Everton holds Arsenal 1-1 in Premier League
Everton substitute Gerard Deulofeu scored six minutes from time
to salvage a deserved 1-1 draw at Arsenal on Sunday as the Gunners
missed the chance to open a gap at the top of the Premier League
Deulofeu scored from a tight angle with a shot past Arsenal
goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny just four minutes after Mesut Ozil put
Arsene Wenger’s team in front from close range.
Coming off a win at Manchester United midweek, Everton was the
better team in the first half but Arsenal had the best chances
after the interval as goalkeeper Tim Howard produced several
decisive saves. Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud hit the crossbar in
Arsenal, which next plays Napoli in the Champions League before
tough games against Manchester City and Chelsea, leads Liverpool
and Chelsea by five points.
Arsenal went ahead after Everton wasted two good chances, as
Theo Walcott headed a ball across the goal and Giroud failed to hit
it before Ozil fired it into the roof of the net.
A win for Arsenal would have been a big statement after their
rivals’ slip-ups on Saturday but Everton fought back to equalize
after Romelu Lukaku failed to connect with an overhead kick and
Deulofeu slotted home from 10 meters.
Everton started on a high tempo with a series of attacks on the
flanks and dominated possession in the first half. England
international Ross Barkley, bossing the midfield throughout the
first half, created Everton’s first chance after five minutes when
he released the ball for Kevin Mirallas, but the Belgian player’s
cross from the right could not find Lukaku.
The Toffees continued to press but Barkley’s shot from the edge
of the box was deflected wide before Sylvain Distin fired the ball
wide following a corner that was poorly cleared by the Gunners
Failing to produce its usual sharp passing game, Arsenal
weathered the storm but failed to threaten Howard during the first
Mirallas had another good chance in the 22nd minute following a
swift move ignited by Barkley but his right-footed shot from the
right went wide.
Arsenal created its first clear chance on the break when Santi
Cazorla crossed a low ball in the 27th minute that eluded Kieran
Gibbs by a couple of inches as Wenger started to show signs of
nervousness on the touchline.
Arsenal then started playing better in the closing stages of the
first half and should have scored with two minutes remaining when
referee Howard Webb decided to play the advantage following Gareth
Barry’s rough tackle on Ozil. But Howard was quick off his line to
deny Giroud’s effort from close range. The United States goalkeeper
was again decisive in the 45th minute to block Aaron Ramsey’s
attempt from Giroud’s assist.
Arsenal played with the same intensity after the interval,
monopolizing the ball and swarming into the Everton box, as Cazorla
headed straight at Howard in the 51st from Wilshere’s clever pull
Everton responded immediately as Steven Pienaar forced Szczesny
to make his first save with a long-range shot but Arsenal went
close again when Howard denied Ramsey at the back post after the
Welsh midfielder had been found by Gibbs
Wenger brought in Walcott, Tomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini,
with the Frenchman having an immediate impact with a shot fired
just wide in the 73rd.
Giroud and the Arsenal fans thought the Frenchman had won the
game in added time but his 30-meter strike smashed against the
crossbar with Howard looking well-beaten.