Off-topic: Everton 1 Arsenal 4 - Arsenal triumphant, top of the table

Arsenal

Watching the first half of this match, it would have been excusable to write off Arsenal's title hopes. They looked as shaky as they have for the past six matches or so, with Everton going up 1-0 and pushing Arsenal off the pitch.

But in the final few minutes of the first half, Arsenal finally got forward and put pressure on Everton. I was confident they'd start the second half strong, and they did with Eduardo scoring in the first 90 seconds. Not long after he doubled his tally with a beautiful maneuver around the Everton defender. Sheer class, both goals. Perhaps Eduardo will now finally get his chance to start for the club.

From then on, Arsenal never looked like losing, though there were a number of nervous moments. Bendtner didn't do poorly, but he initiated the biggest worry of the match when he collected a second yellow to get sent off. Arsenal started to play a little too aggressively at this point, and half the team ended up with a card by the end of the match.

It was soon too late for Everton to come back, however, as Adebayor came on to push it past Tim Howard (Everton's goalie) to walk it into the Everton net. Fantastic goal and exceptional persistence. Rosicky finished off the match with a classy drive to the near post, perhaps thinking better of his Portsmouth attempt to curl a ball into the far post. Good decision.

While it was a great result for Arsenal, I'm concerned by how slowly they started and how muted Hleb's performance was throughout. The midfield played too narrow, at least in the first half, and found it difficult to push the ball up to the two forwards (blessed day, by the way, that Arsene finally went back to a 4-4-2). We need to stay at 4-4-2 and take the game to everyone we play.

In other news, Manchester United stuttered to a loss at Upton Park (West Ham), with Ronaldo losing his cool on a penalty kick and steering the ball wide. There is justice. Except at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea were gifted a second goal that was miles offsides - there's not even a remote question on it - and so kept within six points of Arsenal. They didn't deserve it.

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About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

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