Although both clubs played a hard fought, physical game, the final whistle blew and Arsenal and Everton would play to a scoreless draw. The draw would give the Gunners one more meaningful point, and inch them all the more closer to securing a spot in the Champions League for a 16th straight season.
Everton started the match on top and controlled a good portion of the first half. However, in form typical to Wenger’s side as of late, the second half belonged to the Gunners. The pressure came right off the first touch, and would provide some quality chances for Arsenal to pull ahead. The best of those chances came from a quick counter attack, where Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain would slide a low cross across the goal mouth to Olivier Giroud who could not finish due to the pressing Everton defense that was seemingly unyielding throughout the match. Another great opportunity for Giroud would come minutes later feet in front of Everton keeper Tim Howard, but would be skied well over the crossbar. The final result: a scoreless draw, and an important point towards the Champions League next season.
What Does This Mean For Arsenal?
Arsenal are in 3rd and lead rivals Chelsea and Tottenham by two points in the table going into their final five games of the season. However, Chelsea and Tottenham have seven and six games remaining respectively. Arsenal close out the season against Fulham, Manchester United, QPR, Wigan and Newcastle, and if the Gunners play to their capabilities could pick up a good chunk of points to pad their lead. Chelsea have a relatively tough schedule going into their final seven, meeting sides such as Liverpool, Man. United, Everton, and of course Tottenham who won’t be looking to drop any points in that match. Tottenham, however, have a relatively easy final six where the only likely points dropped would be against Chelsea, Man. City and possibly Stoke. This being said, with greater point possibilities for Chelsea and Tottenham, the final five games will be incredibly important if Arsenal look to make the Champions League next season. Look for Wenger’s side to put their best foot forward and lock in as many of those final 15 points as possible. They have won 7 of their last 8 and are in top form going into the home stretch of the 2012/13 campaign. If they cap off a season turnaround similar to last season, you’ll be sure to see them in the Champions League come next season.