Everton 1 Arsenal 1

Last updated : 08 January 2004 By Footymad Previewer

Everton fought bravely against high-flying Arsenal to record a well earned 1-1 draw.

Arsenal took the lead with a typically fluid goal on the half-hour mark.

The home side had been the most threatening, but it was the clinical Gunners who showed them how it should be done.

Freddie Ljungberg picked up the ball 30 yards out and turned to see Nwankwo Kanu escaping the attentions of David Unsworth.

He squeezed a pass into space and despite a last-ditch tackle from the beaten Everton centre-back, Kanu coolly slotted home across the face of goal for his first of the season.

The Nigerian had the visitors' other closest effort with a 30-yard shot in the third minute, but Everton seemed eager to reproduce last season's result which thrust Wayne Rooney into the limelight.

The youngster's star hasn't stopped rising since his winning strike in the last minute, but when he rose to head a Kevin Kilbane cross towards the end of the first 45 minutes he couldn't repeat the feat and fired wide.

Everton stormed into the second half determined to gain at least a point for their hard work and their efforts paid off in the 75th minute.

On-loan substitute Francis Jeffers - playing against his own club - beat a man on the right of the box and launched a fine shot which was tipped away by Jens Lehmann.

Canadian international Tomasz Radzinski run on to the free ball and fired home to bring Everton level.

But despite piling on the pressure they couldn't find a way through the stubborn Arsenal defence to grab a winner.

And as the assistant referee indicated three minutes injury time the crowd waited with baited breath for Rooney to repeat his heroics.

But, with the rejuvenated Duncan Ferguson playing up front with Jeffers and Radzinski, he was pushed back into midfield and despite his best efforts the Toffees could only manage a deserved draw.