Everton moved back into the top six of English soccer today with a 1-0 win over Arsenal. A top six finish would mean the right to participate in European soccer next season.
The match, played in high winds and, by the end, a downpour of hail, was a fairly even affair. Despite the conditions and the absence of some of its top stars, the Arse often played their typical flowing game, but lacked the cutting edge up-front to score. When they did threaten, our American goal-keeper Tim Howard was up to the task, as usual.
Everton was also reasonably attack-minded, at least by our usual standards against high-quality opposition. Andy Johnson ran tirelessly at the Arsenal defense, but often lacked support. Then, in “stoppage time,” we scored the winner after Arsenal failed to clear a corner kick.
It’s fun to think about what Johnson could accomplish with a strong strike-partner. And we may find out next week if the England national team manager elects to pair him with former Evertonian Wayne Rooney when England plays Israel in a vital Euro 2008 qualifier.
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