In a mid week Barclays Premier League match up, this writer witnessed Arsenal take advantage of the absence of Tim Cahill to fight back from a goal down to win Everton 2-1, exposing Everton’s obvious lack of depth especially with the departure of Steven Pienaar.
Everton started the match positively keeping up the pressure on a young Arsenal side and opened the scoring albeit in controversial conditions with Louis Saha smashing the ball in from an offside position after a somewhat failed attempt by Koscielny to control a through ball by the up and coming Seamus Coleman.
The game was littered with unnecessary challenges from Arsenal with Tomas Rosicky one of the culprits after a dangerous challenge just before the break.
Arsenal however fought back in the second half with a goal from Andrei Arashavin who took advantage of a misjudged header from Jack Rodwell as Cesc Fabregas chipped the ball over the Everton defence, leveling the score with a composed finish that Tim Howard couldn’t stop.
Koscielny turned savior for Arsenal within the next 5minutes heading in a corner which awakened the Emirates crowd who were spending most of the night booing the visiting Toffeemen and the men in black.
The next change however raised a couple of eyebrows as Phil Jagielka came on for Captain Phil Neville in the 77th min.
Both Phil’s have been in the news recently with possible transfers to London clubs and it was reported that Arsene Wenger was interested in signing the younger Phil to provide more cover for a defence which has Sebastian Squillaci and Thomas Vermaelan injured leaving defensive duties to Laurent Koscielny and Johan Djourou whose defensive partnership has been pretty frail at times.
Nevertheless, Arsenal held on to win 2-1 despite Everton pushing hard for the equalizer with Marouane Fellaini in blistering form throughout leading by example dominating the midfield with his physic and skills.
This may however be an expensive victory for Arsene Wenger’s side with possible injuries to Theo Walcott and Alex Song adding to the already long injury list that features among them Sami Nasri and Lukas Fabianski.