Everton fight back to draw 2-2 at Sunderland
Mikel Arteta's deflected goal earned Everton a point in an entertaining 2-2 draw at Sunderland in the Premier League.
Sunderland looked on its way to a second straight win to follow up last week's shock victory over champion Chelsea when Danny Welbeck headed in his second goal of the night to make it 2-1.
But Arteta saved the day for his club with seven minutes remaining when he found space on the edge of the area and shot home via a big deflection off Sunderland defender Phil Bardsley.
Everton had taken a sixth-minute lead when Leighton Baines crossed for Tim Cahill to head home his seventh goal of the season. Sunderland equalized before half time when Welbeck slotted in Boudewijn Zenden's low ball in from the right.
Everton could have won it in injury time, but substitute Jermaine Beckford shot wildly over the bar with only the goalkeeper to beat.
Defeat would have been harsh on Sunderland in a closely-fought contest which leaves the hosts still seventh in the standings, and just outside the European places.
''We started slowly against one of the better teams in the Premier League,'' Sunderland manager Steve Bruce said. ''That put us on the back foot but we responded and overall I have to say I would have taken a 2-2. We're a little bit aggrieved we've conceded too late but I think a draw was a fair result.''
Everton edged further away from the relegation zone and up to 14th, with a home game against West Bromwich Albion up next.
''We're pleased,'' Everton manager David Moyes said. ''It's a hard place to come, especially after the result last week for Sunderland.''
Sunderland fans saw their side sweep past Chelsea last time out, but the reality check came quickly when Baines took advantage of some slack defending to cross for Cahill to head in.
The hosts had to make do without the injured Asamoah Gyan but were boosted by the return of striker Darren Bent and having responded well to the early setback, they deservedly equalized through Welbeck.
In a match which ebbed and flowed in entertaining fashion, Everton came closest to taking a first-half lead when Jordan Henderson cleared Cahill's header off the line before Sylvain Distin scooped the ball over the bar with 'keeper Craig Gordon on the ground.
Having withstood a spell of Sunderland pressure early in the second half, Everton began to take control and only the bravery of Michael Turner prevented the visitors from scoring.
Cahill beat Gordon to the ball and chipped toward goal only for the onrushing Turner to slide in and clear off the line, before colliding painfully with the post.
Turner was fit to carry on and saw real reward for his effort when on-loan Manchester United striker Welbeck, who scored his first goal for the club against Chelsea, leapt at the near post to send a looping header beyond Everton 'keeper Tim Howard.
Replays showed Kieran Richardson was offside as he collected the ball before crossing for Welbeck, so Everton will feel the equalizer was no more than it deserved.
Everton manager David Moyes sent on strikers Yakubu and Beckford as the minutes ticked down, but in the end, his side drew level through a midfielder.
Arteta's shot lacked power but the touch off Bardsley defeated Gordon in the Sunderland goal.
There was more drama to come, with Welbeck going close for Sunderland and Beckford appearing to panic with only Gordon to beat and powering a shot wastefully over the bar.