Everton were dominant and cruising throughout the first half, and were well worthy of their half-time advantage. Indeed, with the benefit of hindsight, they will very much regret not converting their possession and superiority into the goals they warranted.
Seamus Coleman was the surprising scorer of the first goal, with a sharp header past Wojciech Szczesny after a nifty free-kick routine. The Arsenal defence were caught completely unawares, with Mezut Ozil failing to track his man and Calum Chambers playing the attackers onside.
Romelu Lukaku created the second just before half-time with a powerful run leaving Arsenal’s defence – and midfield – entirely in his wake. He set up Steven Naismith, who looked suspiciously offside, but nevertheless finished neatly with a nutmeg through the goalkeeper’s legs.
Arsene Wenger made the brave decision to replace his big-money summer signing Alexis Sanchez at the interval, bringing on Giroud in his place. Aaron Ramsey must have thought his goal in the 83rd minute was a mere consolation, tapping home Santi Cazorla’s cross, but Giroud had other plans, waiting until the final minute of normal time to head home Nacho Monreal’s cross, which evaded every single man in the Everton defence.
19’ - GOAL! Seamus Coleman makes amends for that ridiculous pass earlier, getting his head to a cross after a nifty free kick routine and finishes brilliantly with a bullet past Szczesny.
35’ - CLOSE! Curling free-kick from Mirallas, into the side netting and fooling some of the fans on the other side of the ground.
45’ - GOAL! Lukaku absolutely roasts Arsenal's flailing midfield, powering past the lot of them, and Naismith - looking a touch offside - fires through Szczesny's legs.
51’ - NO PENALTY! Shout for handball! Referee Kevin Friend isn't going to give that - it looks like it's actually Ramsey's stomach - but it's a raucous appeal from the Gwladys Street End.
76’ - UNLUCKY! Naismith has been terrific today - here he's teed up by McGeady, but his shot from the edge of the box is always rising.
83’ - GOAL! Finally Arsenal get a goal back. A cheeky back heel from Ozil, a tempting ball in from Cazorla and a firm finish from Ramsey.
90’ - GOAL! And Giroud gets the equaliser in the last minute of normal time! Monreal did brilliantly to keep the ball in play, and Giroud gets his head to the cross, which passes over the hair of the Everton defence.
Mathieu Debuchy (Arsenal) face à Leighton Baines (Everton)
Everton have scored at least two goals in each of their last six Premier League home games.
Arsenal conceded two first-half goals in a Premier League match for the first time since their 3-0 defeat at Everton in April.
Arsenal have come from behind to draw or win in each of their opening two Premier League matches of a season for the first time.
The last time Everton failed to win having held a two-goal lead in the Premier League at home was their 2-2 home draw v Newcastle in October 2008.
Olivier Giroud scored his first Premier League away goal since the 2-2 draw at Southampton in January 2014.
Everton's Steven Naismith (C) celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal against Arsenal during their English …
That substitution which turned out to change the game – but what does that mean for Alexis? He seemed disgruntled all through the first half – and evidently his manager felt he didn’t have the right qualities to lead Arsenal back from the brink.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Steven Naismith (Everton): Tough one – Everton’s first-half performance was marvellous – but Naismith had a magnificent game, creative, tenacious and strong throughout.
Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal and his team-mates look dejected during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton …
Everton: Howard 7, Coleman 7, Jagielka 7, Distin 7, Baines 7, Barry 7, McCarthy 7, Mirallas 8, Naismith 9, Pienaar 5, Lukaku 9. Subs: McGeady 7, Atsu 7, Osman 7.
Arsenal: Szczesny 7, Debuchy 7, Mertesacker 6, Chambers 5, Monreal 6, Flamini 6, Oxlade-Chamberlain 7, Wilshere 7, Ramsey 7, Ozil 6, Sanchez 6. Subs: Giroud 7, Cazorla 7, Campbell 7.
THE MATCH IN A TWEET
- Sports & Recreation
- Olivier Giroud
- Steven Naismith
- Seamus Coleman
- Wojciech Szczesny
- Premier League