Everton contimues roll with Arsenal upset at Goodison

AP , LONDON

Mon, Jan 23, 2006 - Page 20

James Beattie scored in the 13th minute on Saturday, and Everton won its fourth straight English Premier League match by defeating Arsenal 1-0.

Beattie scored his seventh goal of the season when he chased Tim Cahill's ball, slipped between Sol Campbell and Philippe Senderos, and stabbed a shot behind Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann.

The loss was Arsenal's seventh in the league this year, six of which have come in away matches. Arsenal seldom threatened against Everton and, in second-half injury time, Francesc Fabregas was sent off on a red card.

The loss left Arsenal in fifth place with 37 points -- 24 behind league-leading Chelsea. Everton improved to 29 points, good for the middle of the standings.

Also, Neil Mellor scored in second-half injury time to give Wigan a 3-2 victory at Middlesbrough. 'Boro drew level after trailing 2-0, only to let a valuable point slip away.

The victory moved Wigan up to 37 points in sixth place -- even with Arsenal but trailing on goal difference. 'Boro slipped close to relegation with 22 points, above 18th-place Birmingham with 19.

Also Saturday, it was: Birmingham City 5, Portsmouth 0; Bolton 2, Manchester City 0; Newcastle 0, Blackburn 1; and Tottenham 0, Aston Villa 0. Sunderland played later at West Brom.

Today, Chelsea hosts struggling Charlton and Liverpool plays at Manchester United in one of the biggest matches of the season.

Tomorrow, West Ham hosts Fulham.

Chelsea leads with 61 points followed by Manchester United with 45 and Liverpool with 44. Tottenham holds fourth with 41.

It was a day to savor for Everton manager David Moyes, who was battered by criticism earlier in the season when his team was struggling.

"The players are coming into the sort of form we believed they had," Moyes said. "And confidence is a big thing. We are on a run now, and it's much easier to be a manager when you are winning than when you are losing."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said he was beaten by an old-English style of play.

"We lost a game where in the end it was all down to long balls -- and us not finding our chances." Wenger said. "We tried very hard to respond in the second half, but Everton was strong."

Steve Bruce, a coach under fire at Birmingham City, got some relief in the 5-0 victory over Portsmouth with goals from five different players: Jiri Jarosik, Jermaine Pennant, Matthew Upson, Mikael Forssell, and David Dunn.