Arsenal drop points to Everton | sports | Hindustan Times
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Arsenal drop points to Everton

sports Updated: Dec 09, 2013 00:44 IST
Gerard Delofeu

Gerard Delofeu's late goal earned Everton a deserved 1-1 draw at Premier League leaders Arsenal on Sunday after Mesut Ozil's strike seemed set to seal three points for the home side.

An absorbing clash which sizzled throughout caught fire in the closing stages as Ozil swept Arsenal in front from close range in the 80th minute and substitute Delofeu fired a powerful shot past Wojciech Szczesny four minutes later.

Olivier Giroud almost snatched victory in stoppage-time for the hosts when his 30 metre thunderbolt thumped against the woodwork.

The draw left Arsenal on 35 points, five clear of Liverpool and Chelsea after 15 games with Everton, who have lost only in the league, fifth on 28.

Earlier, Dimitar Berbatov inspired Fulham to a 2-0 home win over Aston Villa on Sunday that revived the London club's hopes of avoiding relegation from the Premier League.

The Bulgarian forward, linked with a January transfer window move away from Craven Cottage, set up Fulham's opening goal for Steve Sidwell and then scored their second off the penalty spot.

For Fulham, who hadn't previously scored two goals at home all season, victory saw them climb one place into 18th spot but remain in the relegation zone.

Rene Meulensteen's first win as Fulham manager – and the club's first clean sheet since Oct 5 – gave the Cottagers a tally of 13 points.

That left them level with London rivals Crystal Palace and West Ham, the two clubs either side of them in the table, and in the bottom three on goal difference alone.

Villa's defeat – their first in six league matches – meant both Swansea and Hull will have the chance to leapfrog them into the top half of the table when they meet on Monday.

"We've tried different formations since he's took charge," Sidwell said. "There's versatility in the squad, we all put in a shift and hopefully it's working now."