Gunners on fire at Goodison
Arsene Wenger's side will be league leaders entering 2008
By Chris Burton. Last Updated: 29/12/07 9:07pm
Adebayor: Celebrates Arsenal's third
Arsenal moved back to the top of the Premier League after an impressive 4-1 victory over Everton at Goodison Park.
Yakubu was a threat throughout the opening period, but it was Tim Cahill who gave the Toffees the lead on 19 minutes to keep his impressive goal-scoring run going.
Arteta delivered a corner from the left which squirted through to the back post where Nicklas Bendtner could only knock the ball up in the air and Cahill was on hand to stab the ball into the net.
It took just two minutes of the second half for Arsenal to pull level though, Eduardo profiting from a long ball which Phil Jagielka failed to cut out.
The Croatian grabbed a second on 58 minutes, this time a beautiful Bergkamp-esque touch taking him away from Jagielka before coolly slotting past Tim Howard.
Bendtner then saw red after picking up a second yellow card after a horrendous tackle on substitute Andrew Johnson.
With 11 minutes left though Emmanuel Adebayor made the game safe, when Joseph Yobo and Howard left the ball for each other allowing the Arsenal striker to slot into an empty net.
Tempers then flared up again when Mikel Arteta was dismissed for catching Cesc Fabregas with a flailing arm.
With ten aside there was still time for Arsenal to grab a fourth, Tomas Rosicky benefiting from good work by Adebayor and Abou Diaby before firing into the bottom corner.
It was no surprise when Everton took the lead on 19 minutes. Arteta swung a corner into the box Arsenal failed the deal with it.
Tim Cahill, with his flying boot, and Yakubu with his head, both hurled themselves at the ball and it looked as if the Nigerian got the final touch, but TV reruns showed that Cahill's studs got the last connection.
Yakubu pulled an 18-yard shot wide after a neat Steven Pienaar flick, and Phil Neville fired just over after Yakubu, Cahill and Tony Hibbert had created the chance on the edge of the box.
Arsenal needed to get themselves back into the game quickly, and they did just that a minute after the break with the sort of approach that Wenger often criticises.
Gael Clichy launched a 60-yard long ball from deep in his half and it flew straight to Eduardo racing into the box.
For a second it looked as if he had controlled the ball with his arm, but the connection was with the shoulder and he was able to turn and calmly strike the ball past Howard.
Yakubu headed wide from a great position after Joleon Lescott's right-wing cross, but on 57 minutes Eduardo scored again.
Another long ball, again a fleeting suggestion of a hand involved, but the Brazilian coolly beat Phil Jagielka, who slipped trying to turn. The Brazilian eased his shot just inside the post and Arsenal were ahead.
Bendtner, already booked, went through on Johnson's ankle on 74 minutes and received a second yellow from referee Martin Atkinson, although it could easily have been a straight red.
But four minutes later Arsenal got their third, another huge punt down field and this time a calamity between Joseph Yobo and Howard.
Manuel Almunia launched his goal-kick, it bounced once inside Everton's half with Yobo waiting for Howard to deal with it as it approached the area.
Adebayor stuck out a long leg and kicked the ball at Howard, the rebound dropping for the substitute to run into an empty net.
Any plan for a last-ditch bombardment was over now, and on 84 minutes Everton also found themselves down to 10 ten men.
Arteta's arm caught Fabregas in the face and the Spaniard hurled himself to the ground, Atkinson showing Arteta a straight red card.
Fabregas was soon to be replaced by Rosicky. And it was the Czech who fired home the fourth in injury time from the edge of the box.
|1||1st Half Goals||0|
|3||Shots on Target||4|
|8||Shots off Target||2|
Barclays Premier League
|5||West Ham United||18||31|
|15||West Bromwich Albion||18||17|
|16||Queens Park Rangers||18||17|