Arsenal fought to claim a hard earned point at Goodison Park yesterday night. The Gunners are down to 7th in the league, but on reflection in May, this may not be a bad result, it is just unfortunate that it came at a time when Arsenal needed a win.
Arsenal started the game perfectly. Theo Walcott exchanged passes with Aaron Ramsey before going on to curl the ball past Tim Howard with a little help from a deflection.
Laurent Koscielny suffered an early injury to his thigh and was replaced by Kieran Gibbs. The Frenchman is believed to be out for around 3 weeks with this injury.
Everton were boosted by the return of key man Marouane Fellaini following a suspension. The Belgian was denied by Wojciech Szczesny, who saved his header. However, when Steven Pienaar forced Bacary Sagna into giving away possession, Fellaini received the ball and drilled a shot past Szczesny for the equaliser.
Nickica Jelavic then fired a shot over the bar as Everton finished the half on top of the Gunners. A fine reaction save from Szczesny prevented Sylvain Distin from heading in Leighton Baines’ cross. Santi Cazorla then saw a snap shot saved by Howard at the other end.
Everton had a penalty appeal turned down when former Everton star Mikel Arteta appeared to foul Pienaar in the box, but nothing was given by the referee.
Arsenal could have stolen it at the end when Olivier Giroud’s header went oh so close to creeping in and Giroud then provided a good cross which substitute Gervinho couldn’t get on the end of.
Both sides will feel frustrated to have only come away with a point, but you can’t argue with it. Both sides wasted good opportunities to win the match. Even I will admit that had Giroud’s header gone in near the end, Arsenal would have been fortunate to come away with three points. However, I certainly wouldn’t have complained and it is a shame that it didn’t go in!.
Arsenal’s next game is at home to Swansea on Saturday at 3pm.