Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar 300
WITH all but one other fixture called off in the Premier League this weekend, Everton and Arsenal braved the big freeze at the Emirates to draw 2-2.
It took an injury time equaliser from Tomas Rosicky to break Blue hearts after Steven Pienaar appeared to have won it for the visitors with a goal of exquisite quality.
After Leon Osman had headed the Blues into the lead, Denilson’s deflected goal saw the sides go in level at the break.
But it was Pienaar who was denied the headlines by Rosicky’s late salvo as Arsenal came back to rescue a point.
Played through by Tim Cahill with eight minutes remaining, the South African kept his nerve to chip the ball over Manuel Almunia and threaten Arsenal’s impressive unbeaten run.
But with five minutes added on at the end, the Gunners poured forward. As Everton clung on, the ball eventually found Rosicky in space on the left who finished well past Tim Howard.
For all Arsene Wenger’s determination to get this game played, the conditions appeared to suit David Moyes’ team better, who took the lead through Osman after just 12 minutes.
Louis Saha had already spurned a good opportunity to put Everton ahead and so Osman’s headed goal from Landon Donovan’s corner was no more than the Blues deserved as they pegged their hosts back with some good early pressure.
Donovan looked lively on his Blues debut, the American offering an outlet wide on the right as he came in for Diniyar Bilyaletdinov.
The American will feel he could have done better on the equaliser however when he failed to clear the ball enabling Andriy Arshavin, back after a foot injury, to slip it inside to Eduardo who rolled a pass into Denilson’s path whose shot took a wicked deflection off the unfortunate Osman to wrong-foot Howard.
Despite Arsenal’s current run of form – they had won five of their previous six league games to close in on Manchester United and Chelsea at the top of the table - Everton were the better team in the first half.