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Arsenal held to draw by Everton at Emirates

December 8, 2013 -- Updated 2300 GMT (0700 HKT)
Mesut Ozil celebrates after scoring for Arsenal against Everton but the Merseysiders struck back moments later.
Mesut Ozil celebrates after scoring for Arsenal against Everton but the Merseysiders struck back moments later.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Arsenal extend lead at top of English Premier League to five points
  • Everton earn point at Emirates following historic win at Old Trafford in midweek
  • Fulham's end run of six league defeats with 2-0 win against Aston Villa

(CNN) -- Arsenal extended their lead at the top of the English Premier League, but only by a point as Everton earned a 1-1 draw at the Emirates on Sunday.

Roberto Martinez's team carried the confidence of a midweek win against Manchester United into the match but it was Arsenal who looked to have grabbed all three points when Mesut Ozil scored deep into the second half.

The German international slammed home from close range in the 80th minute after Theo Walcott had headed the ball back across goal.

But Everton's attacking persistence paid off four minutes later when substitute Gerard Deulofeu flashed a shot past Wojciech Szczesny.

We have to say Everton were a very good side today, especially at the start of the game
Arsene Wenger

Olivier Giroud nearly won the match in injury time for the Gunners with a sensational long range effort which rattled the bar but Everton held on and remain unbeaten in eight league matches.

"We have to say Everton were a very good side today, especially at the start of the game, the first half-an-hour ..." Arsene Wenger said afterwards.

"After that we have the better control in the final 15 minutes of the first half and second half, but they always remained dangerous in counterattacks. The regret we have tonight is that we are 1-0 up with seven minutes to go. But overall, it's a point and we can say it is a logical result."

Arsenal are now five points clear of Liverpool and Chelsea who both have 30 points, with Manchester City one point further back. The draw sees Everton remain in fifth with 28 points now from 15 games.

"The performance from our point of view, I couldn't be happier," Martinez said.

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"The only bit of criticism is that we need to take our chances and probably in the final third we were not ruthless enough. But the way we controlled the game, I haven't seen many teams come to the Emirates and do what we did today. So really, really pleased."

Earlier, Fulham ended a run of six consecutive league defeats with a 2-0 win over Aston Villa at Craven Cottage.

Goals from Steve Sidwell and Dimitar Berbatov from the penalty spot gave new coach Rene Meulensteen his first win in charge following Martin Jol's sacking last weekend and lifts the west Londoner's to 18th place in the table.

Villa remain in 10th place with 19 points, three points behind David Moyes' Manchester United who suffered a second consecutive home defeat to Newcastle United on Saturday.

Read more: Crisis looms at Manchester United

Read more: 2014 World Cup draw

In Serie A, second-place Roma beat Fiorentina 2-1 to close the gap back to three points with league leaders Juventus but fourth-place Inter Milan lost ground on third place Napoli after being held to a 3-3 draw against Udinese.

Sixth-place Hellas Verona beat Atalanta 2-1 while mid-table Cagliari were winners by the same score line against Genoa.

Torino move into seventh ahead of Genoa following a 1-0 win over Lazio while Chievo Verona climb to 15th following a 1-0 win at Sassuolo.

Sampdoria's 2-0 win over bottom side Catania -- their first win under new coach Sinisa Mihajlovic -- means they rise to 16th in the table.

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