Everton 2 Arsenal 2
Brave Everton, with boys doing men's work, stunned leaders Arsenal with a
dramatic two-goal comeback.
And it was the kid from fame, 17-year-old Danny Cadamarteri, who produced a
sensational equaliser to force the draw - the second dramatic goal he has
claimed in a one-week career in Everton's front-line.
Arsenal could not believe what was happened to them.
Everton went into the game with a weakened injury-ravaged side that even their
own fans feared for their safety against the high powered unbeaten championship
Arsenal had beaten West Ham midweek to take the top seat from Manchester
United and arrived at Goodison Park bristling with intent.
Everton chief Howard Kendall was denied six first choice players including
Duncan Ferguson and Danny Willians who both failed early morning fitness tests.
He had three teenagers in the side John Oster, Michael Ball and Cadamarteri in
a patched up side that looked there for the taking.
But these kids held together by the seniors Slaven Bilic and Gary Speed
produced the sort of youthful enthusiasm as much from naivety of the frightening
challenge they were facing that won them a deserved standing ovation as they
left the pitch.
Cadamarteri ran and harrassed the giant Arsenal defenders all afternoon, Oster
produced bravery and skill and Ball contributed with his first senior goal.
The Everton kids were at Arsenal's throat from the start Cadamarteri held off
Nigel Winterburn early on to fire in a right foot shot but David Seaman played
well surely a warning side for the Gunners imperious back line.
Speed fell in a good scoring position and both Oster and Cadamarteri contrived
scoring chances that must have worried the Gunners.
You felt though that once the Londoners got their act together they would
sweep aside these brave kids.
And after Paul Gerrard had saved superbly from Ray Parlour and Patrick Vieira
had slashed a good opening wide the Londoner's took a goal that looked to have
surely blown away Kendall's boys.
First Ian Wright who just loves scoring against Everton struck his 12th in
nine matches against the Merseysiders when he coolly slipped the ball under
Gerrard after 31 minutes - Dennis Bergkamp having created the opening.
The rest of the first half saw Arsenal coldly taking control.
Wright turned provider sending Marc Overmars away the Dutchman held off Earl
Barrett rounded Gerrard and tapped the ball home for the second.
Overmars then almost grabbed a sweet third minutes later grazing the far post
Everton were being outplayed and out-fought and the half-time whistle was
Yet they hit back after just four minutes of the restart.
Terry Phelan's cross from the left was headed back across goal by Oster and
Ball rose to power home a header.
Surely Everton could not save this one but they produced another goal just six
Gerrard's free kick hit Emanuel Petit in the box before bouncing to
Cadamarteri who controlled the ball, spun and hit a superb shot into the top
Cadamarteri was taking a severe battering from Arsenal defenders, but kept
coming back for more and after running at Steve Bould created a chance that
Stuart almost turned in for what would have been an unlikely victory.
Everton: Gerrard, Barrett, Phelan, Bilic, Watson, Ball, Stuart,
Grant (McCann 70), Cadamarteri, Speed, Oster.
Subs Not Used: Southall, Thomas, O'Connor.
Goals: Ball 49, Cadamarteri 56.
Arsenal: Seaman, Winterburn, Vieira (Garde 89), Bould, Adams,
Wright, Bergkamp, Overmars (Boa Morte 64), Parlour (Platt 77),
Subs Not Used: Anelka, Manninger.
Goals: Overmars 41, Wright 32.
Ref: A B Wilkie (Chester-le-Street).