Everton vs Arsenal match report: Giroud rescues a point for Arsenal after they trailed by two goals

Everton 2 Arsenal 2

Goodison Park

This match began with images of Roberto Martinez having a bucket of iced water tipped over him to raise money for neurological research. It ended with the Everton manager receiving a far more painful shock to the system.

There were times in the first half when it appeared that Arsenal would not just be beaten, they might be routed. However, Arsène Wenger had seen his side recover to snatch a victory in their opening game against Crystal Palace and now they hit back late once more.

Nevertheless, when Aaron Ramsey clipped home Santi Cazorla’s low cross from close range, it seemed unlikely Wenger would get his fig-leaf of a point. However, since their 3-0 defeat here in April that seemed to have dashed their chances of Champions’ League football, there has been something tougher and more resilient about Arsenal and the moment when Olivier Giroud headed home Nacho Monreal’s cross was further proof.

 However, those Arsenal fans who remained in the Bullens Road Stand chanting that Everton had squandered a two-goal lead - or words to that effect - would probably have been the same ones who had spent season after barren season demanding that Wenger spend some of Arsenal’s vast financial reserves.

 

 The fact was that his two weakest performers were Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Özil, men on whom the club has spent £77m. For Sanchez, this was only his second game but Özil is more worrying. This is his second season.

The first thing you would be confronted by when turning into Goodison Road for the start of a new season was a vast portrait of Martinez draped from the Main Stand above the slogan: “Solo Lo Mejor”. They used to do this for Politburo members in the Brezhnev-era Soviet Union accompanied by exhortations to increase tractor production rather than the Spanish for “only the best will do”. It would have surprised those coming to Merseyside from London; there is nothing remotely similar celebrating Wenger at the Emirates. However, after only one season at Everton, Martinez already casts a giant shadow.

Arsenal had been outplayed here in April and they were outplayed now to such an extent that the loss of Steven Pienaar, withdrawn after 10 minutes, was scarcely noticed.

In contrast, Sanchez, Arsenal’s marquee summer signing, lasted one half in which he produced nothing of note. Within seconds of the restart, his replacement, Olivier Giroud, was presented with a far better chance than the Chilean had been given in 45 minutes of football. It was squandered.

Most of the summer fuss around Everton had centred on the £28m deal for Romelu Lukaku but the much more modest fee that took Gareth Barry permanently from Manchester City to Goodison was in its way just as interesting. It was a little chip from Barry that provided the breakthrough. It was probably aimed at Lukaku but it went beyond the Belgian’s head but not that of Seamus Coleman, who powered it into the roof of the Arsenal net via the tips of Wojciech Szczesny’s glove.

It was a more difficult chance than the one Everton spurned a few moments later as Steven Naismith’s header stranded Calum Chambers and put Kevin Mirallas through on goal. The surprise was that the ball finished the other side of the post.

For the 19-year-old Chambers, this was his bucket of iced water delivered after a promising beginning against Crystal Palace. Everton at Goodison are, however, a rather different proposition.

He had already earned a warning for muscling in on Mirallas when he was left horribly exposed by the sight of Per Mertesacker recklessly over-committing himself in Everton’s half, allowing Lukaku to race down the right flank. Lukaku versus Chambers was a no-contest and Arsenal had just Mathieu Flamini to prevent the breakaway. Lukaku passed to Naismith and the Scot had his second goal in as many games, although television replays suggested offside.

Replacing Sanchez with Giroud gave an Arsenal attack more of an edge, although hitherto Everton’s back four had looked as rattled as a man threatened by a spatula.

However, it was past the hour when Tim Howard made his first save of the evening, denying Giroud what should have been Arsenal’s opener long before Ramsey struck.

Most football matches carry shadows from the past. In April, Lukaku had ruthlessly attacked and exposed Monreal, who had been acting as a makeshift left-back, and he did the same now. After the debacle in Bloemfontein during the 2010 World Cup, Barry probably never wants to share a pitch with Özil again. The German should have been a spectre over the Everton midfield, instead he was anonymous, a ghost in somebody else’s game.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
health
News
science
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
News
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Sport
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power