The Great Escape #EFCvAFC

Late goals from Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud rescued a point for Arsenal at Goodison Park, with manager Arsene Wenger say it was “our spirit that maybe got us that point”.

Seamus Coleman and Steven Naismith gave the Toffees a 2-0 lead, completely dominating for large chunks of the match. But it was the last 15 minutes that proved decisive.

Wenger, speaking after the game, said: “Two-nil can go both ways. We gave a great response, with complete desire to come back. It was fantastic. (It was) a strong point, and a deserved one. Our spirit maybe got us that point.”

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Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud each scored to rescue the Gunners. PICTURE: http://www.arsenal.com

It certainly was a fightback that I, for one, didn’t expect after a poor first half performance — check out my Twitter meltdown here. But there was one man who told me to just chill:

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Lwazi picked it.

Lwazi said at halftime that Arsenal would come back to get the desperately-needed point. I will admit, he was spot-on. Good call, bro.

The question is what this result tells us about Arsenal. Not much, I don’t think, other that Arsenal seem to have a fighting spirit that was maybe lacking in previous years — the late come-from-behind win over Crystal Palace last week also stands as evidence.

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The men who saved the Arsenal.

Perhaps — and this could well be a leap — it also shows that Arsenal will be able to handle multiple competitions and a congested fixture list. Remember, the game at Goodison came just a few days after a tough away game against Besiktas, in hostile conditions on a heavy pitch. Arsenal also made four changes to the starting side and still put out a solid looking starting XI. There is hope that the Arsenal might just be able to avoid the March meltdow this time around…

Now the focus shifts to the second leg against Besiktas at The Emirates on Wednesday.

My prediction: Arsenal 3 – 1 Besiktas.

Getting caught!

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matthewsavides:

Some stunning pictures of a lioness getting surgery after being caught in a snare. The lioness, who is well on her way to recovery, was treated at the Thanda Private Game Reserve in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

Originally posted on Thanda Private Game Reserve:

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In the Path of Wildlife

All over South Africa, game reserves battle with poaching. One traditional method poachers use to catch their prey is the setting of snares, which are crudely constructed out of cable or fencing wire. They are set on game paths or near waterholes and are often left there for days. Any unsuspecting animal passing through may get caught and suffer injuries and/or death.

The method is very cruel and wasteful. Not only do the intended prey, like antelopes, get caught, but Lions, Leopards, Cheetah, Elephant, Rhinos and Buffalo too prolong suffering injuries and often even die in the snares. Thanda’s Anti-Poaching Units regularly patrol the reserve and carry out snare sweeps. Unfortunately, some of our wildlife still stumble into snares from time to time, despite our determination to prevent this.

Just recently, one of Thanda’s Lionesses had her foot caught in a snare. She was powerful enough…

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Go (beyond) fourth and conquer. #TheMightyArsenal

It’s been a long time since I was this excited to be a Gooner.

My beloved Arsenal Football Club broke a far-too-many-year trophy drought last year, have added some seriously good signings to the capture of Mesut Özil, look a far more balanced team than in recent years, and got the season off to a winning start by scraping past Crystal Palace — who I really like, by the way, and not just because the club sounds like it’s named after a strip club.

I just get the feeling that — with one DM and one CB added to the squad — Arsenal are going to put in a serious shift this year and make a run for the EPL title.

Could Arsenal go above fourth place this year? I think so.
Could Arsenal go above fourth place this year? I think so.

The squad has some serious depth, especially in midfield, where I’m not even sure Jack Wiltshire would get a start when the first XI is injury free. Mathieu Debuchy is a genuine upgrade to Bacary Sagna, while Callum Chambers looks the real deal and the future of the Arsenal defense. Alexis Sanchez has had an admittedly slow start to the season, but when he settles he’ll be excellent. Özil will have a strong season methinks, and when Theo Walcott is back there will be serious attacking pace down the right side of midfield.

Scarily, though, as good as Arsenal are, they are by no means the strongest side in the Premier League. The Chelsea squad just looks incredible. Cesc Fabregas joining The Blues is huge, and with Diego Costa and the mercurial Didier Drogba upfront, they look the most complete team. Then you glance over to defending champions Manchester City, who have been very astute with their fewer-than-normal squad additions. It is a squad teeming with talent and with depth in every position.

Hmm... would be great to Jack raising the Premier League trophy aloft at the end of the season.
Hmm… would be great to Jack raising the Premier League trophy aloft at the end of the season.

So where does that leave Arsenal? For me, it’ll be a third place finish. Chelsea will win it. Man City second. Mirror Football writers Oliver Holt and John Cross agree with me.

But what do you think? Have your say in the comments section below.