Everton 2-2 Arsenal: Ramsey and Giroud rescue point for Gunners

The home side took a 2-0 lead into halftime, with Seamus Coleman and Steven Naismith on the scoresheet, but the Gunners hit back with two late goals to earn a point
Late goals from Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud earned Arsenal a 2-2 draw with Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday afternoon.

First-half goals from Seamus Coleman and Steven Naismith had Roberto Martinez's side firmly in command as Arsenal labored on the back of midweek Champions League exertions in Turkey against Besiktas.

By Peter Staunton

Arsenal deserves the credit for its comeback, which leaves Roberto Martinez and Everton contemplating a second successive 2-2 draw. It is clear the Gunners have in abundance at one end what they lack at the other.

After going 2-0 up, the hosts should have seen this one out but they tired and retreated into their own box, giving the ball away. They were asking for trouble.

For them it will feel like a loss after doing so well to put themselves in a position of power. The opposite applies for Arsenal. For the second week running the Gunners have shown their resilience and the brilliant Aaron Ramsey started the fight-back.

There was not enough here to suggest that Arsenal is going to make a run for the title. There are far too many weaknesses, but the last 10 minutes will give the team confidence and a platform from which to plan. Encouraging too for Olivier Giroud, dropped before kickoff, but who came up with the goods for a point.
But Aaron Ramsey bounced back from his red card on Tuesday night to net his third goal in as many domestic appearances this term, before halftime substitute Giroud headed home from Nacho Monreal's 90th-minute cross to snatch a point.

Despite scoring on the opening weekend against Leicester City, Aiden McGeady dropped to the Everton bench as Belgium forward Kevin Mirallas earned a starting role.

Arsenal welcomed back Germany World Cup winners Per Mertesacker and Mesut Ozil, while Alexis Sanchez was handed a central striking role for the first time by Arsene Wenger.

Steven Pienaar's early departure through injury appeared to unsettle Everton and a badly misjudged 15th-minute clearance by Coleman saw Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain shoot narrowly wide from the edge of the area.

But Coleman soon settled his and Everton's nerves when he stole in behind Ozil to head home Gareth Barry's sublime 19th-minute cross.

Three minutes later, Naismith flicked on another excellent lofted pass from Barry to send Mirallas bearing down on goal, but he could only stab wide under pressure from Calum Chambers and Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

Mirallas then grazed the top of the netting with a 35th-minute free kick. Just as it appeared Arsenal had weathered the storm, Everton doubled its advantage on the stroke of halftime.

Romelu Lukaku sent Mertesacker tumbling and raced towards the visitors' goal, eventually picking the perfect pass for Naismith to produce a measured finish - despite strong suspicions of offside.

Wenger replaced Alexis with Giroud at halftime and the France striker almost made an instant impact, smashing a volley over on the end of Oxlade-Chamberlain's raking pass within a minute of the restart.

Barry continued to orchestrate the play wonderfully for Everton in midfield and Jack Wilshere offered a demonstration of Arsenal's frustrations when he scythed through his one-time England teammate and was shown a deserved yellow card.

Ramsey played in Giroud to rifle a shot narrowly wide from the edge of the area midway through the second half before the Welsh midfielder drew a sharp stop from Tim Howard as Arsenal sought to launch a final assault.

Santi Cazorla - on for the ineffective Wilshere - injected some clever footwork and an excellent low cross for Ramsey to reduce the arrears with six minutes remaining, clearing the way for Giroud to steal the headlines.