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Arsenal frustrated in Everton stalemate

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Nil-nil draw leaves them with 60 points after 33 games

Despite admitting he had rushed Jack Wilshere (left) back from an ankle injury too quickly, Wenger gave the England midfielder his second appearance in four days. Wilshere came in for some rough treatment in the early stages of the game.Photo: ap
Despite admitting he had rushed Jack Wilshere (left) back from an ankle injury too quickly, Wenger gave the England midfielder his second appearance in four days. Wilshere came in for some rough treatment in the early stages of the game.Photo: ap

Arsenal wasted a chance to cement their place in the Premier League’s top four as the Gunners were held to a 0-0 draw by Everton on Tuesday.

Arsene Wenger’s side would have moved four points clear of fifth placed Tottenham with a win at the Emirates Stadium.

But they were forced to settle for a point as Everton’s physical approach succeeded in frustrating the hosts.

Third placed Arsenal are now two points clear of Chelsea and Tottenham in the race to qualify for the Champions League.

However Arsenal still have plenty of work to do as Chelsea have two games in hand on Wenger’s team, while Tottenham have played a game less than their north London rivals.

“The game was basically down to physical intensity, it was unbelievable from the first to the last minute,” Wenger said.

Everton remain in sixth place, two points behind Chelsea having played two games more, and a spot in the Europa League now looks their best bet.

“We weren’t going to let Arsenal stroke the ball around with 500 passes, we were committed and made some tackles,” Moyes said.

Moyes’ men should have taken the lead in the opening moments when Steven Pienaar eluded the statuesque Bacary Sagna and raced onto Seamus Coleman’s pass.

But with just Wojciech Szczesny to beat, the South African midfielder lifted his shot high over the crossbar.

Everton’s aggressive approach had knocked Arsenal out of their rhythm and it took a mistake from Marouane Fellaini to gift the Gunners their first sight of goal.

Fellaini’s wayward pass was collected by Kieran Gibbs in space on the edge of the penalty area, but the left-back’s powerful strike flashed over the bar.

Santi Cazorla threatened for Arsenal early in the second half as the Spaniard’s half-volley forced a good save from Tim Howard and moments later Giroud clipped a first-time shot narrowly over.

Arsenal had Moyes’ side on the ropes, yet couldn’t deliver the knockout blow as Giroud lashed over from a tight angle.


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