Everton staged a late fightback against Arsenal but it came too late as they went down to a narrow 2-1 loss at Goodison Park. It may not have been as emphatic a victory as last season's 6-1 win over Everton, but Arsenal will be pleased with the three points after the Toffees pushed them all the way.
For Everton this result still leaves them in the wrong half of the table as they suffered only their fourth reverse in the last 24 matches in the top flight.
Arsenal took a 2-o lead then had to withstand the Merseysiders fightback which saw Tim Cahill net a last minute consolation for David Moyes' men.
Bakari Sagna opened the scoring for the visitor's in the first half, then Cesc Fabregas doubled the lead just after the break.
At this stage the Goodison faithful were unimpressed with referee Howard Webb who they felt had not been giving them any decisions.
Cahill's effort set up a late rally but Arsenal held out for the win.
Referee: Howard Webb
Venue: Goodison Park Attendance: 36,279
EVERTON 24 Howard 03 Baines 05 Heitinga (yellow card) (Rodwell 46) 06 Jagielka 15 Distin 18 Neville (Beckford 69) 23 Coleman (yellow card) 10 Arteta (Yakubu 69) 17 Cahill 20 Pienaar 08 Saha
Substitutes 01 Mucha, 02 Hibbert, 07 Bilyaletdinov, 26 Rodwell, 16 Beckford, 19 Magaye Gueye, 22 Yakubu
ARSENAL 21 Fabianski 03 Sagna 18 Squillaci (yellow card) 20 Djourou 22 Clichy 04 Fabregas (yellow card) 08 Nasri 17 A Song 19 Wilshere (Denilson 46) 23 Arshavin (Rosicky 66) 29 Chamakh (Eboue 89)
Substitutes 53 Szczesny, 27 Eboue, 28 Gibbs, 07 Rosicky, 14 Walcott, 15 Denilson, 10 Van Persie