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.”
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:
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.
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.