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First-half double has Everton in command of crucial Arsenal match

Apr 6, 2014, 9:18 AM EDT

Naismith Getty Images

Goodison Park is rocking as they have seen their Toffees hit twice in the first half as they look to take control of the final Champions League spot live on NBCSN or live online at NBC Sports Live Extra.

Battling for the title just weeks ago, Arsenal now find themselves in a precarious position down a pair after Steven Naismith and Romelu Lukaku have bagged the double.

With Everton holding a game in hand, a win would see them go a point behind Arsenal for the fourth and final Champions League place, meaning they would control their own destiny for the spot.

Naismith struck the opener after just 14 minutes, as Leighton Baines pulled out a brilliant ball forward and after Lukaku saw his initial effort saved, Naismith cleaned up the mess.

The Belgian would get his own 20 minutes later after a wonderful solo effort saw him bolt down the right side and cut back centrally before rifling easily past Wojciech Szczesny.

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It was a poor defensive first-half effort altogether from Arsenal, twice finding their back line caught napping on breaks towards the Gunners net.

Everton have not only put two into the back of the net, but have done it with an expert counter attack, seeing Arsenal hold nearly 60% of the first-half possession.

If Arsene Wenger wants to retain his Champions League status and avoid a horribly disappointing late-season collapse, he likely needs to pick up the pieces in the second half and make some sort of positive change to get Arsenal back in the match. Can they pull off a stunning upset and save their control of the race for 4th position?

  1. navyeoddavee9 - Apr 6, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    COYB!

  2. hildezero - Apr 6, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    It seemed like a great first half for Everton.

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