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2 late goals secure Arsenal 2-2 draw at Everton

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 23, 2014 at 9:23 pm •  Published: August 23, 2014

LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud scored in the final seven minutes as Arsenal recovered to draw 2-2 at Everton in the Premier League on Saturday, avoiding another demoralizing defeat on Merseyside.

Giroud headed home the equalizer with 40 seconds left of normal time at Goodison Park, capping a comeback started by Ramsey's close-range finish in the 83rd.

"We had a big test today and at halftime, it was even a bigger test," Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger said. "We responded well."

Everton was deservedly 2-0 ahead at the break thanks to goals by Seamus Coleman and Steven Naismith and was threatening a repeat of the corresponding fixture last season, when Arsenal was blown away in a 3-0 loss. Arsenal also lost 5-1 at Liverpool just across Stanley Park.

Giroud's introduction as a halftime substitute invigorated Arsenal, with Everton's American goalkeeper Tim Howard only called into action once before Ramsey's goal.

"For 70-75 minutes, it was a perfect performance," said Everton manager Roberto Martinez, whose team conceded a late goal to draw 2-2 with Leicester last weekend. "The first-half display was as dominant as we've seen against a top team at Goodison Park for a while."

Arsenal has four points from its first two games after beating Crystal Palace 2-1 in their opener, when Ramsey scored an injury-time winner.

Since the defeat at Everton in April, Arsenal hadn't lost in eight competitive games — and had won six straight league matches — but its return to Goodison Park proved just as uncomfortable early on.

Mesut Ozil and Per Mertesacker made their first starts of the season after being given an extended lay-off after winning the World Cup with Germany last month, but they looked way off the pace.

Ozil, played out of position on the left wing, lost Coleman for the opening goal, with the right back meeting Gareth Barry's floated cross with a powerful header into the top corner past Wojciech Szczesny. Coleman was the highest-scoring defender in the Premier League last season with six goals.

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