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v Wolfsburg

Thursday 18 September K.O. 20:05



Goodison Park | 28th November 2012 19:45

Everton v Arsenal

Everton recovered from a goal inside the first minute to draw 1-1 with Arsenal.

It required an impressive Marouane Fellaini equaliser on the Belgian's return from suspension to secure a share of the spoils in an entertaining midweek encounter at a freezing Goodison Park.

That came after Theo Walcott had opened the scoring inside a minute.

Pienaar DribbleSteven Pienaar dribbles through the Arsenal midfield.

The home side were strengthened by the return from injury of Darron Gibson and Tony Hibbert, while the goalscorer was back from suspension.

Each of those three players would impress as events unfolded.

But it was the worst possible start for Everton with the fleet-footed England man scoring after just 52 seconds after neat combination with Aaron Ramsey.

Arsenal were then dealt a blow when Laurent Koscielny was forced off through injury and the Blues set about finding an equaliser.

A couple of Fellaini headers had Wojciech Szczesny increasingly involved and then another neat move released Steven Pienaar only for the South African to fluff his left foot shot.

The visitors were happy to sit back and launch the occasional counter and after one such foray yielded a free kick on the edge of the box and skipper Thomas Vermaelen forced Tim Howard into action.

That came just two minutes before Fellaini levelled the scores. His finish was accurate but the goal owed much to the harrying of Pienaar.

He robbed Arteta and when the ball fell to the Belgian he drilled it low into the corner of the goal from 22 yards.

Fellaini GoalMarouane Fellaini fires in the Blues' equaliser.

Some questionable decisions from referee Michael Oliver brought the crowd into the game and Everton pushed on in search of the lead.

It could have arrived in the 39th minute when Nikica Jelavic latched onto Fellaini's flick, turned smartly but fired over with his left foot.

Pienaar sidefooted Leighton Baines' pull-back wide at the start of the second period as Everton remained the more adventurous side.

Naismith almost reached Jelavic's centre and Pienaar tried to squeeze the ball in at the near post when he might have been better crossing.

Szczesny produced a brilliant save to repel Sylvain Distin's bullet header moments later in what was a real purple patch for the Blues.

Ramsey was hesitant when presented with an opportunity at the other end before Fellaini again tested the Gunners goalkeeper.

Everton old boy Mikel Arteta had the Gwladys Street howling when they though he'd hauled down Pienaar in the box but again Oliver ruled against Everton.

Silvain Distin TackleSylvain Distin gets a tackle in at 1-1.

Olivier Giroud served notice of Arsenal's continuing threat by glancing a header wide with 22 minutes to go.

The returning Darron Gibson had slotted impressively back into the midfield after nearly three months out and he managed just over 72 minutes before being replaced by Thomas Hitzlsperger - a direct swap in the centre of midfield.

Chances were now largely in the form of efforts from distance with Cazorla and the new man Hitzlsperger taking aim from outside the box without success.

Both sides went for the winner but aside from some pinball in both boxes neither keeper was duly extended.



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