Everton 2-2 Arsenal: Giroud’s Late Leveler Proves a Point

Olivier Giroud’s 90th minute equaliser helped Arsenal share the spoils, after Everton had went into the break 2-nill up.

Defender Seamus Coleman headed home a Gareth Barry cross on 19 minutes before Steven Naismith doubled the hosts’ advantage on the nick of half-time.

With the ‘Gunners’ on the brink of a first loss of the new campaign, manager Arsene Wenger introduced striker Giroud on restart and the Frenchman grabbed a late equaliser after Aaron Ramsey had halved the visitors’ deficit.

Olivier Giroud Celebrates After Scoring the Equaliser at Goodison Park. Image: Getty.
Olivier Giroud Celebrates After Scoring the Equaliser at Goodison Park. Image: Getty.

Wenger made five changes from the side which beat Crystal Palace last weekend, with Mesut Ozil, Mathieu Flamini, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Nacho Monreal and Per Mertesacker all starting at Goodison Park.

Coleman and Kevin Mirallas replaced Aiden McGeady and John Stones in the Toffees starting lineup, after the 2-2 draw at Leicester City just over a week ago.

Since Arsenal’s title bid in the previous season suffered a set-back after a 3-0 loss on the same ground in April, Wenger’s men have not dropped points in six successive league fixtures.

Despite Everton’s tidy start to the encounter, Arsenal got the first real sniff at goal when Coleman carelessly cleared the ball straight to Oxlade-Chamberlain on the edge of the penalty area but the midfielder side-footed a shot inches off the far post.

However, the opening goal- like something out of the blues- came on 19 minutes, when and unmarked Coleman raced to the end of a Gareth Barry cross to head home.

Mirallas failed to double the lead immediately after, having raced clear on goal, as Wojciech Szczesny kept composure to keep the Londoners in the game.

Arsenal lone striker Alexis Sanchez struggled to get his foot to the ball in the vital area for most of the first-half, while the hosts piled pressure upfront.

Everton’s prodding yielded a second goal in the 45th minute, as Romelu Lukaku evaded Pier Mertesacker on the right to slip a pass through to Naismith who- though looked offside- kept his cool to slot underneath Szczesny.

Sanchez gave way for Giroud on the restart as Wenger hoped to add more bite to his forward setup. The Frenchman, with his first touch, volleyed over the bar while his side searched for a goal.

Giroud’s introduction instilled life into Arsenal’s attack neverless and he did threatened to score on several ocassions, only to be denied by goalkeeper Tim Howard.

The American shot-stopper eventually found himself in a no-man’s land on 83rd minute, as Ramsey tapped home from a Santi Carzola low cross, thanks to his perfect positioning.

Wenger’s side piled forward in a late rally as Everton became more and more nervy.

Giroud’s impact in the second-half finally paid off, as he rose high to power home Nacho Monreal’s cross on the nick of full-time.