Arsenal vs. Everton  0 - 0

Article

´Water boys´ escape FA penalty

17 April 2013 18:55

No action will be taken over a half-time clash between Everton's Kevin Mirallas and Arsenal's Jack Wilshere, the Football Association has announced.

Television pictures showed Wilshere reacting furiously to Mirallas after the Belgian appeared to spray the midfielder with his water bottle as the players made their way down the tunnel.

The incident came amid a tense goalless draw between two sides vying for top-four finishes at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night.

Immediately after the incident, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said: "I don’t know about it, but if it was (on television), then very soon everybody will know about it - and I will know about it as well.

"It was all right in the dressing room."

Neither player has commented on the incident.


Article

Gibson lucky to escape red, says Wenger

17 April 2013 01:26

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger lamented the lack of a red card for Darron Gibson in his side's 0-0 draw with Everton.

The midfielder was spared being sent off after a cynical challenge on Theo Walcott as the Toffees frustrated the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium for a result that did few favours for either team's Champions League hopes.

Wenger felt that referee Chris Foy was too lenient on the visitors for their physical approach but remains satisfied with the north Londoners' position in the top-four race.

"We should have won the game," he told reporters after the game. "It keeps us in a strong position in the race for top four.

"The game was intense physically but I felt in the first half the ref didn't deal well with the intimidating challenges. We responded well and we had a fantastic commitment.

"Their tactics were detrimental to the fluency of our game. Yes, (Gibson) should have been sent off.

"I never speak to the ref. You should ask the ref why he wasn't (sent off). He should have had a yellow card even before the first challenge.

"You must respect Everton for the fight they put in. They decided to make it physical. Sometimes they went over the edge but it's up to the ref to make the right decisions. Protecting is a big word; it is just up to him to make the right decisions.

"I do not want to comment on every decision the game is what it is. Despite that we had the chances, we can only look at ourselves. We are on a very strong run so we don't want to complain too much, let's look at ourselves."

Chelsea and Tottenham could now overtake Arsenal's 60 points should they win their games in hand but Wenger is confident that his side will reach the Champions League.

"If we win our coming games we'll get there. Others have 58 with games in hand but they play each other," he added.

"We mustn't leave it so that we depend on others. My belief is strong and I'm confident we will do it and the best way is to put the same effort into the next game."

Article

Premier League: Arsenal 0 Everton 0

16 April 2013 22:53

Arsenal and Everton both missed the chance to significantly boost their Champions League prospects after a 0-0 draw at Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners remain in third place on the Premier League table, two points ahead of Chelsea albeit having played two games more, while David Moyes' side lie a further two points adrift.

The visitors, who impressed hugely on their last visit to north London in their entertaining 2-2 draw with Tottenham earlier this month, were dominant in the early stages, pressing high up the pitch and denying Arsenal's artisans time and space to create.

In possession, meanwhile, Everton carried a significant threat and should have taken a sixth-minute lead when Seamus Coleman's pass dissected Arsenal's defence, only for Steven Pienaar to display an uncharacteristically rash touch in front of goal, firing high over Wojciech Szczesny's crossbar.

What the game lacked in aesthetics it more than made up for in brute force as Everton set about their business in typically bruising fashion. Marouane Fellaini was guilty of several early transgressions that might otherwise have resulted in cautions, while Darron Gibson was fortunate to remain on the field following two bone-shuddering challenges on Theo Walcott in quick succession.

Arsenal's threat had come down their right-hand side and it was from one enterprising foray that they came closest to breaking the deadlock in the opening half.

Aaron Ramsey escaped the attentions of Leighton Baines and whipped an inviting low ball across the six-yard box which was met by Olivier Giroud on the slide - the French striker was, however, unable to provide the finish that would have given his side an undeserved lead three minutes before the interval.

The feisty nature of the contest continued after the half-time whistle with Kevin Mirallas and Jack Wilshere involved in a tunnel altercation that saw the Belgian squirt the contents of his water bottle over the England midfielder.

The 21-year-old, starting his second game in three days following a five-and-a-half week absence, was struggling to influence the game but his midfield partners Santi Cazorla and Ramsey quickly warmed to the challenge in the second half with the latter testing Tim Howard with a fizzing drive from 25 yards.

At the other end Baines, unusually for him, was wasteful with a free-kick that appeared tailor-made for him, while the increasingly influential Ross Barkley was inches wide with a rasping drive from 20 yards that was fractionally wide of Szczesny's left-hand post.

With 15 minutes remaining of a potentially season-defining game for both sides, the managers remained commendably committed to attack and it would have paid dividends for Arsenal had Giroud not been prevented by an astonishing goal-saving clearance from Sylvain Distin, before he blazed over soon after when a more controlled finish would surely have broken the deadlock.

In the end, a point represented a fair outcome, one that will be celebrated by both Chelsea and Spurs in a race for a top finish that assumes a different and more fascinating complexion by the game.

Article

Sagna aims to defeat Everton

16 April 2013 17:08

Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna believes beating Everton would be a 'massive step forward' in the push for a top-four spot.

The Gunners are third in the Premier League, three places ahead of Everton, and Sagna thinks the club need to continue to play 'the Arsenal way' following their dramatic 3-1 win over Norwich on Saturday.

He told the club's official website: “We have to start well. We have to keep playing as we are at the moment, to keep looking forward and play the Arsenal way.

"It will be a massive step forward (if we win) because we would play our last games with more confidence and in a good position. We know we have to win.

"We know we can put them away if we win against them and give ourselves a bit more breathing room."

Despite suffering with injuries, Sagna has made 25 appearances for Arsenal this season, 19 in the Premier League.


Article

Moyes wants wins on big stage

16 April 2013 10:16

David Moyes believes Everton must show they are serious top-four contenders by winning at Arsenal for the first time during his time in charge.

Moyes' side only sit four points off the third-placed Gunners after a fine run of four wins from their last five fixtures in the Premier League.

But Everton have also never beaten Chelsea or Liverpool away under Moyes and their last win away to the Arsenal came way back in 1996.

Moyes is hoping to end that run at the Emirates on Tuesday.

"I've told the players we will have to win one of these big games away from home if we are going to get into Europe," Moyes said.

"For the Champions League it may have to be more than one. We are trying to break new ground."

Defender Phil Jagielka accepts the criticism thrown at Everton for their poor away record against the league's top sides but says all is not lost if they do not manage to claim three points at the Emirates Stadium.

"You couldn't argue against that and say they are wrong because unfortunately we haven't turned up in some really big games," Jagielka told reporters.

"That's the challenge now. There is only one way to change that. But if we don't come away from Arsenal with a win we still can't regard it as a negative. We are going to keep kicking on and kicking on."

Article

Vermaelen urges Gunners to fire

16 April 2013 06:56

Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen is targeting three points in his side's vital Premier League game against sixth-placed Everton.

The 27-year-old urged his team-mates to fight to the end as the season draws to a close, with the Gunners occupying third position while Everton look to keep their top-four ambition alive.

Arsenal are seeking their fifth consecutive win and Vermaelen believes they are primed to defeat David Moyes's side at the Emirates Stadium.

"We are on a run now. We have got good momentum at the moment. We are winning a lot of games," the centre-back told the club's official website.

"Tuesday is an important game again at home so we have to keep fighting and try to get three points."

Article

Fabianski in doubt for Everton clash

15 April 2013 19:33

Arsene Wenger admits goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski is a 'major doubt' for Tuesday's Premier League match at home to Everton.

The Arsenal manager revealed on Monday that the Polish international picked up a rib injury in the north London side's 3-1 win over Norwich on Saturday.

If Fabianski is unable to play, Wenger may be forced to reinstate fellow Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

He has been recently relegated to the bench in favour of Fabianski after a form slump, something which the Arsenal manager has described as a 'blip'.

Meanwhile, Tomas Rosicky is back in the squad after successfully recovering from a hamstring injury which saw him sit out Arsenal's win against Norwich.

The Czech international scored both goals in the 2-0 victory at West Brom when he was last in action.

Per Mertesacker is also available after returning from suspension. The German centre-back picked up a one-match ban when he was shown a straight red card against West Brom.


Article

Premier League preview: Arsenal v Everton

15 April 2013 09:04

The fight for Champions League qualification is set to intensify when Arsenal host rivals Everton at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday.

Arsenal moved into the third and final automatic qualification spot, four points ahead of sixth-placed Everton, after they scored three goals in the final five minutes to stun Norwich 3-1 on Saturday.

The Gunners' triumph made it four successive wins in the Premier League and five unbeaten at home, and manager Arsene Wenger says the team's consistency, not their current league position, is the most important aspect in their quest for European football.

"Well at the moment the position is not important. What is important is to keep our run going and the consistency of our wins," the Frenchman said.

"That is important. The position at the moment has no real meaning. It means we are all tight and the team that is the most consistent will get there.

"At the moment we have that consistency so we want to focus on that. We have another big game on Tuesday night and we have a good opportunity that we want to take."

Everton recorded a routine 2-0 victory at home to Championship-bound Queens Park Rangers on Saturday, a win that extended their undefeated run to five games and moved them within striking distance of Tottenham and Arsenal.

But French defender Sylvain Distin does not believe Tuesday's meeting holds any extra significance.

"We have three clean sheets out of the last four games," Distin told Everton's official website. "Tuesday is only as important as today's game or any of the other 30 we have played.

"There are no small games, we have to be consistent. We just have the final push to get fourth or fifth place."

Despite Everton's recent form, history is against the Merseyside outfit, having failed to beat Arsenal in the sides' 11 most recent encounters.

March 2007 was the last time Everton tasted success against Arsenal, winning 1-0 courtesy of Andrew Johnson's 91st-minute strike.

Article

Distin: Arsenal match not decisive

14 April 2013 15:45

Everton's Slyvain Distin says the outcome of Tuesday's encounter with Arsenal will not prove decisive in the race for a Champions League berth.

Everton travel to north London just three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, although having played a game more, following a run of four wins in their last five Premier League matches.

David Moyes' side extended their recent good run with a straightforward 2-0 win over relegation-threatened QPR on Saturday.

And Distin does not believe Tuesday's game is any more important than the others Everton face in the run home.

"Tuesday is only as important as today's game or any of the other 30 we have played," Distin said after the QPR win.

"There are no small games, we have to be consistent. We just have the final push to get fourth or fifth place.

A deflected Darron Gibson strike and a Victor Anichebe goal secured victory against Harry Redknapp's strugglers and Distin is desperate for his side to maintain their momentum.

"Three points and a clean sheet; we are happy and we are doing well at the moment. We need to keep pushing to get a place in Europe," he said.

"The most important is the three points. I want to win games - if I can help (by scoring) then that's great but it doesn't bother me."

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +43 89
2 38 +32 78
3 38 +36 75
4 38 +35 73
5 38 +20 72
6 38 +15 63
7 38 +28 61
8 38 -4 49
9 38 -4 46
10 38 -8 46
11 38 -17 44
12 38 -10 43
13 38 -11 42
14 38 -11 41
15 38 -22 41
16 38 -23 41
17 38 -13 39
18 38 -26 36
19 38 -30 28
20 38 -30 25