Everton vs Arsenal reaction: Jack Wilshere says Gunners will take 'great confidence' into Besiktas match after draw
The Gunners came from two goals down to claim a point at Goodison Park
Sunday 24 August 2014
Arsenal looked destined for defeat at Goodison Park after falling behind to goals from Seamus Coleman and Steven Naismith.
The Gunners missed a host of chances in the second half, but their dogged determination bore fruit in the end as Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud scored in a dramatic final seven minutes to snatch a point.
On Wednesday, Arsenal face arguably their biggest match of the season when they host Besiktas in the second leg of their Champions League play-off.
With the tie currently standing at 0-0 after the first leg, Arsenal need a win to make the group stages for the 18th consecutive time, but Wilshere is not worried about the prospect of failure.
"This was a fantastic point and now we have a big game on Wednesday and this will give us great confidence going into that," Wilshere told Arsenal Player.
"We have got great character, great togetherness and some leaders out there that keep us going.
"We also have great players to go with that.
"We never give up and at this level that is massive. We have always shown over the years that Arsenal are going to battle like mad right until the end.
"There have been a few games where we have been behind right until the end but have kept going."
All the pre-match talk had been about a possible venture into the transfer market for a defensive midfielder, but based on the evidence of this match, Arsenal are more in need of a top-class striker.
Alexis Sanchez endured a torrid first half against experienced centre-back pairing Sylvain Distin and Phil Jagielka.
His replacement Giroud fared little better for the majority of the second period, wasting three good chances to score, before he finally nodded in Nacho Monreal's cross in the 90th minute.
Arsene Wenger, who may be without Giroud for Wednesday's game because of an ankle injury, admits Arsenal's finishing was not good enough on Saturday.
"Normally when you score two away from home, you should win the game," the Arsenal manager said.
"We had plenty of chances."
Wenger must have privately been wishing Everton's number 10 was on his books.
Romelu Lukaku had an outstanding game, muscling Per Mertesacker off the ball all match.
The big Belgian gave the German, and Calum Chambers the slip to set up Naismith on a stunning counter which allowed the hosts to go in 2-0 up at the break.
Naismith, who also scored on the opening day draw at Leicester, says it is a pleasure to play alongside a man he thinks can go on to become one of the best strikers in Europe.
"He is a good young guy with a massive amount of potential," the Scot told Press Association Sport.
"I have even noticed a difference from last season and that is only going to continue over the coming years so I am sure when he gets to his mid-twenties, he will be one of Europe's best strikers."
Many were surprised when Chelsea allowed Lukaku to sign for Everton on a permanent basis after he scored 15 league goals on loan at the Merseyside club last year.
Naismith thinks the £28million signing will be out to show the Blues what they are missing next week when they come to Goodison Park.
"I am sure there will be things he wants to prove to Chelsea," Naismith said.
"It was a big money move to come here so I don't think he was a disappointment at Chelsea.
"There was a lot of quality players ahead of him at the time so we are just lucky we have him and hopefully next week he will have a good performance and really turn it on against them."
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