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August 23, 2014
• Goodison Park, Liverpool
Referee: K. Friend
• Attendance: 39490
S. Coleman 19'
S. Naismith 45'
A. Ramsey 83'
O. Giroud 90'
I am Alex Moretto and I would like to thank you all for joining me today. The match certainly lived up to the hype, and I hope you enjoyed it. Good-bye!
FULL-TIME: EVERTON 2-2 ARSENAL. A drastic second half turnaround looked to be all for not, when the Gunners found themselves with the same two goal hill to climb with 10 minutes to play. Wenger's side showed some incredible fighting spirit, however, as Aaron Ramsey pulled one back before Olivier Giroud equalized in the final minute of regular time. Everton will be gutted with the result, but they only have themselves to blame, falling asleep after such a fantastic opening 45 minutes.
90' + 4'
It's all over at Goodison! The Arsenal fans taunting the home supporters as they roar back in the final minutes to steal a point, and rob the hosts of two points.
90' + 3'
Arsenal look content with the point they never thought they would have 10 minutes ago, while Everton want to see this one out before it gets any worse for them. Less than a minute to play here, with the two sides content on running out the clock.
90' + 1'
Into the first of four minutes of added time and Everton are stunned. The free-flowing, confident side we saw in the opening frame have been a shell of themselves in the second half, allowing the toothless Gunners a way back into the game.
Goal Olivier Giroud
Nacho Monreal does incredibly well, showing some great work ethic to track down an errant pass, keeping it in near the by-line. He cuts back and crosses in for Olivier Giroud who just out-muscles Distin and heads it back across Howard and into the bottom corner! What a comeback!
OLIVIER GIROUD BREAKS EVERTON HEARTS!
Cazorla tracks back to try and intercept a pass, but Naismith senses his presence and goes down to win a foul. Everton in no rush to take this free kick from about 30 yards out to the left of the goal.
Still life for the Gunners who are flowing with confidence, as they smell blood. Everton has a bit of a nervous play to them as their victory is being threatened really for the first time this half.
Assist Santi Cazorla
Goal Aaron Ramsey
Cazorla finds some space on the left, looks up and sees no one in the penalty area. Instead of retreating, he keeps the ball and waits, patiently, as Ramsey makes a fantastic run to the back post, catching the Everton defence sleeping as he gets on the end of Cazorla's ball and makes no mistake.
RAMSEY PULLS ONE BACK FOR ARSENAL! GAME ON!
Everton are defending valiantly, blocking every cross and making it impossible for Arsenal to find a way through. Monreal is getting forward well here, but his final ball has been surprisingly poor.
STAT ATTACK: Everton have now scored at least two goals in 10 of their last 11 Premier League contests at Goodison Park.
Vital tackle by Mertesacker. Everton break on a counter through McGeady. The winger sends a lovely through ball towards Coleman, who is streaking into the area, but the big, burly German defender just gets a toe to the ball to push it behind. Coleman's eyes lit up there as he looked for his second goal of the night.
Yellow Card Mathieu Flamini
Everton makes a change of their own as the two teams gear up for the final 10 minutes. Romelu Lukaku is taken off to a thunderous applause from the hope supporters, as Aiden McGeady is brought on.
Debuchy shields off Mirallas to win a goal kick, and that will allow Arsenal to bring on Santi Cazorla and Joel Campbell, who makes his Premier League debut. Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are the ones to give way.
Less than 20 minutes remaining now, and despite a much better half from the Gunners, they have nothing to show for it. They still have a few attacking options on the bench, and it looks like they will be making some changes shortly.
SUPERB RUN FROM BAINES! The left-back beats three Arsenal defenders, then draws Szczesny out of his goal before pulling it back towards the danger area. Osman was a bit too eager to get to it, with the goal gaping, that he commits a foul and the chance is wasted.
WHAT A CHANCE FOR GIROUD! A very fortunate bounce falls to the feet of the striker inside the area. He has a clean look at goal, but Howard does incredibly well to charge out and cut off the angle before making his first save of the night.
GIROUD! Fantastic turn from the Frenchman who gets on the end of a good passing move, but he scoops his shot just wide of the near post from the edge of the area. Much better from the Gunners, but still no breakthrough.
Arsenal getting plenty of pressure on Everton, but it has not translated into any real scoring chances. They pass it around well atop the area, but Giroud's pass is intercepted by Distin. Back in they come, but Ozil sends his cross over everyone and out of play. Arsenal still looking for their first shot on target.
Wilshere has been significantly better since the interval, as he orchestrates another Arsenal move, this time earning the Gunners a corner as Jagielka blocks Debuchy's cross.
STAT ATTACK: Victory for Arsenal, albeit an improbable one at this point, would be their 100th over Everton since their first ever meeting in 1905.
Chambers earns himself a yellow now for a series of fouls. Both of Arsenal's centre-backs are on yellows now, which which presents a great opportunity for Everton.
Yellow Card Calum Chambers
Great tackle from Distin. Wilshere, Ozil and Giroud pass it around nicely to get into the area, but Distin slides in at the feet of Wilshere at the vital moment to break up the move.
Yellow Card Jack Wilshere
DANGEROUS TACKLE! Wilshere catches Barry with his studs up, and Everton plead for a red card. Friend pulls out a yellow, much to the dismay of the Goodison faithful. Wilshere may have gotten away with one there and the expression on his face says he feels the same way.
APPEALS FOR A PENALTY! Good non-call by Kevin Friend who was in a great position. Leon Osman's chipped pass looks to hit off the arm of Giroud, but replays would indicate it hit off the side of his chest. Back the other way come Arsenal and Giroud again at the centre of things as he berates the linesman after thinking he won his side a corner. He has to cool down a bit or he could find himself in some trouble soon.
Giroud catches Baines with a hard tackles, albeit it looked to be accidental, then he has a coming together with Naismith who had a few choice words regarding the challenge. The ensuing free kick is cleared behind for a corner kick.
Much livelier start from Arsenal who do seem eager to get back into the game. It looked like game, set and match after Naismith's goal before the break, but the Gunners have come out of the room with a spring in their step.
GIROUD! Fantastic start for the substitute who nearly scores within 60 seconds. Oxlade-Chamberlain's ball over the top is met by a Giroud volley at the far post. He makes good contact, but gets under the ball just a bit as it cannons over the bar.
Well there you have it. As the second half kicks-off, there is one change to tell you about, and it is Alexis Sanchez who makes way for Olivier Giroud. The Frenchman comes under plenty of scrutiny, but the Gunners needed him in this first half.
Back to Goodison we go as the players take the pitch as we get set to start the second half. Can Everton carry their first half momentum into the final frame, or will Arsenal find a way to claw themselves back into this match?
Alexis Sanchez will only work as a striker if Arsenal play on the ball. They need plenty of movement up top, which is not happening for them at the moment. Arsenal's full-backs are not getting forward well, meaning they are lacking numbers when they do break into the final third. For Sanchez to work as a striker, he has to have the freedom to roam. He has been throughout the first half, but the midfield players behind him need to makes runs forward and those have been few and far between thus far.
HALF-TIME: EVERTON 2-0 ARSENAL. The difference between the two teams has been night and day. The hosts have been clinical in attack, as the Gunners struggle to deal with their movement off the ball. Going forward, Arsenal are lacking any sort of creativity, making life easy on the Everton defence.
45' + 2'
We have played the two minutes added on, although they may have been shortened by the celebrations. We head to the break with the Toffees in control.
Assist Romelu Lukaku
Goal Steven Naismith
Lukaku does all the work on this one. He shows incredible strength to get by Mertesacker inside his own half, then charges past the tackle of Chambers setting up a two on one with Flamini the only defender. Naismith makes a nice run to his right that Lukaku is able to pick out well, and the Scotsman finishes well through the legs of Szczesny.
EVERTON PICK ARSENAL APART AND NAISMITH GIVES THEM A 2-0 LEAD!
Yellow Card Per Mertesacker
Mertesacker becomes the latest player in the referee's book for his tackle on Naismith. It looked to be a bad and quite dangerous challenge, but the replay indicates otherwise.
Incredibly sloppy from Arsenal in their own end! First Szczesny's pass is nearly intercepted by Naismith, then Flamini's pass is taken by Barry who sends Mirallas into space down the left. The Belgian picks out a cross for Lukaku, but it's just behind the striker who cannot get his shot off.
Good read from Tim Howard. Aaron Ramsey makes a good seeing-eye run through the heart of the Everton defence, and Sanchez is able to pick out a through ball. Howard reads the play well and charges off his line, just beating the midfielder to break up the opportunity.
STAT ATTACK: The last time Arsenal failed to win a Premier League match was back at the start of April... a 3-0 defeat to Everton. They have since won six straight.
Important defensive work from McCarthy and Baines. Arsenal break forward in numbers. Ozil's through ball to Sanchez is read well by the left-back who slides in to break the play up. Wilshere is there to follow up, but McCarthy tracks the run and beats him to the ball to relieve the pressure.
Goodison Park filled with boos as Calum Chambers escapes without a yellow card after a clumsy challenge on Kevin Mirallas. The Belgian stands over the ensuing free kick, along with Baines. It is Mirallas who takes, but his curling effort crashes into the side netting.
A promising move by Arsenal comes to a halt after Oxlade-Chamberlain fails to pick out a good pass towards Sanchez. The winger dispossessed Mirallas and broke with numbers into the Everton half. Arsenal continue to be let down by their final ball at the moment. No one can pick out that last pass, while their movement off the ball needs to be better.
Yellow Card Leighton Baines
Leighton Baines is shown the first yellow card of the match for his late challenge on Debuchy. The ensuing free kick is cleared, but only as far as Oxlade-Chamberlain who blasts a volley back at goal. Baines manages to get a block in, though, and the danger is cleared.
Some desperate last ditch defending from Arsenal is just managing to keep Everton out, but the Gunners cannot find a way out of their own end. Their passing has become sloppy and untidy, while Everton are pressing the ball carriers very well.
STAT ATTACK: Arsenal lost their two matches in Merseyside last season by a combined score of 8-1 (0-3 v Everton, 1-5 v Liverpool).
Everton really coming to life here. They are pushing forward with incredible pace and Arsenal are struggling to deal with it at the moment. The Gunners need to settle things down and get back to the short passing game they were having success with earlier on.
MIRALLAS! The Belgian should have done better there as he gets on the end of some more great build up, this time Baines and Naismith linking up to send Mirallas through on goal. He feels the slightest contact and goes down in a heap, scrambling his shot wide of a diving Szczesny. He appeals for a penalty, but the referee was in good position to make the call.
Assist Gareth Barry
Goal Seamus Coleman
Incredible build up to this goal by the hosts. The ball is dished out to Baines on the left and he spots Barry in the centre. The midfielder crosses in towards the far post and it is met by Coleman who darted into the area and past his marker. It's a thumping header that Szczesny had little chance of keeping out.
SEAMUS COLEMAN PUTS EVERTON IN FRONT!
Alexis Sanchez gets a bit of a shot in on James McCarthy, taking the midfielder out as he goes for a lose ball. Free kick to Everton in a promising area here...
INCHES AWAY FROM THE OPENER! A horrendous giveaway by Coleman sets Oxlade-Chamberlain up with the ball atop the area. He goes to hit it first time, trying to steer the ball inside the near post, but it glances agonizingly wide. Worrying moments for the hosts who seem to have been lulled to sleep after a promising start.
Brilliant movement from the Gunners as they begin to pick apart the holes in midfield. Everton look a bit disjointed at the moment. It's given away by Arsenal, however, and a long ball forward for Mirallas looks promising until Chambers scampers over to make an important clearance.
Ambitious that, from the Ox. He drops his shoulder to get around Osman with ease, then looks up into a bit of space and opts to have a go for goal from about 30 yards out. His shot cannons up over the bar and into the stands.
We have a stoppage in play as Pienaar is back on the ground. He looks to be experiencing some significant discomfort which will cut his day short. He labors his way off the field as Leon Osman enters the match to replace him.
Lovely build up play from Arsenal! Debuchy picks out Oxlade-Chamberlain with a lovely through ball. The winger sends a low cross in for Sanchez that Distin fails to deal with. Jagielka comes to the rescue, however, beating the striker to the ball and scrambling clear.
Everton enjoying a nice spell in possession early on here, as every player in a blue shirt gets a touch of the ball. The hosts are in no rush to push the ball up the field, but rather wait for Arsenal to come to them.
Pienaar looks to be in some pain, clutching his back after a collision with Chambers that wins Everton a corner. Baines delivers the set piece, but it is dealt with easily by the Gunners.
Everton get the match underway! It is a beautiful day in Merseyside, with half the Goodison pitch still bathing in sun. The hosts, moving right to left, are sporting their blue shirts, with Arsenal wearing their yellow tops with dark blue shorts.
The players take their spot on the pitch as we get set for kick-off! Just moment away now at Goodison Park...
STAT ATTACK: Everton's 3-0 victory over Arsenal last season was their first over the Gunners at Goodison Park since 2007, and their first in fifteen head to head meetings overall.
Mikel Arteta hurt his ankle against Besiktas midweek, while Gibbs, Walcott, Gnabry and Sanogo remain injured. Arsenal will be buoyed by the return of their World Cup winners, however, as Per Mertesacker and Mesut Ozil retur to the starting XI. Alexis Sanchez gets the start up top, with Olivier Giroud being relegated to a substitute's role after his poor performance midweek. Laurent Koscielny gets some rest ahead of their important second leg clash with Besiktas on Wednesday.
ARSENAL SUBS: Koscielny, Rosicky, Giroud, Cazorla, Martinez, Campbell, Bellerin.
ARSENAL (4-2-3-1): Szczesny; Debuchy, Chambers, Mertsacker, Monreal; Ramsey, Flamini; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wilshere, Ozil; Sanchez.
Two changes implemented by Roberto Martinez, to the team that drew at Liecester last weekend, with Seamus Coleman and Kevin Mirallas stepping in to replace John Stones and Aiden McGeady. Bryan Oviedo and Ross Barkley remain injured, but a full squad available to Martinez aside from that.
EVERTON SUBS: Joel Robles, McGeady, Besic, Atsu, Osman, Stones, Alcaraz.
EVERTON (4-2-3-1): Howard; Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Barry, McCarthy; Mirallas, Naismith, Pienaar; Lukaku.
The teams have been announced, so let us have ourselves a look at the starting line-ups:
Aaron Ramsey helped Arsenal avoid a stuttering start to the season, as his 90th minute winner at the Emirates secured a 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace. The Gunners will be looking to avenge an embarrassing defeat suffered in Merseyside earlier this calendar year, but they may be a bit distracted by the second leg of their Champions League play-off tie with Besiktas on Wednesday.
Chris Wood's late equalizer prevented the Toffees from picking up three points on matchday one. Now Everton return to the friendly confines of Goodison Park where they shift their attention to an Arsenal side who they would like to beat out of a top four place by the time April rolls around. Aside from Ross Barkley and Bryan Oviedo, Roberto Martinez has a full strength squad to choose from, so their performance today should be a good indication of what we can expect from the Blues this season.
Good afternoon Premiership fans around the world, and welcome to Goodison Park as Champions League hopefuls Everton and Arsenal face off in what promises to be thrilling contest. I am Alex Moretto and I will be your in-game host, guiding you through the match LIVE as it happens!
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