! Click below for the liveblog and feel free to leave comments below!
Two of the more fiscally conservative sides in the Premier League will do battle as sixth-place Everton will host fifth-place Arsenal. Everton are coming off two scintillating draws with Liverpool, and are flying high, despite a growing injury-list and lack of options up front. They enter this match in excellent form, having gone unbeaten in their last six league matches. For a team that’s already stretched thin, you would think that they could hardly afford to lose any more players. Key midfielder Mikel Arteta missed the F.A. Cup match with Liverpool over the weekend with a rib injury, and young striker Victor Anchebe (one of their only healthy options up front) limped off with an injury. However, David Moyes seems to do his best with limited options, and he’ll need to use every ounce of his resourcefulness with this match and next-week’s match against Manchester United looming on the horizon.
As for Arsenal, they come in with an unbeaten streak stretching all the way back to November 22. Additionally, they hold the psychological edge on their opponents, having flattened them, 3-1, back in October. However, they have been inconsistent on offense and clearly miss playmaking midfielder, Cesc Fabregas. They’re actually talking about spending big, for a change, and have been linked to Russian midfielder Andrei Arshavin from Zenit St. Petersburg, as well as Arteta, who is quickly becoming one of the best free-kick takers in the Premiership. Until that happens, however, Arsene Wenger will stick with his guys. They may not have gained much ground on the leaders, but they haven’t lost much, either. If they can continue with this pace, then they’ll be in great position once Fabregas comes back.
Who will win in this match between two teams with Top-Four aspirations? Tune in and find out!
Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Lescott, Baines, Osman, Arteta, Neville (c), Pienaar, Fellaini, Cahill.
Subs: Nash, Yobo, Castillo, Rodwell, Jutkiewicz, Anichebe, Gosling.
Two changes from the side that drew with Liverpool in the F.A. Cup over the weekend. The big news is that Arteta has been cleared to play, and will return to the lineup, replacing Castillo. Fellaini will also return, replacing Anichebe.
Arsenal: Almunia (c), Sagna, Djourou, Gallas, Clichy, Diaby, Song, Denilson, Nasri, Adebayor, Van Persie.
Subs: Fabianski, Toure, Vela, Ramsey, Bendtner, Eboue, Gibbs.
A number of changes from the side that drew with Cardiff City over the weekend. Almunia will reclaim his starting spot, replacing Fabianski. Gibbs and Toure will move to the bench to make room for Gallas and Clichy. Eboue and Ramsey will make way for Diaby and Denilson in midfield, and Bendtner will sit out for his good friend, Adebayor.
There’s the whistle and we’re done! Join me on Saturday when Everton visits Manchester United and on Sunday for the big Liverpool/Chelsea match! Thanks to everyone who followed along!
90′ + 3 What a deflating goal for Everton! They looked like they were going to take all three points, their defense had shut down Arsenal all night long, and they make one mistake. What a killer blow from Van Persie, as Arsenal had no business taking a point in this match. Apparently, things are bad for the red side of Merseyside as well. Liverpool have drawn with Wigan and are now two points behind Manchester United. That will make this weekend’s slate of games even more interesting…
90′ + 2 GOAL! Great pass forward from Diaby to Van Persie, who sneaks into the box behind Hibbert. He blasts it past Howard for the equalizer! Wow, that came out of nowhere! I’ll have to watch a replay of it, but it looks like Howard should have saved that. If so, then that’s two straight games where he’s let in soft goals to cost his team the win.
90′ + 1 Arsenal take it and go on the counterattack. Bendtner gets it deep down the right flank, and he tries to center it. Everton’s defense holds tight and knock it away from danger.
90′ Free kick into the box, and Lescott tries to head it back to Howard. Lescott gets a little too much on it, and Howard actually has to make a pretty good save. That may have been Arsenal’s best chance of the evening. Meanwhile, Everton win the corner and they play the stalling game.
89′ Anichebe tries his luck from long range, and it’s wide of the mark.
88′ Dangerous cross into the box for Van Persie, but he’s called for a handball. Van Persie, to his credit, doesn’t argue, and it’s been a very well-behaved match so far.
87′ Nasri makes the run down the left and lifts a cross into the center of goal for Van Persie. Howard collects it, though, and Arsenal are frustrated once again.
86′ Anichebe is on for Cahill.
85′ Almunia gets caught in no-man’s land but gets enough of the ball to knock it away before Fellaini can get his head on it. Meanwhile, Cahill is down on the pitch and he’s looking like he could be hurt. Arsenal won’t put the ball out of play, and Neville has to charge in and knock it away so that Cahill can get medical attention. Cahill is coming off and that’s a bad sign as David Moyes can scarcely afford to lose him.
84′ Jagielka clears the corner and he’s having a great match. Everton break the other way, and Osman’s cross is knocked away by Clichy. It looks like it may have hit Clichy’s arm, but no call from the ref.
83′ Van Persie makes the run down the left, but Jagielka is there again to concede the corner.
82′ Nothing doing on the corner as Arsenal easily clear it from danger.
81′ Cahill with a great strike from the edge of the box after Arteta finds him down the right. Almunia is able to make the save, and Everton will have a corner.
79′ Pienaar with a good effort as he nearly gets loose in the box after some sloppy defending from Arsenal. Very poor effort from the Gunners tonight. They clearly miss Fabregas, but they have other problems, especially on defense.
78′ Long pass into the box that bounces dangerously for Adebayor, but Hibbert is there to knock it away. Back the other way, and Djourou and Gallas have some misadventures that nearly results in an embarrassing howler. Luckily, they get away with it.
77′ Hibbert gets booked for a hard foul on Nasri, and the young Frenchman is on the ground. I bet Wenger saw that one with perfect clarity.
76′ Diaby takes out Cahill in the center of the field, and Cahill is holding his shoulder. No booking for Diaby, though, who is already on a yellow.
74′ Lescott’s cross into the box is close to Fellaini, but it just evades him and is out for a goal-kick. Quick counterattack as the long pass goes into the Everton box for Bendtner. Howard comes out to collect it first.
72′ Wigan have battled back to tie their match with Liverpool! Wow. That would be a huge result if it holds up. Meanwhile, Arsenal make a double-substitution as Bendtner will come on for Song and Eboue will come on for Sagna.
70′ Free kick from about 35 yards out is poor and Arsenal go on the counter attack. Lescott covers a lot of ground to cut out the attack. Things get a little sloppy as the match turns into a rugby scrum. Both sides want fouls that aren’t called, and we know how this is going to end. Sure enough, Arteta gets called for a foul on Denilson and goes into the book.
69′ Song clearly hands the ball near the center line and he’s called for the infraction. Baines tries to get around Denilson down the left wing, and Denilson is called for the clear obstruction.
68′ Gallas is called for a foul after he collides with Cahill going for the 50-50. Well, that’s one way to neutralize him.
66′ Everton come back the other way, and Osman tries a shot from the right edge of the box that just goes wide of the far post.
65′ Song lifts a pass into the box for Van Persie, who just manages to glance the ball with his head. Howard easily makes the save.
63′ That goal certainly brought the crowd to life! What a great goal as Cahill just continues to amaze.
61′ GOAL! Baines with a great cross from the left wing to the far post where Cahill outjumps Djourou and heads it across goal and past a diving Almunia! What a great run of games from Cahill, who has just scored his 100th career goal.
60′ Sagna tries the cross from deep down the right wing, but Pienaar tracks all the way back to cut it out. Nice effort from Pienaar, who just did something Ronaldo never does.
58′ Arsenal knock it around and build up their attack. Adebayor gets it deep down the right flank, but Lescott is there to knock it away. Everton’s defense is playing about as well as any team’s back-four, with the exception of Manchester United.
54′ Great chance for Everton as Arteta with a great ball into the box that eludes a sliding Osman but finds Cahill. He goes for the shot, but Almunia closes his angle nicely, and Cahill hits the side netting. The game seems to be opening up a little as both sides have had chances in the last few minutes.
52′ Denilson sends it to Diaby on the edge of the box, but Neville picks his pocket. I don’t understand how these two keep getting in games for Arsenal. They’ve been terrible all year, and they’ve been equally bad today.
51′ Clichy makes a good run down the left wing and lays it off to Van Persie. He passes up the shot and sends it to Denilson, who is unmarked and making the run down the right edge of the box. Denilson tries to bend his shot past Howard, but it’s over the bar. Good chance for Arsenal there.
49′ Good chance for Everton as Osman sends it in towards Fellaini and Cahill, but they can’t get their bodies square for a shot. Baines tries to send it back to Fellaini, but it’s over his head and Arsenal clear it away.
48′ Jagielka continues his solid play as he shadows Adebayor well and prevents the corner by giving up the throw-in instead.
46′ No changes for either side, and we’re ready to start the second half. Everton kick off and we’re under way!
46′ Apparently, Becks has scored once again for A.C. Milan. This time, on a trademark free kick with Capello watching from the stands. Wave goodbye to your meal ticket, MLS. Becks ain’t coming back.
46′ Here’s a Premiership roundup: SWP has scored to put City ahead of Newcastle, 1-0; Chelsea and Middlesbrough are scoreless in the 54th minute; Benayoun has put Liverpool ahead of Wigan, 1-0; and Bolton are laying the smackdown on Blackburn, 2-0 at halftime.
Nothing doing for either team, so far, as the weather and defensive prowess of both clubs have combined to make it an easy first half for both goalkeepers. Both sides have decent spells on offense, but Arsenal have had trouble holding onto the ball and Everton have been unable to unlock Arsenal’s back four. Hopefully, things will open up in the second half.
45′ + 1 Miscue from Lescott gives Arsenal a chance as Van Persie finds an unmarked Gallas in the box. Baines comes over and knocks it out for a throw, otherwise that could have been interesting. There’s the whistle and we’re at halftime!
45′ Baines concedes the corner after knocking away Sagna’s cross attempt. Van Persie whips in the corner from the right corner flag, but Fellaini clears it.
43′ Long pass to Van Persie goes out and Hibbert does his best to shield the ball from Van Persie. Van Persie blatantly shoves Hibbert, but no booking. Stupid play by Van Persie, but give credit to Hibbert for not milking it.
40′ Arteta goes for goal, and Van Persie knocks it out for a corner. Poor corner from Arteta as it fails to clear the first defender. Adebayor knocks it away easily.
39′ Trouble for Arsenal here as Denilson gives away a free kick to Pienaar on the left edge of the box. This is about where Everton scored against Liverpool in the league recently.
38′ Two poor touches from Fellaini, but his teammates work hard to keep possession. Arteta sends in a long pass into the box for Fellaini, but he can’t get enough on it to trouble Almunia.
37′ Free kick goes into the box, and Cahill goes up for the header. It’s weak and off target, though, and Almunia isn’t troubled by it at all.
36′ Nasri clips Hibbert as he gets away from him, and Nasri will go in the book. Stupid foul from Nasri, there.
35′ Cahill knocks the corner away, so we’ll do it again. Take two, and the corner goes out to Denilson, who takes the shot from the edge of the box. It looks like it takes a deflection, but it’s just wide of the post.
34′ Good pressure from Adebayor and he’s almost through. Jagielka concedes the corner.
33′ Nasri with a much better delivery from the left wing that finds Van Persie open in the box. Unfortunately for Arsenal, the ball reaches Van Persie’s right foot, and he shanks it.
32′ Nasri sends a long cross from deep down the left wing, but its easily cut out by Lescott. Sagna comes back and sends his cross from the right wing to the far post, but its a poor one. Goal kick to Howard.
31′ Another problem for Arsenal is that they have been getting outmuscled in midfield by the likes of Neville, Arteta, and Pienaar.
29′ Van Persie wins a throw-in deep down the right wing. He throws into the box for Adebayor, and Jagielka wins the header and knocks it away. Adebayor backs into him, and Jagielka ends up touching the ball with his hand. No hand-ball call from the ref, who instead calls Adebayor for the foul.
27′ Diaby with a VERY late tackle on Pienaar, and Diaby will go into the book. To his credit, Diaby doesn’t argue with the ref. If Pienaar had gotten hurt, then Wenger would say that he didn’t see it during his post-match news conference.
26′ Other than during the first few minutes, Arsenal have been unable to create any sustained pressure on the Everton goal. Lots of sloppy passes and poor giveaways.
25′ Arteta battles with Denilson for the ball, and Arteta catches him with a leg sweep, Cobra Kai style. He gets called for the foul, obviously. Denilson then gives it away on the restart.
23′ Clichy tries a long-range shot and we find out why he doesn’t score more often as his shot isn’t even close. Stick to defending, Gael.
21′ Neville loses it to Adebayor, but he wins it back from him and Adebayor goes to ground, yelling for a foul. The ref isn’t impressed, though.
20′ Throw in and it drops behind Sagna and right in front of Fellaini, who is unmarked. He’s got a great chance here, but the ref calls him for a foul for pushing off on Sagna. Well, that explains why he was unmarked. Long pass back to Fellaini, but Djourou does well to defend him. He knocks it away for an Everton throw.
19′ Poor giveaway from Song in his own half, and Everton go on the attack. Pienaar wins a throw-in deep in Arsenal territory.
18′ The announcers bring up Arshavin, and it looks like the holdup is over Arshavin’s personal terms. Apparently, he doesn’t like the idea of taking a pay cut from 100k a week to 80k. Still, it beats having to buy out your contract in the summer for several million, right? I don’t get it. He should be tickled that Zenit finally stopped playing hardball over his transfer fee.
17′ Arsene Wenger is already upset about something. Not sure what he’s upset about, but he’s shaking his head. Chill out, man. It’s still early.
16′ Cahill and Sagna have a meeting of the minds, and both men are clutching their noggins. Cahill is called off-side, though, and Arsenal will get the ball.
14′ The fog is getting thicker. And Leee-on’s getting larrrrr-ger!
13′ Another chance as Osman whips a nasty corner in from the right edge of the box that just manages to elude Cahill. Almunia takes it easily.
12′ They play the short corner and Baines sets up his shot on the edge of the box, his shot gets blocked and Arteta is there to force another corner. Another corner, this time it finds Jagielka in the box, and he nearly gets the header on target. Arsenal are already looking shaky on those corners, and that’s not a good sign for them.
11′ Hibbert whips a dangerous cross from the right wing to the far post for Pienaar. It’s just past him, otherwise he would have had a good chance. Dangerous cross from Baines nearly finds a sliding Fellaini, but it’s out for a corner as Djourou gets to it first.
10′ Fellaini gets the ball on the edge of the box, and he plays keep-upsies with his knees. Song does well and takes the ball away. Fellaini wants a foul, obviously, but no dice.
9′ Dangerous corner from Osman that nearly finds Fellaini in the box. Van Persie clears, though, and Arsenal can breathe easier.
8′ Everton break on the counterattack, and Hibbert’s cross is knocked out for a corner.
7′ Cross from Diaby into the box for Adebayor, but he can’t get to it. Arsenal cries out for a penalty on Lescott, but no call from the ref.
6′ Another good play from Jagielka as he short circuits Adebayor’s run alongside the left wing by closing him off and knocking it out for a throw-in.
4′ Adebayor works on Jagielka, but the Everton defender easily closes him off and knocks it away for a throw-in. What a season Jagielka is having. Arsenal would kill for someone like him.
3′ Van Persie loads up his left foot, but his shot is deflected away by Cahill. Corner to Arsenal, which Van Persie takes. He swings in the corner from the right, but Osman heads it away.
2′ Nasri whips in the corner from the left flag, but Everton clear it away. Pienaar collides with Sagna and he gets called for the foul. Arsenal will have a good chance from about 30 yards out or so.
1′ Arsenal kick off and we’re underway! It’s a rainy, foggy night at Goodison. Andre Marriner is our ref. Adebayor makes a good run into the box and he’s met by Hibbert, who concedes the corner.
0′ I still don’t understand why Arsenal are after Arshavin. Sure, he’s a good player, but he’s pretty much the same player as Van Persie. They can stash Arshavin in central midfield until Fabregas gets back, but what happens then? They can’t play Arshavin in his preferred attacking role since Van Persie will be in his way. I don’t see the point of this move unless it’s to guard against Van Persie leaving in the offseason or to show Fabregas that the club is willing to spend money after all.
0′ Quick look around the Premiership today. Keane is on the bench for Liverpool’s match against Wigan. Man City are starting both Robinho (who was picked up the police for suspicion of sexual assault) and Craig Bellamy, the nutter with a putter himself. To make matters worse they’ll be playing Newcastle, who’s starting Joey Barton. There could be some fireworks at the City of Manchester Stadium today.
0′ Very strong lineups for both sides. Everton will actually have some of their best offensive options available to them with Cahill, Arteta, and Fellaini all playing together. Arsenal have a very strong line-up as well. In fact, other than Fabregas being absent, it’s pretty close to their first-choice team.
0′ Just a word of warning, I’m getting bombarded with snow, ice, freezing rain, and that disgusting slushy stuff that seeps into your shoes and gets your socks wet. Hopefully, my power and my internet won’t go out, but if it does, I apologize in advance.
0′ Hello everyone! Welcome to Soccerlens’ live coverage of the important Premiership clash between Everton and Arsenal! I’m Victor and I’ll be your liveblogger today!
Arsenal showed just how dangerous they can be as they played a terrible match for 90-plus minutes, and yet they manage to escape with a point. Their passing was sloppy, their defense was inconsistent, and they failed to generate any quality chances on goal, except for at the very end. They clearly miss Fabregas pulling the strings in midfield, as Arteta, Neville, Osman, and Pienaar more or less had their way. Still, the mark of a good team is being able to get a result even if they’re not playing well. Getting a point at Goodison Park, against an in-form Everton squad, after being outplayed for 90-plus minutes is a good result and really shows the character of this Arsenal squad.
As for Everton, this is about as deflating a result as you can get. They looked set to take all three points and close to within striking distance of 5th place, until a last-minute miscue gave Arsenal new life. As well as they’ve been playing, they seem to have trouble closing out games, which was evident against Aston Villa earlier in the season. Cahill continues to dazzle, but if he’s injured, then Everton could have a very difficult day at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Man of the Match:
Everton had no shortage of candidates. Cahill continued his scoring binge, Lescott and Baines played well on defense, and Neville had a solid game in central midfield, as he always seems to against Arsenal. Jagielka, however, really stood out as he continues to play well in the back for Everton. He cut out numerous chances from Arsenal and played excellent all-around defense, frustrating Adebayor and Van Persie on a number of occasions. As for Arsenal, Van Persie showed how dangerous of a player he can be and that all he needs is one chance and he can change the complexion of the game. Without question, he’s been their best player all year.
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