William Gallas scored the only goal in a largely unmemorable affair, as Arsenal defeated Portsmouth, 1-0, at the Emirates Stadium to temporarily overtake Aston Villa and enter the Champions League places.
Both teams had the odd chance throughout the game, with Peter Crouch hitting the post, and David James saving a shot from Samir Nasri, but Arsenal got the breakthrough on 81 minutes when Gallas headed in a free kick after James failed to collect the ball.
Gallas has now scored five goals this season from the centre of defence, and he is slowly winning back the fans' trust after being stripped of the captaincy a couple of months ago for criticising his teammates publicly. More goals like this one will do Gallas wonders.
Whilst the overall performance may not have been the best Arsenal fans have ever seen, they will be delighted to have picked up three points going into the break for the FA Cup, where Arsenal will host Championship side Plymouth Argyle on Jan. 3. Arsenal's next league game is at home to Bolton Wanderers on Jan. 10.
Portsmouth slip to 12th place on the back of their defeat. They will host Bristol City from the Championship in the FA Cup on Jan. 3, before hosting Manchester City in the league on Jan. 10.