Van Persie rescues 1-0 win for Arsenal vs Everton

Robin van Persie rescued Arsenal again by crashing home a

stunning volley to earn a 1-0 win over Everton in the Premier

League on Saturday.

The Netherlands striker peeled off his marker to meet a floated

pass by Alex Song in the 70th minute with a powerful shot that went

in off the far post, taking his league-high tally to 15 goals.

”Robin got us a goal, which was at the moment of the game where

we struggled a little bit to create chances,” Arsenal manager

Arsene Wenger said. ”He delivered something special and three

important points.”

The deserved victory was the perfect way for Arsenal to

celebrate the club’s 125-year anniversary festivities, lifting

Wenger’s team provisionally above Chelsea into the top four thanks

to a sixth win in eight league games.

Arsenal legends Frank McLintock, Charlie George, David O’Leary,

George Graham, Robert Pires, Jens Lehmann and Thierry Henry – who

on Friday was one of three former players to have a bronze statue

of him unveiled outside the Emirates – all helped make up a guard

of honor as Van Persie led the current side onto the field.

”Today was an historic day for us. So it’s not easy to keep the

focus right with so many people here and the celebration before the

game, with everybody coming back,” Wenger said.

”But we were a bit historical today as well because we won

1-0,” added the Frenchman, referring to a scoreline Arsenal was

famous for having in its title-winning years under Graham in 1989

and 1991.

The winning margin could have been bigger had the hosts taken

advantage of a number of clear-cut chances, particularly in the

first half when Theo Walcott ran riot down the right wing up

against England teammate Leighton Baines.

Aaron Ramsey and Gervinho wasted one-on-one chances before the

break, before Van Persie failed to get the right connection from

Walcott’s volleyed cross and ended up skying a finish over the bar

in the 54th.

Walcott then drew a wonderful, one-handed save from United

States goalkeeper Tim Howard two minutes later, only for Van Persie

to save the day with his 12th goal in his last eight league

games.

It was the Dutchman’s 33rd goal of the calendar year, one fewer

than Henry’s haul in 2004. Former Newcastle and Blackburn striker

Alan Shearer holds the all-time record with 36.

”It was a terrific finish, a really good goal which beat us,”

Everton manager David Moyes said. ”But we can’t kid ourselves

because we were fortunate to go into halftime at 0-0.”

The nearest Everton came to salvaging a draw was in second-half

stoppage time, when substitute Conor McAleny flashed a drive just

wide. The defeat left the northwest team in mid-table.