Arsenal's Van Persie warms up ahead of their English Premier League soccer match against Everton in Liverpool
Arsenal's Robin Van Persie warms up ahead of their English Premier League soccer match against Everton in Liverpool, northern England

Arsenal moved to third in the league after an early Vermaelen header gave the Gunners a 1-0 win over Everton. This is their sixth consecutive win in the league.

On a crucial night in the race for a Champions League spot next season, Arsene Wenger's men went above Tottenham, who were held by Stoke City and are now six points clear of Chelsea, who lost to Manchester City.

At the start of this game, both sides came out in shirts in support of Fabrice Muamba, the former Arsenal midfielder who collapsed with a heart attack while playing for Bolton last weekend.

The only goal of the game came when Vermaelen scored with a header from a Robin van Persie corner in the 8th minute, after Aaron Ramsey squandered two good chances to send the visitors ahead during a period that Arsenal dominated. Arsenal could have doubled their lead two minutes later but their Dutch captain's shot was blocked, as was Ramsey's follow-up.

Leon Osman sent a header wide at the other end as Everton gradually found momentum. They should have equalised before half-time when a Royston Drenthe drive was controversially ruled out for offside. The home crowd lost no time in making their voice heard and replays showed they had good reason too.

Everton continued to press after the interval and created chances by sending in cross after cross into the visiting penalty area but Wenger's back four stood strong.

Arsenal had their chances when Rosicky's swerving shot was saved by Tim Howard and van Persie smashed Gibbs' pass against the post but the assistant referee flagged for offside. Szczesny also made a smart save when Fellaini burst through.

Both sides created late chances, which fell for van Persie and Drenthe respectively. Both Dutchmen sent their shots high over the bar.

For Arsenal, it was a backs-against-the-wall performance at times, which was not usual for the London side, but they held on to get all three points. Arsenal moved to third in the league after an early Vermaelen header gave the Gunners a 1-0 win over Everton. This is their sixth consecutive win in the league.