Merseyside Round-up: Everton battle through a goalless draw at the Emirates
On Tuesday evening we saw Everton take on 4th place Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, in a highly important fixture for both of the teams involved.
It was as intense and enthralling as goalless stalemates get but ultimately Chelsea and Tottenham were the big winners in the battle for top four.
Arsenal’s four-match winning run ended with this draw, a result that did neither side much good in their Champions League quest.
The Toffees thoroughly deserved a draw in what was a fiercely contested encounter, and are now unbeaten in six league games.
But David Moyes’ side, now within two points of fourth-placed Chelsea but having played two games more, were unable to find the goal that would have really improved their prospects of playing in next season’s Champions League.
Arguably the most exciting moment in this match came at half time. Everton striker Mirallas knowingly squirting water from his drinks bottle over his shoulder, and the jet hit England star Wilshere in the face.
Wilshere lashed out at Mirallas, and around eight or nine players squared up in a melee.
After the final whistle, the Toffees boss conceded his chances of reaching the Champions League have almost completely diminished after they failed to win all three points.
Wenger admitted it was two points dropped and if they miss out on the top four then it will be down to their lack of a natural born goal scorer.
David Moyes post-match reaction:
“We went to try and win it. We knew if we got three points we would have a real chance (of the top four), but a point keeps us ticking along.
“I think the result suits Spurs more than anybody, but I don’t think we are out of place where we are.
“I would take it (the Europa League), but I am going to try and get the Champions League – if we are still getting that mention in mid-April, then it is not bad for Everton.”
In the end, a draw was probably just about fair on both sides. However, Everton can take plenty of positives from this match.
Ross Barkley’s performance in central midfield was extremely encouraging, the 19-year-old showed maturity beyond his years, suggesting he’s ready to step up to the Premier League stage.
Everton should also be satisfied with their performance defensively. With three clean sheets in the club’s last 4 games, Moyes will be extremely proud of his players.
Last night the entire back-four proved their quality as Jagielka, Coleman, Distin and Baines all played fantastically.
Can Everton still qualify for Europe? It looks like next season’s Champions League is now out of their reach, however the club still stands in a good position to qualify for the final Europa League spot.
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