Rosicky finds his feet to stop 'lucky' Arsenal sliding to defeat

Arsenal 2 Everton 2

Arsène Wenger berated the powers-that-be for calling off so many Premier League games this weekend, with pitches playable even though access to many stadiums was tricky. The Arsenal manager, however, was only three stoppage-time minutes from wishing this match had been postponed as well, before Tomas Rosicky's deflected shot earned a draw that was scarcely deserved.

Given a chance, with Chelsea not playing, to close the gap on the Premier League leaders to one point, the Gunners were lucky to emerge with a point. They were stuck for long periods with their wheels spinning on an increasingly slippery surface.

As the snow fell harder and then began to settle, it stopped the cogs from turning in what is normally such a smooth machine. To add to Wenger's displeasure, Denilson, who scored his side's first equaliser here, was taken off in severe pain, having collapsed in agony with an injury Wenger described as "a mystery," suggesting either a rib or a lung problem for one of his key holding midfielders.

Wenger admitted it was not his side's best showing against a side they pummelled 6-1 on the opening day of the campaign at Goodison Park. He said: "We played a very good team and they were more dangerous and sharper than us. We dropped two points, but gained a point as we were closer to losing it than winning it. We didn't find our game today but we had spirit and fight. We had problems technically and Everton stopped us very well from playing. In midfield they were dominant." David Moyes went so far as to single out Marouane Fellaini as being the outstanding midfielder in the country at the moment.

Everton left the ground having extended their current record to no defeats in six League games, but Moyes knew they should have won against an Arsenal side that seemed, in the snowbound conditions, to freeze.

The crucial period came eight minutes from time, when the Toffees could have wrapped up victory. After a first half in which Leon Osman saw his header equalised by Denilson's deflected shot, the game swung back the visitors' way when Steven Pienaar gave his side the lead, breaking from the halfway line to run 50 yards before scooping his shot cheekily over Manuel Almunia as the Spaniard fell to the ground. It was an impressive effort and even better given the conditions underfoot.

A minute later James Vaughan, on for Louis Saha, had an identical opportunity. However, the substitute shot at Almunia when having the courage and confidence, not to say the technique, to copy Pienaar would have resulted in a third goal and guaranteed victory. Moyes said: "We have to be more ruthless. There are a few players shouting at each other in the dressing room." No prizes for guessing who was the main target.

Vaughan's miss left Arsenal with an opportunity to make up for their previously limp performance, one which highlighted the absence of Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie.

Denilson's injury and extended time on the ground played, however perversely, into Arsenal's hands and in the additional five minutes, Abou Diaby moved into the penalty area and passed sideways to Rosicky. The Czech shot with the outside of his foot, and his effort deflected off Lucas Neill to float into Tim Howard's net.

Wenger acknowledged the good fortune that played an important part in keeping their title challenge on track but felt the team's attitude deserved praise too. He said: "It was an important goal by Rosicky as it shows the spirit of the team. We kept going and got the point, rewarding our efforts. We didn't produce the quality we are used to. We were flat and Everton are a good side. But we scored with two deflections so we are a bit lucky at the moment." Lucky Arsenal – give it time and that name could stick.

Attendance: 60,053

Referee: Peter Walton

Man of the match: Cahill

Match rating: 7/10

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map