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v Crystal Palace

Sunday 21 September K.O. 16:00

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Goodison Park | 15th August 2009 17:30

Everton v Arsenal

Everton's 2009/10 campaign began in bitterly disappointing fashion with a 6-1 home defeat by Arsenal.

The result is the Blues' worst ever on the opening day of a season.

The Toffees trailed 3-0 at the break after goals from Denilson, Thomas Vermaelen and William Gallas.

Visiting skipper Cesc Fabregas was on target twice in the second half before Eduardo added a late sixth goal. Louis Saha rolled in a late 'consolation' for the Blues.

Tim HowardTim Howard can't reach Denilson's powerful opener

After a period of applause for Sir Bobby Robson, the 2009/10 campaign was underway and Everton held their own during the opening exchanges.

Much was said about Joleon Lescott during the days preceding the clash and his name was chanted by the Everton fans at the start of the match.

Arsenal had the first effort on goal when Nicklas Bendtner fired over after eight minutes. van Persie's effort on the turn was diverted wide by Joseph Yobo soon after.

The Toffees fell behind in the 26th minute though, when Denilson rifled home from the edge of the box after being teed-up by Fabregas.

Leon OsmanOssie accelerates away from Thomas Vermaelen

Rattled and seeking parity, Everton had a couple of half-hearted penalty shouts after the half hour then Fellaini had a header cleared off the line by goalscorer Denilson.

But instead of an equaliser, the Blues found themselves further behind on 37 minutes.

David Moyes would have been disappointed to see Belgian debutant Vermaelen totally unmarked at the back post as he nodded easily past Tim Howard.

And the scenario was repeated again just four minutes later when Gallas snuck in - again unmarked - and glanced the ball into the net, this time from Fabregas' centre.

Everton Line-up to face ArsenalEverton's players pay tribute to the late Sir Bobby Robson

The misery continued after the break when Fabregas slotted van Persie's pass under Howard to make it four in the 48th minute.

Moyes made a triple substitution after 57 minutes, introducing Saha, Jack Rodwell and Dan Gosling and Rodwell lashed an effort over shortly after coming on.

Marouane Fellaini tested Almunia but then Fabregas made it five with 20 minutes remaining as he drilled past Howard after running from inside his own half.

Saha's late burst almost threatened a consolation goal but in fact it was Eduardo who tapped in a late sixth after Arshavin hit the post.

The Frenchman was on target in added time but his simple finish was scant consolation.

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