English Premiership

Fellaini frustrates Arsenal

2012-11-29 07:25
Marouane Fellaini (AFP)

Liverpool - Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini added to spluttering Arsenal's frustration as the Gunners had to settle for a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park on Wednesday.

Arsene Wenger's side got off to a flying start thanks to the returning Theo Walcott who found the net after just 52 seconds.

But that early goal stunned Everton into life and also seemed to make Arsenal rest on their laurels as the Toffees took control and levelled after 27 minutes through Fellaini's curling effort.

Wenger was desperate for a win to get some unhappy fans off his back and get their bid for a top-four finish back on track, but Arsenal had to withstand severe pressure from the hosts and in the end left thankful for a point.

Everton's sixth draw in eight games left the hosts in sixth place, four points behind fourth placed West Bromwich Albion.

Some Arsenal fans sang 'you don't know what you're doing' at the Gunners boss on Saturday during their goalless draw with Aston Villa when Wenger opted to replace striker Olivier Giroud with defensive midfielder Francis Coquelin in the second half.

But Giroud was in the starting line-up against Everton while Walcott, Jack Wilshere, Bacary Sagna and Thomas Vermaelen all came in after the disappointing draw at Villa Park.

The Gunners had just two wins in their last six league outings, but Arsenal had won on four of their last five visits to Goodison Park and they were the last team to beat Moyes's side there last March.

And it looked like it would be happy hunting ground again inside a minute when Walcott put the Gunners ahead on his return from a shoulder injury.

A clever ball from Aaron Ramsey put the England wing clear on the left and he curled into the top corner with the help of a deflection off Phil Jagielka that took it out of Tim Howard's reach.

A timely reminder for Wenger that he needs to get Walcott to pen a new contract before possible suitors can lure him away in the summer for nothing.

Everton have not been in sparking form either with five draws and one win recently, but they were back in the game through Fellaini.

The Belgian capitalised on an error by Sagna who played the ball dangerously across the pitch just yards outside his box with Mikel Arteta down after a robust challenge from Steven Pienaar.

Fellaini collected the loose ball and curled in from 25 yards to bring the sides level with his seventh of the season.

The goalscorer almost turned creator after 39 minutes when he flicked on to Nikica Jelavic who beat Per Mertesacker with ease but his resulting strike was well over.

After the break, confusion in the Arsenal area gave Pienaar a chance but Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny saved at his near post before the Pole was called upon again from the resulting corner.

At the second attempt Leighton Baines found Sylvain Distin and the defender powered a header goalwards that was palmed away by Szczesny.

Arteta could have given his old club a gift as he appeared to bring down Pienaar in the area on the hour mark but referee Michael Oliver waved play on.

Arsenal finally seemed to wake up again with 20 minutes to go but when Giroud broke away down the left his cross was too high from second-half substitute Gervinho.

Read more on:    everton  |  epl  |  marouane fellaini  |  soccer
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