Arsenal took the lead, then threatened to lose it late on.
David Moyes picked a 4-4-1-1 side with few surprises. Marouane Fellaini was suspended so Johnny Heitinga played in the centre of midfield. Louis Saha was given the nod upfront ahead of Jermaine Beckford and Yakubu.
No major news from Arsene Wenger’s starting XI either. Samir Nasri was chosen ahead of Theo Walcott on the right, Jack Wilshere kept his place in the centre, Johan Djourou and Sebastien Squillaci were at centre-back because of Thomas Vermaelen’s injury and Laurent Koscielny’s suspension.
Everton started strongly, having more possession and taking the game to Arsenal early on. Heitinga played surprisingly high up the pitch – when Everton had the ball he advanced ahead of Fabregas and was often battling with Alex Song and Wilshere.
Arsenal eventually settled down and had an increasing proportion of the possession as the first half went on. Andrei Arshavin barely featured on the left flank and instead played an inside-left position, drifting across the pitch in behind Heitinga.