Arsenal frustrated by Deulofeu's late equaliser

Sun Dec 8, 2013 3:29pm EST
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - Gerard Deulofeu's late goal earned Everton a deserved 1-1 draw at Premier League leaders Arsenal after Mesut Ozil's strike seemed set to seal three points for the home side in a sizzling clash at The Emirates on Sunday.

An absorbing contest burst into life in the closing stages as Ozil swept Arsenal in front from close range in the 80th minute, only for substitute Deulofeu to fire a powerful shot past Wojciech Szczesny four minutes later.

Olivier Giroud almost snatched victory in stoppage-time for the hosts when his 30-metre thunderbolt thumped against the woodwork, although that would have been harsh on Everton, who won at champions Manchester United on Wednesday.

With a treacherous-looking fixture list looming, Arsenal lead the table with 35 points, five clear of Liverpool who were the only one of the top five to win this weekend.

Chelsea also have 30 points with Everton, beaten only once in the league this season, fifth on 28.

"We played well at United but we played even better today," Everton's impressive new manager Roberto Martinez told reporters.

"These two results show we have got over the mental block when playing away at title contenders."

At the other end of the table, Fulham showed signs of a revival under new manager Rene Meulensteen with a 2-0 victory over Aston Villa at Craven Cottage, Steve Sidwell and Dimitar Berbatov scoring the goals to snap a six-match losing streak.   Continued...

Everton's Gerard Deulofeu (L) celebrates scoring during their English Premier League soccer match against Arsenal at The Emirates in London, December 8, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Winning