Search

Walcott returns with a goal but Toffees draw leaves Arsenal no closer to top four

22:19 28 November 2012

Arsenal

Arsenal's Theo Walcott celebrates scoring the opening goal of the game against Everton. Photo credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Premier League: Everton 1 Arsenal 1

Theo Walcott marked his first-team returns with a first minute goal but the draw at Everton did little to boost their bid to regain a top-four spot in the Premier League.

Walcott, who had missed two matches with a shoulder injury, scored after just 52 seconds only for Marouane Fellaini, having served a one-match ban, to equalise just before the half-hour mark.

Everton thought they should have had a second-half penalty when former Toffees midfielder Mikel Arteta appeared to foul Steven Pienaar, but their appeals went unheard.

A sixth draw in eight league matches has put a dampener on the Merseysiders’ impressive start to the season and they have now dropped to sixth, with the Gunners immediately below them.

Arsenal had won eight and drawn two of their last 10 league meetings and must have felt they would add to their tally of victories after gaining such an early advantage.

Walcott, for whom one of the issues regarding renewing his contract which expires this summer appears to be a desire to play up front, gave an example of what he offers in the penalty area.

Fans barely had the chance to take their seats before he put the visitors ahead in a move which carved open the Everton defence in a manner which will have infuriated manager David Moyes.

Walcott set off on a diagonal right-to-left run, aided by a fortunate rebound off Phil Jagielka, but when he got to the edge of the penalty area he offloaded to Aaron Ramsey.

The England international continued the path of his run and his Welsh team-mate duly returned the ball for him to fire in a shot which looped up off Tony Hibbert and over goalkeeper Tim Howard.

It took him into double figures for the season and made him joint league scorer - with four - alongside Olivier Giroud, Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla.

Arsenal were forced into a reshuffle minutes later when Laurent Koscielny injured himself clearing the ball and was replaced by left-back Kieran Gibbs, with Thomas Vermaelen reverting to his usual place in the centre.

Fellaini took a while to get into the game and his downward header at a corner lacked any threat and was collected by Wojciech Szczesny at the second attempt.

However, the Belgium international is not one to pass up chances when they are presented to him on a plate and he capitalised in the 28th minute.

Bacary Sagna, under pressure from Steven Pienaar, duffed a cross-field clearance straight to Everton’s leading scorer 25 yards out.

He took a moment to get the ball under control before curling a low, left-footed shot inside Szczesny’s right-hand post.

Sagna was not having the best of nights and, under pressure from Fellaini, he toe-poked a backpass just wide from distance.

Nikica Jelavic then produced a moment of sublime skill to control Fellaini’s flick on his chest and turn Per Mertesacker but his finish in no way matched his touch and he ballooned a shot into the Park End.

After 10 minutes contesting dominance at the start of the second half, Everton emerged on top and had it not been for Szczesny they would have gone ahead.

The Poland international kept out Pienaar’s near-post shot at the expense of a corner and when Leighton Baines’ initial cross was returned to him he picked out Sylvain Distin whose powerful header was denied by Szczesny’s fingertips.

Arsenal were even luckier when former Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta’s challenge sent Pienaar sprawling in the penalty area - television replays suggesting the Spaniard got nowhere near the ball - only for referee Mike Jones to award a corner.

The Gunners responded with Olivier Giroud flashing a header across goal from Walcott’s cross as they started to show signs of turning the tide.

Suddenly Howard was the busier goalkeeper, punching clear a couple of corners and repelling Cazorla’s long-range strike.

Jelavic had one late chance to snatch victory in the 89th minute but he fired his cross-shot through the six-yard box.

Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Naismith (Oviedo, 62), Gibson (Hitzlsperger, 73), Osman, Pienaar, Fellaini, Jelavic.

Unused subs: Mucha, Heitinga, Gueye, Barkley, Vellios.

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny (Gibbs, 4), Vermaelen, Walcott, Ramsey (Gervinho, 80), Arteta, Wilshere, Cazorla (Coquelin, 90), Giroud.

Unused subs: Mannone, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jenkinson

Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)

Related articles

0 comments

Latest Islington Sports News

Yesterday, 20:11
Middlesex's Dawid Malan

Dawid Malan celebrated his first game as Middlesex’s T20 skipper with a classy knock of 93 as his side hammered Hampshire by 69 runs.

Yesterday, 07:15
New Zealand's Brendon McCullum hits out against England in 2015

James Franklin has warned that Middlesex cannot expect his former New Zealand team-mate Brendon McCullum to single-handedly transform their fortunes in one-day cricket.

Thu, 12:00
Rugby league player Aston Stephenson

There aren’t too many boys who grow up in north London and go to university in rugby union’s heartland – and then become rugby league internationals.

Thu, 10:00
Middlesex batsman Nick Gubbins

While it may be a cliché, to get a first-class hundred for the first time at Lord’s – the home of cricket – was an absolute dream come true.

Wed, 17:14
St Aloysius' RC College U14s won the ESFA PlayStation Cup at the Madejski Stadium, Reading

Left-back Prosper Keto headed in the only goal at Reading’s Madejski Stadium as St Aloysius’ Under-14s collected their first national 11-a-side trophy for 16 years.

Wed, 16:52
Summer Eytle-Rock (left) of Activities4U U12s

Summer Eytle-Rock produced another big game for Activities 4U Under-12s as the Islington side defeated Hackney Jedis 26-14 to book their place in the Community Basketball League play-off semi-finals.

Wed, 16:52
Beth Potter (right) is pursued by her British rivals Kate Avery and Jessica Andrews (second from left), who eventually won the race on the Parliament Hill athletics track. Pic: Mark Shearman

Former world record-holder Dave Bedford says Highgate Harriers’ Night of the 10,000m PBs is a “fascinating event” which is “of great value” to the world of athletics.

Wed, 13:27
Hornsey spinner Johnny Fawcett (left) exchanges high fives with Sam Solia

Hornsey spinner Johnny Fawcett blew away the Indian Gymkhana batting with the division’s first six-wicket haul of the season to put his side top of the Division Two table.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe