Arsenal fight back to draw 2-2 with Everton
The Gunners showed plenty of grit as they battled back from two goals down to rescue a point in the closing minutes at Goodison Park on Sunday morning (Aug 24, Singapore time) following a determined second-half showing.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger claimed the resilience shown by his players in their 2-2 draw with Everton underlines their Premier League title credentials
"We responded well. We were a bit nervous at the start." he said.
“We gave a great response with a complete desire to come back and the spirit was fantastic," he added.
Everton had deserved their lead at the break, earned thanks to Seamus Coleman’s header from a Gareth Barry free-kick and Steven Naismith’s smart finish after great work by Romelu Lukaku.
But Arsenal pulled a goal back seven minutes from time when the impressive Aaron Ramsey slid in to guide the ball home from Santi Cazorla’s cross.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez said a lack of fitness had cost his side victory.
“The performance was phenomenal and it gave a clear direction of where we need to work,” he said.
“Scoring two goals should have been enough to control the game in a normal manner.
But we dropped our energy levels and couldn’t contain the game like we normally do,” the Spaniard explained.
France striker Olivier Giroud completed the comeback in the final minute of normal time with a powerful header from Nacho Monreal’s cross.
Giroud scoring in the final minute of the game. Photo: Reuters
However, he limped off in injury time with an ankle problem, leaving Wenger hoping it was not a serious blow ahead of Wednesday’s second leg Champions League qualifier against Besiktas, where the tie is all square after a goalless draw in Turkey.
“It is a big game against Besiktas and I hope we have not lost him,” said Wenger of Giroud, who left the stadium with a protective boot on his left foot.
“In the final minute, he stretched his ankle.”