Everton 0-1 Arsenal: Gunners Go Third As Spurs Blow It Again

Not a bad night’s work all around it has to be said. A win for us, defeat for Chelsea and a very poor result for Spurs in the form of their draw with Spurs sees Arsenal go third in the table, overtaking Spurs who held a twelve point lead over us at one point.

I actually didn’t see the game last night and even now have only seen a brief clip of Vermaelen’s goal, so I’m in no position to serve up a detailed match report but I think the result is the only thing that ever mattered last night. I gather we were wasteful with chances throughout the game and another day that might cost us, but last night we got away with it and took the points.

It puts us in a very interesting position ahead of the weekend. Little did I know until one of the customers at work, a Spurs fan, told me yesterday but Spurs and Chelsea face each other this weekend at Stamford Bridge in what is a huge game for this three-way battle we have going for Champions League qualification and the pressure will well and truly be on both times and since they can’t both win the chance will be there for us to extend our advantage over one or both teams.

In a reversal of the situation before kick off last night, we now sit a point above Tottenham, but we’re now also six points clear of Chelsea. It’s not a decisive gap by any means but at this stage of the season it is a considerable one. Much as the talk is of Spurs’ season unravelling this morning, they have a five point advantage over Chelsea which leaves Bob Matthews’ side clinging onto this battle for Champions League football by their very fingernails. They do of course have one more trick up their sleeve in so much as they’re still in the Champions League with a fairly kind quarter-final draw. I don’t think they can beat Barcelona though, which is who they are likely to face in the semi-finals. Testing times at the Bridge for certain.

I can’t help but have a little chuckle at Liverpool this morning as well. Much as they keep trying to claim its not over for them so far as Champions League football goes, their results just don’t match their rhetoric. Two goals up on one of the worst teams in the league last night, and they contrived to somehow lose the match. They remain twelve points off the pace for the top four despite a golden opportunity to close the gap to Chelsea and Spurs last night.

So, this all makes this weekend’s match against Aston Villa rather interesting for us. Having worked hard and gotten, realistically as high as we can reach this season (and automatic Champions League qualifications after all the trials of the last twelve months may not be a “trophy”, but it would be a fantastic testament to our manager that even in the worst period of his management he could still guide us to a position that is the envy of the rest of the league bar two teams), we now need to make sure that we stay there. We’ve got nine games to hold on and some big matches in there. As I mentioned already, Spurs and Chelsea face each other this weekend. Opportunities that golden do not come along every week. We mustn’t go out against Villa and think that our job is done. As Spurs have aptly shown us, six point leads can disappear very quickly.

We still have to face Chelsea in what will be a massive game for this qualification fight, we still have to face a Manchester side fighting for the title. It’s not over yet, but at the moment we’re the ones with the advantage and the momentum. What we’ve got to do now is hold on to it.

And I think much as it was a functional result I think we can allow ourselves a moment to enjoy victory over Everton. Goodison Park is not an easy place to win, David Moyes’ Everton not an easy team to beat. It was another test that we’ve passed as this Arsenal team seems to continue to grow in character and resolve. It’s really important for this team and the club as a whole that we do not fade away this season. It’s been a long time since we’ve finished a season strongly and it would bode well for the future for us if we could hold on to this third spot and not let the campaign blow up in our faces as we have done before.

That’ll do it for this morning. Have a good day, and I’ll be back soon.

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  • jamrockrover  On 23/03/2012 at 9:35 pm

    For some bizarre reason I’ve been unable to comment on your blog from my phone for most of this week.

    It was a great result for Arsenal considering that Everton had beaten City, Chelsea and Spurs in their last three home league games.

  • sbo  On 25/09/2014 at 5:07 am

    It was a fun and exciting tournament.

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