Everton 1 Arsenal 1

Arsenal grabbed a vital point in a pulsating encounter at Goodison Park.Theo Walcott got the Gunners off to superb start with a well taken opener after only 55 seconds. A spirited Everton responded and deservedly struck a leveller from Marouanne Fellaini on 28 minutes. ‘The Merseyside form team’ has not been a tag associated with thenToffees in recent years, and it came as no surprise to see the home side raise their game. Wojciech Szczesny pulled off a string of fine saves to keep his side in the game as the Gunners held firm.

Arsene Wenger made four changes from the team that drew 0-0 against Aston Villa. In came Walcott, Bacary Sagna, Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs.

And it didn’t take long for Arsenal to find the net. Walcott exchanged passes on the edge of the box with Aaron Ramsey, the England player then took aim to slot home his shot from an angle for a fine finish for his tenth goal of the season. Yet another reminder to Wenger that the Arsenal 14 is lethally equipped to to handle a central role.

1-0 up away from home requires a certain mindset, and the character to keep hold of the ball and impose your game as the opposition inevitably come at you. Arsenal however were not able to assert a grip on the pattern of play and found themselves almost immersed in wave after wave of blue attack, with Fellaini their chief tormentor. It came as no surprise therefore when the giant Belgian equalised for Everton.

On his return to the club he served for eight years, Mikele Arteta lost possession, then with Sagna gifting possession further by a poorly-directed clearance. Fellaini took one touch before curling a shot from fully 20yards and into the bottom corner of the Szczesny’s net.

In a raucous atmosphere, the game was end to end. Wilshere was showing why he is pivotal to Wenger’s plans, and Santi Cazorla was seeing what Everton looks like on a cold November’s night. Cazorla fired a shot from range but Tim Howard was well placed to palm the ball away, and Everton responded with substitute Thomas Hitzlsperger shooting from range that Szczesny gathered at the second time of asking.

Leading theArsenal line, Olivier Giroud was also getting a Premiership away day education, and the France striker went close from a powerful header that had the beating of Howard, but also the bar from Walcott’s cross

The high intensity of the game was unrelenting, but as the energy levels began to drop, both sides settled for a point, in a fixture that Arsenal have invariably managed to get all three in recent years.