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Venue: Emirates Stadium, London
Premier League
 Tuesday 17 April 2013; 7:45pm
ARSENAL
0 0
 EVERTON
Half Time: 0 - 0
Attendance: 60,071
Fixture 33
Referee: Neil Swarbrick

Match Summary

With six games to go and mileage still remaining in their quest for Europe, Everton face a massive game against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium this evening. David Moyes was forced to make one change to the team that started against QPR on Saturday, Barkley coming into the side for Leon Osman, who is injured.

It was a fairly lively start to the game, with Fellaini trying to impose himself then Barkley releasing Mirallas but the Belgian overran it. A shockingly ad Pienaar non-pass to Baines was followed by a huge shoulder barge from Anichebe after he was held back illegally (not called) by Mertesacker .

Jagielka then fed a great low ball, perfectly weighted for Pienaar running in but Pienaar skied it horribly, as Everton dominated the early exchanges, some of which were already getting quite physical as Anichebe drove on, Blues looking up for it!

A silly block by Fellaini made a yellow card all the more inevitable, but the ref was holding them tight to his chest as the game developed, with Everton pushing the Gunners back but not getting the penetration needed to threaten the home goal.

Arsenal did finally get behind the Everton defence but there was no-one to pick up Ramsey's low cross along the 6-yard line and Everton again regrouped and pushed back. Barkley and Carzola tussled, landing on the Arsenal player's knee as the game looked more like a wrestling match at times, Wilshere the next to bounce off Barkley, and stay down.

The desire and commitment being shown tended to be at the cost of joined-up play at times, with the game scrappy and fluid play a rarity as Everton continued to out-compete their hosts for the ball but not really do that much creative with it.

A horrible clearance by Fellaini out wide, played right into the danger area in front of the Everton goal, and Gibbs lashed a shot over the angle as a result. Shocking risk!

The physical contact all over the pitch was a real challenge for referee Swarbrick to manage, and he seemed to have decide to let the game go on whereas many might have blown the pea from their whistle by this stage, Gibson coming in hard on Walcott finally making him pull out the card. Arsenal's free-kick was easily defended away. 30 mins gone and still no real shot on target.

A telling spell, though, were Everton had good possession in midfield but could not get forward and eventually sw Distin hoof it forward to lose possession. But it was regained by Coleman running forward down the right and Mirallas looked to have got forward but too early: he was flagged offside. Gibson then took out Walcott with a heavy body check, but incredibly avoided a second yellow.

Pienaar then ran across Walcott who collapsed and the Everton player got a card for his troubles, as Everton risked losing the physical battle their earnest play had initiated. They resisted a rare spell of Arsenal pressure but could not break forward.

Barkley did well to dispossess Arteta and was at the other end of the move to clip the first shot on target, an easy save for Szczesny. He did really well again to take possession (he was really having a good half by recent standards) and sent in a ball for Pienaar but the forward could not dig out the shot on goal.

But Arsenal broke a lot faster Ramsey laying in a brilliant ball from Ramsey for Giroud who at full stretch beat Howard to the ball but leathered it wide. Arsenal looked to really probe with intent for the first time in the game and it needed a diving lunge from Jagielka to save the day.

An intriguing first half, dominated for the most part by a determined and somewhat belligerent Everton, who really got at the Gunners, lock, stock and barrel but could not produce the chances or shots needed to give them the lead. Hopefully the chance had not gone but could they maintain these levels of effort through another 45 mins?

Mirallas got an early shot after the break but it lacked power or invention, easy meat for Szczesny. But the Blues were once again pinning the hosts back until a criminally short pass from Pienaar gave Arsenal the chance to surge forward, Cazorla finally shooting hard at Howard as Arsenal started to produce more threatening football. Distin really did well to get ahead of Walcott and scoop the ball away for a corner.

In a (for Everton) sweeping move, Barkley looked to attack down the inside left channel but hesitancy and indecision got the better of him. Mirallas won a free-kick for Everton and a fantastic ball in from Baines that Anichebe glanced well wide.

A good spell for Everton saw Arteta foul Pienaar as Coleman shot wide, and the free-kick was called, Baines lashing it twice into the wall, allowing Arsenal to break but somehow the Blues regrouped only to be threatened again by Ramsey and Gibbs down the Everton left, winning a corner that came to nought.

The hour mark passed with Everton showing no signs of giving up the fight, but frustratingly unable to generate a real clear-cut chance, and always vulnerable to the Arsenal counter as they tried to force the high line.

Mirallas won Everton's first corner, dropping short; disappointing. Barkley took things into his own hands and fired a fantastic shot that was just inches past the angle; well worth a goal, manufactured from nothing. Wenger decided on a double sub to change their fortunes. Barkley got Everton's third yellow for tugging a red shirt.

A spell of Arsenal possession pinned the Blues back, Pienaar getting called for a foul that Arteta delivered but no-one attacked, but Arsenal got another corner after Ramsey headed over but somehow Arsenal got another corner that Ramsey tried to backheel in at the far post. David Moyes finally went for a change of personnel, with 15 mins left, Nikica Jelavic replacing Ross Barkley... 4-3-3?

More Everton pressure suddenly switched to another surging Arsenal counter, Giroud about to score in the open goal but for a brilliant intervention by Coleman, Howard grateful to grasp it. Giroud got another bite of the cherry and lashed over after beating Jagielka.

Into the last 10 minutes and the level of desperation from each side to get the goal that would win this game and earn a golden 3 points was increasingly palpable. If anything, it looked like Arsenal finally had the measure of the doggedly determined Blues, as they pushed and probed with more confidence, the Blues perhaps flagging, and maddeningly resorting to the incredibly wasteful long ball, leading to another Arsenal corner that Fellaini headed away firmly.

But the momentum was now all with Arsenal, although a foul on Jagielka won respite with a central free-kick but still Everton could do nothing, Mirallas unable to control a good ball on the edge of the Arsenal area.

Arteta got free and seemed to have all the time in the world but Coleman clipped the ball off his toe, back to Howard. At the other end, Jagielka did well out wide, and eventually a shot from Anichebe that ballooned high and wide. With the game almost up, Moyes chose to replace Anichebe with Naismith... and then another change.

Arsenal surged forward again with but were blocked and Naismith was fouled... surely the last chance for the Blues. Gibson form deep chipped in but nothing would come of it, with Oviedo on for Mirallas in the last 15 seconds.

Arsenal now resorted to the long ball, Moyes's ploy for another minute of added time having half-worked but Arsenal kept pushing the Blues back until the final whistle went and both teams had a point neither really wanted because it meant 2 points dropped. And still no wins at Arsenal for David Moyes.

Michael Kenrick

Match Preview


With six games to go and mileage still remaining in their quest for Europe, Everton face the most important game of the season so far as they prepare for a massive game against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium this evening.

Despite having won four and drawn one of their last five games, the Blues remain in sixth place, three points off the European places as one of the realities of life in the upper reaches of the Premier League plays out: the teams above you have a tendency to keep winning.

Tottenham may have been doing their best to disprove that adage lately, having managed just one from their last four games, but the Gunners are a case in point; since losing at White Hart Lane at the beginning of March, they have won four straight and they leapt into third place on Saturday after their annoying come-from-behind victory over Norwich City.

Chelsea, meanwhile, have won three of their last four but cup commitments on the domestic and European fronts have Rafael Benitez' squad grinding through six games in 16 days and there is scope for them slipping up at Fulham tomorrow.

As he seeks to do something he has thus far failed to achieve in 11 years in the Goodison hotseat – namely, win on Arsenal's turf – David Moyes will know all too well that a victory for Everton would push them to within a point of Arsene Wenger's team, level on points with Spurs and Chelsea (who still have to play each other) and really add some heat to the chase for Champions League and Europa League qualification.

Though he suggested that a few injury "niggles" came out of Saturday's stroll past QPR, Moyes is expected to have a virtually full squad from which to choose. Assuming none of those who started on Saturday miss out, it's hard to see the manager making any changes.

That would mean Nikica Jelavic continuing on the bench while Victor Anichebe continues to blossom from the surly and petulant figure whose Everton days seemed numbered not too long ago into a strong, determined and industrious striker able to both lead the forward line and score goals. He has also become something of a lucky charm – Everton haven't lost in the 24 matches when he has scored.

Moyes also reiterated that Darron Gibson will likely require surgery in the summer to correct his long-standing thigh issue it's not expected to keep him out of the side for now and he should be in the line-up alongside Leon Osman and behind Marouane Fellaini.

Though there are points there to be won in the five games that follow and a draw would a good result that would keep them within striking distance of Chelsea and Spurs, it's fair to say that Everton's Champions League dreams are on the line this evening.

Though Moyes was probably referring to the impending trips to the Stadium of Light, Anfield and Stamford Bridge as much as this evening, he effectively admitted as much, telling his players "were going to have to win away from home, and for the Champions League it might have to be more than one."

The stakes are huge and the Blues' cannot allow the inferiority complex they often assume against the "top four" nor their abysmal Premier League record when playing at Arsenal – an Everton team hasn't beaten the Gunners on their own ground since the 1996-97 season – to enter the equation. Win, and the Champions League is not a fanciful dream but an achievable goal for the team who wants it the most.

Lyndon Lloyd

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Match Preview
Match Summary
Match Report
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ARSENAL (4-4-2)
  Szczesny
  Sagna
  Mertesacker
  Koscielny
  Gibbs (90' Monreal booked:90+3')
  Ramsey
  Arteta booked:56'
  Wilshere (68' Oxlade-Chamberlain)
  Walcott (69' Podolski)
  Giroud
  Cazorla
  Subs not used
  Mannone
  Vermaelen
  Rosicky
  Gervinho

EVERTON (4-5-1)
  Howard
  Coleman
  Jagielka
  Distin
  Baines
  Gibson booked:28'
  Fellaini
  Pienaar booked:32'
  Mirallas (90+4' Oviedo)
  Barkley booked:70' (76' Jelavic)
  Anichebe (90+2' Naismith)
  Subs not used
  Mucha
  Heitinga
  Neville
  Hitzlsperger
  Unavailable
  Bidwell (loan)
  Gueye (loan)
  Hammar (loan)
  Lundstram (loan)
  Osman (injured)

Premier League Scores
Tuesday
Arsenal 0 - 0 Everton
Wednesday
Fulham 0 - 3 Chelsea
Man City 1 - 0 Wigan
West Ham 2 - 2 Man Utd


Team Pts
1 Manchester United 81
2 Manchester City 68
3 Chelsea 61
4 Arsenal 60
5 Tottenham Hotspur 58
6 Everton 56
7 Liverpool 50
8 West Bromwich Albion 44
9 Swansea City 41
10 Fulham 40
11 West Ham United 39
12 Southampton 38
13 Newcastle United 36
14 Norwich City 35
15 Sunderland 34
16 Stoke City 34
17 Aston Villa 34
18 Wigan Athletic 31
19 Queens Park Rangers 24
20 Reading 24
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