Arsenal and Everton drew 0-0 at the Emirates Stadium last night in the crucial clash.
With both team’s aiming for a top four finish in the Premier League this season the game was a feisty affair and was a surprisingly entertaining stalemate.
The players showed how much was at stake with the feisty nature of the game.
Both sides gave their all, without the game ever becoming a dirty affair.
Arsenal have struggled with the physical side to the game in recent years, but showed in last night encounter that they can play a more physical style of football.
I have to say prior to his arrival I thought that Olivier Giroud would be a good addition to the Arsenal squad. The Frenchman has found the net 17 times this season for the Gunners, which is a decent record for a player in his first season in the English top flight.
However, the 26-year-old is yet to convince that he can be the man to score the goals that Arsenal need to be a top team again. Giroud is the only out and out striker at Arsene Wenger’s disposal.
Wide men Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott have also played in the lone striker role this season, with mixed results.
Had Arsenal had a top striker they may have won last night’s game, as Giroud missed some good chances. It is not the first time that the Frenchman’s profligacy in front of goal has cost the Gunners this season.
Arsenal and Everton’s rivals for the Champions League spots will be happy with this result. Chelsea has two games in-hand on Arsenal and could leapfrog the Gunners with a victory at London rivals Fulham this evening.
Tottenham meanwhile have a game in-hand, but host Manchester City in their next match on Sunday afternoon. A point apiece was not much good to either side, as Chelsea and Tottenham could capitalise on the draw in their next fixtures.
Chelsea looks to be the big favourites to clinch third spot, just because of the games in-hand on the Gunners. Tottenham also have a game in-hand on the Gunners, but are currently two points behind Wenger’s men.
Spurs could find themselves five points behind going into Sunday’s clash with City, with Arsenal visiting Fulham on Saturday. If Spurs won their games in-hand though they would also move above the Gunners.
Everton are not completely out of the race for fourth place just yet. However, it is going to be difficult for the Toffee’s after the draw at Arsenal and with their tough away games to come.
David Moyes’ side will keep on fighting until the end of the season. They showed in last night’s match that they are not that short of becoming a team that can challenge for the Champions League positions.
In previous seasons Everton have not had a good enough team to actually go head-to-head with the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium. They have parked the bus at times and came away with an inevitable defeat.
In last night’s game Moyes’ side put on a decent display and did not just defend for most of the match like in previous encounters. There was a confidence about Everton that they rarely display at away trips to tough venues like the Emirates.
As an Evertonian, it really is encouraging to see the team put on such a good performance at the Emirates. There is definite optimism that this team could go far. The key is keeping the current players and manager for next season and trying to add to the squad.
The race for the Champions League spots really is gathering momentum and is tight. Four teams are still in the race and any of them could still make the top four.
The race for Champions League places will go down to the wire and it promises to give fans an exciting finish to the season.
I must just say congratulations to Cardiff City, who won promotion to the Premier League last night from the Championship, after drawing 0-0 with Charlton. The Bluebirds will join fellow Welsh side Swansea in the top flight next season.
The games between the two Welsh giants could be absolute crackers and I am sure that Cardiff will be a great addition to the Premier League.
Does Arsenal and Everton’s rivals now have upper hand in the race for Champions League spots?