Everton hold Arsenal to 1-1 draw

Everton substitute Gerard Deulofeu denies Gunners the chance to widen the gap at the top of the English Premier league.

Mesut Oezil scores Arsenal's goal past Everton's Tim Howard at Emirates Stadium in London [Getty Images]

Everton substitute Gerard Deulofeu has scored six minutes from time to salvage a deserved 1-1 draw with English Premier League leaders Arsenal.

The absorbing clash at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium meant Gunners missed the chance to open a gap at the top of the table on Sunday and are now five points clear of Liverpool and Chelsea.

Deulofeu scored from a tight angle with a shot past Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny just four minutes after Mesut Ozil put Arsene Wenger’s team in front from close range.

On the back of their win at Manchester United midweek, Everton were the better team in the first half, but Arsenal had the best chances after the interval as goalkeeper Tim Howard produced several decisive saves. Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud hit the crossbar in injury time.

A point was reward for Everton’s first-half domination, much of which was inspired by the surging runs of Ross Barkley.

Strong and powerful, the 20-year-old dominated the midfield as England manager Roy Hodgson watched on.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez praised his side’s performance.

Fulham end losing run 

Fulham’s Dimitar Berbatov scores a penalty  against Aston Villa at Craven Cottage in London [Reuters]

“Their goal came from nothing,” he told Sky Sports of Ozil’s goal.

“But to display the character and come back to score with a goal of that quality was fitting for a game of that standard.”

Arsenal, who play Napoli in the Champions League next before tough games against Manchester City and Chelsea, are now sitting on 35 points at the top of the table.

Earlier, goals from Steve Sidwell and Dimitar Berbatov helped Fulham end a six-match losing streak with a 2-0 home victory over Aston Villa.

Sidwell struck from a tight angle on 21 minutes and Berbatov rolled in a cheeky penalty on the half hour as Fulham dominated.

Fulham, who sacked manager Martin Jol last week and replaced him with fellow Dutchman Rene Meulensteen, moved to 13 points alongside West Ham United who are one place above the relegation zone owing to a superior goal difference.

Source: News Agencies