AJ Makes Arsenal Pay

AJ Makes Arsenal Pay

Everton FC 1-0 Arsenal FC

Andrew Johnson grabbed a late winner as snow fell on Goodison Park to add further woe to Arsenal’s season with a 1-0 win.

Beaten in three cup competitions of late, they failed to take advantage of Liverpool’s dropped points earlier in the day when their rivals for third spot could only draw at Aston Villa.

Arsenal slipped up again, and so did Wenger, falling over on the touch-line in the snow as he tried to encourage his side to cope with Everton’s late surge.

Andrew Johnson scores against Arsenal.

And Johnson struck his 12th goal of the season in the first minute of injury time to send Everton back into sixth spot in their own quest for European qualification.

In the week that boss David Moyes celebrated his fifth year in charge of the club, this was another famous scalp for the Scot to relish.

Moyes gave 18-year-old James Vaughan his first start of the season, consigning James Beattie to the substitutes bench, while Alan Stubbs and Leon Osman returned to the side.

Arsenal knew before the start they could not be dislodged from third place following Liverpool’s 0-0 at Aston Villa.

The Gunners’ security came from a midweek victory at Villa Park, and Wenger made two changes from that side, leaving out Denilson and Johan Djourou.

Fit-again Tomas Rosicky returned with Kolo Toure, who had completed his three-match suspension.

But Johnson, set to play up front for England next weekend, was instantly involved in a bustling start by Everton.

His pace and movement had already unsettled the Arsenal backline when he was inches from scoring on eight minutes.

Vaughan’s flick-on had forced Gilberto to stick out a foot and lob the ball over his own keeper, Jens Lehmann.

Johnson reacted quickest and was bearing down on the ball and an open goal when Lehmann managed to get back and curl an arm around the striker to palm the ball away.

Tim Howard had to save at the feet of Cesc Fabregas as Arsenal began to get their passing game moving.

A touch from Vaughan then gave Lee Carsley a chance and he struck the bar from 30 yards before Stubbs was booked on 31 minutes for a lunge at Abou Diaby that was more mistimed than malicious.

But Arsenal slowly got on top, and Rosicky’s 20-yard shot forced Howard into a hurried push over the bar, before Julio Baptista curled a free-kick a foot over the angle.

Fernandes was next into the book for a late challenge on Baptista, before Howard then had to make a fine save with his legs from Fabregas, before Diaby lashed a 30-yard drive over.

Lescott had problems with the pace of Jeremie Aliadiere, and he was eventually booked for hauling down the French youngster on 51 minutes.

And Aliadiere wasted a great chance to put Arsenal ahead on 58 minutes when he blasted over from just six yards following a Rosicky pull-back.

Johnson’s pace continually threatened to catch Arsenal out and Vaughan was starting to get into the game.

Lehmann tussles with Johnson

One incident on 64 minutes saw the youngster catch Lehmann with his studs. The German looked to kick out at the England youth international. Referee Mark Clattenberg chose a few quiet words rather than a booking.

Osman hit a post on 73 minutes, Vaughan nodding down a Phil Neville cross for the midfielder to stab against the woodwork from six yards.

Two minutes later Arsenal sent on Theo Walcott, 18 last Friday, in place of Aliadiere. Then Howard twice had to save from Fabregas.

Vaughan was booked for a foul on Fabregas on 81 minutes, Clattenberg pointing out an accumulation of offences by the youngster.

Arsenal sent on Denilson for Baptista on 85 minutes, Everton replacing Vaughan with another youngster, Victor Anichebe, a minute later.

And a minute into injury-time, Everton grabbed the lead. Mikel Arteta’s corner was nodded on by Johnson, Arsenal failed to clear and the ball came back to the striker to drill home from 12 yards with his left foot.

Anichebe, who had been heavily involved in the penalty-box battle that led to the goal, found himself booked before the re-start.

Match report thanks to ESPN Soccernet

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