There was a club official on hand to jot down a few quotes as Arsene Wenger gave a post-match interview yesterday.

The words were to be transferred to Arsenal's website but it was tempting to consider that they might also be used in an incident report. After all, the Arsenal manager had just witnessed his team take a nasty fall in the race to finish among the top four in the Barclays Premier League this season.

He had been a bystander as Arsenal tripped up over an early goal from Steven Naismith and were later sent crashing by a strike from Romelu Lukaku and an own goal by Mikel Arteta. The London side are now prone, a point above yesterday's hosts in the league table, albeit still in fourth spot.

Loading article content

It would have been tempting to look away as Arsenal tumbled headlong into another league defeat had Everton not proven so compelling. One of the most accomplished performances was also given by a Scot - Naismith excelling through the middle for the Merseyside team.

Wenger would acknowledge the strength of Everton's display but was not inclined to surrender a top-four place quite as readily. "I am absolutely 100% determined to fight to make the top four but it will be difficult," he said.

"We still have a programme that is feasible but we have to first focus on the quality of our performances before we dream of places. Let's get back to playing better than that."