Saturday analysis: Cazorla helps Arsenal turn the tide, Hazard inspires patient Blues
Arsenal came back from 2-0 to pinch what had looked an unlikely point at Goodison Park. The immediate media reaction suggested the result was something akin to daylight robbery, yet, despite Everton playing well for much of the middle hour of the game, Arsenal had their own spells of superiority too.
The Gunners actually started the brighter, and looked the more threatening side up until Everton took the lead against the run of play on 18 minutes. In fact, the superb Gareth Barry cross that Seamus Coleman nodded past Wojciech Szczesny to open the scoring was the first successful pass the Toffees had played into the Gunners' penalty area.
That goal seemed to ease the pressure on Roberto Martinez's side, and they began to play with the same freedom and appropriately-applied aggression as last season. For the next 35 minutes or so, Everton were dominant. Their midfielders were constantly pressing and harrying Arsenal's players in possession, and made a high number of tackles in the middle third of the pitch. However, perhaps down to fatigue, this really dropped off in the last 25 minutes of normal time.
Suddenly, just as the game looked lost, Arsenal found a second wind. Arsene Wenger replaced the booked Jack Wilshere with Santi Cazorla, deployed the Spaniard on the left and shifted Mesut Ozil inside to his favoured central position. The German had struggled to make much impact on the left flank, but Cazorla wouldn't have the same problem. He did what Ozil had failed to do all game and beat a man before playing a dangerous cross into the penalty area. As has so often been the case over the last 12 months, Aaron Ramsey was their to gleefully punish some hesitant defending, tapping in to bring the Londoners right back into the match.
Now Everton were nervous, and it showed. The first Arsenal goal was a momentary lapse of concentration from Everton's defence, for the second it seemed their minds were somewhere else entirely. Ramsey appeared to overhit a cross from the right but, as the Goodison crowd mocked a pass they thought was going out of play, Everton switched off. Nacho Monreal judged the situation far better, bringing the ball down and lofting a perfect cross (at the sixth time of asking) in for Olivier Giroud - another substitute - to nod in at the near post.