Arsenal had most of the half's better play, and 35 minutes into the first period at Everton, the Gunners were given their reward. Beating Tim Howard high to the near post, Bacary Sagna recorded his second career league goal, giving the Gunners a lead 10 minutes before half.
The play started with a long shot from Samir Nasri, who Everton failed to close down as he cut across the top of their penalty area. At the arc, Nasri let a left-footed shot go toward Howard's right post, forcing a diving stop from the `keeper. Andrei Arshavin got on the rebound and, near the byline, laid a pass off to an on-coming Sagna. The right back's second touch went upper 90, giving Arsenal a 0-1 lead.
Though Tim Howard has not had a busy half, Arsenal has dominated play. More than their usual possession dominant, edge-lacking game, the Gunners are actually showing ambition in the final third and have already drawn cards from central defender Phil Jagielka and John Heitenga, playing in midfield.
Now just minutes before halftime, Arsenal continue to pack Everton deep, with star midfielder Mikel Arteta often seen at the same level as Heitenga, even though Everton's seen a lot of the ball. Howard has gone untested since the goal, but with play looking similar to the game the was played before the goal, Arsenal could be good for another.