Belfast Telegraph

Arteta makes point for Toffees

Mikel Arteta's dramatic late equaliser ensured Everton left Sunderland with a 2-2 draw

The Spaniard's 82nd-minute drive was deflected past keeper Craig Gordon by defender Phil Bardsley just when Danny Welbeck looked to have clinched victory for the Black Cats.

The striker had cancelled out Tim Cahill's sixth-minute opener with a neat 23rd-minute finish and then headed the home side in front with 19 minutes remaining, but both he and Everton substitute Jermaine Beckford passed up glorious chances to win the game in injury time.

The game was only six minutes old when Cahill managed to find enough space inside the Sunderland penalty area to meet Leighton Baines' inviting cross with a firm downward header to make the most of the full-back's neat interchange with Steven Pienaar down the left.

That link-up proved to be the main avenue to goal for the Toffees as Baines and Pienaar caused problems for opposite numbers Nedum Onuoha and Bolo Zenden. However, the Dutchman turned the tables with 23 minutes gone to pave the way for his side's equaliser.

Zenden skipped away from Pienaar and Baines to fire a low cross to the near post where Welbeck eagerly slammed home.

Cahill almost did the damage once again with 55 minutes gone when he was allowed to run on to Phil Neville's ball over the top and lob the advancing Gordon, only for Michael Turner to put his body on the line with a desperate clearance.

On-loan Manchester United striker Welbeck gave Sunderland a 71st minute lead. Phil Jagielka did well to get a block on Darren Bent's shot to concede a corner and when Kieran Richardson crossed at the second time of asking - amid strong suspicions of offside - the teenager looped a header over Howard and into the net.

But with time running down, Everton fought their way back into it when the unfortunate Bardsley deflected Arteta's shot past Gordon.

Welbeck dragged a close-range effort wide deep into injury time, but Beckford perhaps should have won it with virtually the last kick of the game when he ran on to Jagielka's clearance but fired wastefully over with just Gordon to beat.


From Belfast Telegraph