Wil­liams atones to end Arse­nal’s un­beaten run

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -


Ash­ley Wil­liams’s 86th-minute header saw Ever­ton re­turn to form in spec­tac­u­lar fash­ion as they hit back to dent Arse­nal’s Premier League ti­tle hopes in a 21 vic­tory on Tues­day. Wales de­fender Wil­liams rose un­marked to head home Ross Barkley’s cor­ner in a ma­jor dis­ap­point­ment for the vis­i­tors, who had taken the lead through Alexis Sanchez’s 12th Premier League goal of the sea­son. Af­ter Sea­mus Cole­man’s headed equaliser, tem­pers flared at half-time when play­ers from both sides had to be sep­a­rated as they ex­changed an­gry words and pushes on their way down the Good­i­son Park tun­nel. In a fran­tic finale, Ever­ton de­fender Phil Jagielka was sent off for a sec­ond book­able of­fence and, with goal­keeper Petr Cech at­tack­ing in the home area, Arse­nal saw two shots hero­ically cleared off the line. Arse­nal would have taken over from Chelsea on goals scored if they had won, but they re­main sec­ond, while Ron­ald Koe­man’s Ever­ton climb to sev­enth af­ter only their sec­ond win in 11 league out­ings. Ever­ton made a poor start to the con­test and fell be­hind af­ter 20 min­utes when a cat­a­logue of er­rors in­volv­ing Wil­liams gifted Sanchez the open­ing goal. Af­ter Barkley lost the ball on the edge of his own area, Wil­liams ac­ci­den­tally in­jured team-mate Idrissa Gu­eye with a lung­ing tackle that forced Jagielka to trip Fran­cis Co­quelin inches out­side the box. Sanchez took the set­piece, a powerful shot that de­flected wickedly off Wil­liams’s left calf and wrong-footed goal­keeper Maarten Steke­len­burg, who could only help the ball into his own goal.

But a minute be­fore the in­ter­val Ever­ton were re­warded for their re­sponse when Cole­man headed home the equaliser. Fel­low full-back Leighton Baines swung over a deep cross from the left wing and Cole­man, in­ex­pli­ca­bly un­marked six yards from goal, glanced a su­perb header past Cech for his third goal of the sea­son. Arse­nal, aiming for a 15th un­beaten league out­ing, which would have rep­re­sented man­ager Arsene Wenger’s best run since 2011, had looked con­tent to hit their hosts on the break dur­ing a strong open­ing. Af­ter just six min­utes, an over­lap­ping sprint by Nacho Mon­real saw the full-back pull the ball into the Ever­ton area, but frac­tion­ally be­hind Me­sut Ozil, who could only sky his shot high over the goal. But af­ter fall­ing be­hind, Ever­ton showed re­silience, with Aaron Len­non, start­ing just his third game of the sea­son, par­tic­u­larly threat­en­ing. A good run and shot was well blocked by Gabriel, Romelu Lukaku blasted over from Barkley’s through ball and then Len­non, again, shot over from close range af­ter a free-kick was de­flected to him at high speed. Ozil ap­peared to be at the cen­tre of the scuf­fle that broke out at the in­ter­val and was quickly in ac­tion again af­ter the restart, feed­ing Sanchez, who chipped into the box for Theo Wal­cott to head wide. Ozil should have re­stored his team’s lead in the 54th minute when he latched onto a pass from Sanchez, but curled a shot well over from just in­side the area. — AFP

Ever­ton Arse­nal 2

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