FT: Arsenal 1 Everton 1

The final whistle goes and Everton have salvaged a 1-1 draw from their trip to Arsenal after Gerard Deulofeu cancelled out Mesut Ozil's opener. It was a terrific game and both sides will feel they could have won, but the Gunners will still be satisfied to push their lead at the top back to five points. Everton, meanwhile, remain fifth.

The crossbar is left shaking as Olivier Giroud lets fly with a tremendous effort from 20 yards and so nearly grabs a spectacular winner.

Romelu Lukaku shows his speed and strength to burst away from his defender, but then slams a long-range shot high and wide when he perhaps could have played a pass.

There is nearly a mix-up between Sylvain Distin and Tim Howard as the defender tries to head a long ball away to safety at the same time as the keeper rushes off his line to try and deal with the danger. Mathieu Flamini cannot take advantage of the loose ball, though, as it just takes too long to drop and then he fails to connect with a swinging volley.

Theo Walcott curls a delightful cross in from the right towards the back post, where Leon Osman calmly sweeps it behind for a corner. Well defended.

Gerarrd Deulofeu nearly unlocks the door once again with a neat piece of skill and then plays in Romelu Lukaku, but Wojciech Szczesny is out quickly to make the save.

The game is back in the balance now and it is Everton pushing forward in pursuit of a winner as the clock ticks down.

GOAL! Gerard Deulofeu equalises for Everton. The youngster drives an excellent finish beyond Wojciech Szczesny from 15 yards after a cross from the left had been missed by Romelu Lukaku's attempted overhead kick.

Everton try to respond immediately as they push bodies forward, but Arsenal have looked organised at the back all time and it will take a monumental effort to break them down now.

GOAL! Mesut Ozil makes it 1-0 to Arsenal. Tomas Rosicky floats a good ball over the back post and Theo Walcott heads it back across goal. Olivier Giroud fails to connect with his attempted shot but Ozil is able to slam his effort into the roof of the net to give the Gunners the lead.

Kevin Mirallas makes way for Gerard Deulofeu as Everton make their second change of the afternoon.

Kevin Mirallas has been lively all afternoon for Everton and he wins a corner as his shot from the edge of the area is deflected wide.

Tim Howard is shown a yellow card for time-wasting as he takes longer than the referee would like over his goal-kick.

Theo Walcott brings an added dimension to Arsenal with his pace but Bryan Oviedo does well here to block his cross and it ricochets back on to the winger before going out for a goal-kick rather than a corner.

There is a good old-fashioned air shot from Laurent Koscielny as the ball drops in the area and he swings a foot at it but does not manage to make contact.

Mathieu Flamini drills a low angled shot agonisingly wide of Tim Howard's right-hand post after good work by Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud.

Everton's first change sees Steven Pienaar replaced by Leon Osman.

Olivier Giroud tries his luck with a shot from the edge of the area that his sliced badly off target.

Arsene Wenger shuffles his pack with a triple substitution, as Theo Walcot, Mathieu Flamini and Tomas Rosicky come on for Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere.

Ross Barkley stings the palms of Wojciech Szczesny with a shot from the edge of the area as Arsenal's defence is caught napping.

Everton have responded well again after Arsenal started the second half in the ascendancy, but the tempo is a little slower than in the first half.

Mesut Ozil wriggles away from a couple of defenders in the Everton box before firing off an a shot from a narrow angle which fails to trouble Tim Howard.

James McCarthy and Gareth Barry have both been booked now but there is no sign of either man taking it easy as they continue to slide in with challenges in a congested midfield area.

James McCarthy becomes the second Everton player to have his name put in the book following a high boot on Aaron Ramsey in midfield.

Seamus Coleman does not look like he is feeling at all tired as he is invited to gallop forward and wing in a cross from the right, which is intercepted by Laurent Koscielny.

Bryan Oviedo drills a cross-cum-shot across goal from the left-hand corner of the area but Seamus Coleman had not carried on his run into the area, which may have presented him with an opportunity to finish.

Kieran Gibbs digs out a cross from the left and Aaron Ramsey connects cleanly with a volley on the turn on the far side, but it is a narrow angle and Tim Howard punches the ball away to safety.

Phil Jagielka finds himself in an unfamiliar left-wing role as he leads an Everton counter-attack and feeds Ross Barkley, who plays it on to Steven Pienaar. The South African lets fly with a powerful strike from 20 yards which forces Wojciech Szczesny to dive away to his left to make a smart stop.

Arsenal are controlling possession now and the fans are responding, but Olivier Giroud lacks support as he turns a blind pass back into a decent area only to find that none of his team-mates had made the run he wanted.

Jack Wilshere does well to stay onside and tee Mesut Ozil's pass to the back post back to Santi Cazorla, but his header lacks power and is easily held by Tim Howard.

Everton have worked so hard this afternoon and could just be starting to feel some fatigue after their efforts in midweek against Manchester United, with Arsenal making some changes from the victory over Hull City.

Santi Cazorla shows some nimble footwork to win Arsenal a corner, from which Kieran Gibbs tries his luck with an ambitious 25-yard volley which is well struck but flies wide.

Arsenal start off positively as Carl Jenkinson's cross is blocked by Bryan Oviedo, with appeals from the crowd for handball falling on deaf ears. Replays show it struck his chest so it is the roight call from Howard Webb as play is waved on.

Arsenal get the second half started. There have been no changes at the interval and the points are still up for grabs after a fascinating, but goalless, opening 45 minutes.

Jamal has been in touch with this half-time opinion; "Very good first half. Hopefully Everton clinch 3 points as it looks like Arsenal are getting into the game."

The half-time whistle goes and the score remains goalless, but it has been a cracking 45 minutes. Everton have played exceptionally at times to boss midfield and dominate possession, but they have not made Wojciech Szczesny work enough and there were some ominous signs in the final stages as Arsenal increased the tempo and carved out a couple of decent chances.

Tim Howard has to come off his line quickly once more to deny Aaron Ramsey following another delightful Arsenal move, with the in-form Welshman stepping over the ball before running on to pick up Olivier Giroud's short pass.

Mesut Ozil was barged over by Gareth Barry in the build-up to that last chance and cheers erupt as the Everton midfielder is shown a yellow card.

Olivier Giroud is caught offside as Arsenal suddenly click into gear and threaten to open the scoring, but moments later he times his run better and latches on to a pass from Jack Wilshere. However, Tim Howard rushes off his line to smother his shot and make an important save.

Boos ring out around the ground as the Arsenal faithful believe Romelu Lukaku should be booked for a foul on Laurent Koscielny.

The physio has to come on to administer some treatment to Jack Wilshere, who moves gingerly for a moment or two but should be fine to carry on.

Seamus Coleman's late tackle on Jack Wilshere gives away a free-kick as Arsenal stem the tide momentarily.

Romelu Lukaku holds up the ball for Bryan Oviedo. The left-back's cross is cleared by Laurent Koscielny but Everton keep Arsenal pinned back inside their own half with lots of pressing and quick passing when they regain possession.

Ross Barkley is pulling the strings in midfield for Everton and Arsene Wenger looks as though he cannot quite comprehend what is happening as he watches his Arsenal side chase shadows in midfield.

Arsenal are being put under pressure and that is forcing them into some uncharacteristic mistakes, as Carl Jenkinson attempts to spread a pass out to Santi Cazorla on the opposite flank and only succeeds in hitting it over his head.

Romelu Lukaku this time darts in from the right but Laurent Koscielny is equal to the challenge as he blocks the big Belgian's shot.

Romelu Lukaku is causing problems with his strength and movement and he slips a pass in from the left-hand channel which just eludes the run of Kevin Mirallas.

Arsenal spring to life with a slick move and Santi Cazorla sends in a threatening low cross towards Kieran Gibbs in the centre, but Phil Jagielka does well to put him under pressure and the ball fizzes out of play.

Seamus Coleman turns inside Mesut Ozil and bursts past Kieran Gibbs with the aid of a lucky break, before driving a shot high and wide from a tight angle.

The frustration for Arsenal at the moment is that the likes of Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey are having to work so hard defensively that they when they do get it up the field, Olivier Giroud is isolated.

Ross Barkley shows good strength in midfield before being brought down for an Everton free-kick, but once again there is no end product.

Arsenal, who have just been drawn at home to North London rivals Tottenham in the third round of the FA Cup, surrender possession in midfield but Kevin Mirallas cannot take advantage as he blazes a shot over the top.

James McCarthy obstructs Olivier Giroud to give Arsenal a free-kick in midfield and a platform to build another patient attack. The home side are beginning to see more of the ball now.

Arsenal have looked a little shaky so far but there are positive signs as Mesut Ozil swings over a high ball which Tim Howard has to come out and claim, before Olivier Giroud gets a first chance to turn and run at the Everton defence.

Gareth Barry is such an important cog in the Everton machine and he shows his value again with an interception on the edge of the box to cut out Santi Cazorla's pass.

Kevin Mirallas wins a free-kick in a dangerous area following a foul by Jack Wilshere and Everton play it short, working their way into their box with an elaborate routine straight from the training ground, but there are too many Arsenal bodies to negotiate.

More good approach play from Everton as Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley combine well, but it is just the final ball that is lacking at the moment as Arsenal keep their defensive shape.

The ball breaks for Sylvain Distin on the edge of the area as Arsenal struggle to clear the corner, but the defender's effort is poor as he drags it well wide.

Bryan Oviedo has another cross cleared, this time by former Everton man Mikel Arteta, but Everton win the ball back quickly and Ross Barkley's shot from 20 yards deflects off Laurent Koscielny for a corner.

Bryan Oviedo links up well with Steven Pienaar down the Everton left before cutting a cross back from the byline which is firmly headed away by Per Mertesacker.

Both sides look positive in possession and have settled into a nice rhythm. There is fast tempo to the game and a buzz around the ground.

Arsenal weather the early storm with a decent spell of passing and find some fluency in their build-up before Laurent Koscielny's final pass is intercepted by Kevin Mirallas.

Arsenal look all at sea as Kevin Mirallas delivers a teasing low cross which just goes behind the rampaging Romelu Lukaku and rolls away to safety.

Everton are getting plenty of bodies forward already, as Seamus Coleman drives towards the area with a quick run which leaves his defender trailing.

Everton come flying out of the traps with an early Ross Barkley surge, as they look to gain some control of possession.

Everton get the game started. Both sides are in great form and like to play attractive football, so let us hope for an open and exciting encounter.

The players gather round the centre circle ahead of kick-off as everyone at Emirates Stadium stands to observe a minute's applause in memory of Nelson Mandela, who died this week.

David predicts: "Everton played really well to beat Manchester United, but we all know that they beat a team that is not firing on all cylinders. Arsenal on the other hand are playing above expectation, so Arsenal will win this game simply because they are at home and also because they are a better side than Everton."

Pete from Mansfield says: "I'm a Newcastle United fan and I've given up trying to predict matches in the Premiership this season, it's wide open. If both teams play to their potential, this could be the game of the season - two great sides. I would like to see Arsenal lift the trophy this season - I think it would be well deserved as they are so good to watch."

Both managers have been speaking on television ahead of the game and are sounding very respectful of their opponents, but also quite confident. Roberto Martinez says the two teams share similar philosophies so he is predicting an open match.

Kelechi says: "Both teams have been working very hard. I predict a very tough and thrilling game but I think Arsenal will grab all points at the end."

Zeeshan writes: "I'm surprised that Deulofeu did not start but Everton have to win this game to be top four contenders. I will be happy with a draw just anything to stop Arsenal. 2-0 to the Toffees."

Jamal Mohammed says: "I think this game will be end to end and Everton will win 3-2 because of Jenkinson and not Sagna."

"This is Stewart MacLaren from a warm & windy Torrevieja in Spain saying that Everton will draw 2-2 with Arsenal at The Emirates Stadium this afternoon with good goals from Kevin Miralles & Romelu Lukaku. The key players will be Aaron Ramsey for Arsenal & Romelu Lukaku for Everton."

Olivier Giroud was left out of the starting XI for the 2-0 win over Hull City in midweek and returns to the Arsenal side in place of Nicklas Bendtner as one of four changes made by Arsene Wenger. Kieran Gibbs also replaces Nacho Monreal, while in midfield Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere come in for Mathieu Flamini and Tomas Rosicky. For Everton, Roberto Martinez not surprisingly opts to keep an unchanged line-up after beating Manchester United.

Why not check out the latest odds with Sky Bet ahead of the match? Arsenal are at 4/6 to win and Everton 9/2, while a draw is 14/5. Olivier Giroud is also at 4/1 to open the scoring for the Gunners.

Dave in Widnes writes: "Think this game is massive for both teams. Going to go for an Everton win 2-1 because of the performance at Old Trafford."

Jason from Axminster is the first to get in touch, saying: "A tough, as well as a big game for Arsenal today. A win will slightly take the pressure off the game at Man City next week. I'm going for a 2-1 win to the Gunners."

Everton have lost just once in the Premier League this season and currently occupy fifth place, seven points behind Arsenal. A win today would lift them level on points with Liverpool and Chelsea and further underline their top-four credentials, if any more evidence were indeed required. Roberto Martinez's side have also kept clean sheets in five of their past six matches and have the talent to cause problems for the Arsenal defence.

Arsenal: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Ramsey, Ozil, Cazorla, Giroud. Subs: Vermaelen, Walcott, Monreal, Fabianski, Bendtner, Flamini, Rosicky.

Everton: Howard, Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Oviedo, McCarthy, Barry, Mirallas, Barkley, Pienaar, Lukaku. Subs: Robles, Heitinga, Jelavic, Naismith, Osman, Stones, Deulofeu.

Arsenal have been in superb form this season and even yesterday, when they were not playing, there were plenty of reasons for supporters to celebrate as fellow title hopefuls Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United all dropped points. Arsene Wenger's men can now stretch the gap to second-placed Liverpool to seven points with a victory this afternoon, and they will fancy their chances of doing just that after winning 11 of their first 14 matches this season, including all six at home since an opening-day defeat by Aston Villa.

Let us know your views and predictions ahead of the game by getting in touch at Lewis.Rutledge@bskyb.com, or via Twitter @SkySportsLewis. Will Arsenal keep marching on and extend their lead at the Premier league summit or can Everton follow up their victory at Manchester United with another major scalp. What kind of match are you expecting? The full team news will be in shortly but who do you think are likely to be the key players?

Welcome to our minute-by-minute commentary of the Premier League match between Arsenal and Everton. A fantastic afternoon of football is on the cards at Emirates Stadium as two sides full of confidence prepare to lock horns. The Gunners have a chance to strengthen their grip on top spot but face a tough challenge against an Everton team fresh from winning at Old Trafford in midweek and looking to climb into fourth.

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