Apr 16, 2013 at 7.45pm UK at ​Emirates Stadium
Arsenal
0-0
Everton

Arteta (56'), Monreal (90')
FT

Gibson (28'), Pienaar (35'), Barkley (70')

Match Analysis: Arsenal 0-0 Everton

Arsenal's Olivier Giroud rues a missed chance in the Premier League match with Everton on April 16, 2013
© PA Photos
Sports Mole analyses the goalless draw between Champions League hopefuls Arsenal and Everton at the Emirates Stadium.

Champions League hopefuls Arsenal and Everton displayed how competitive the race for a top-four finish is with a goalless draw at the Emirates Stadium this evening.

Both sides entered the match four games unbeaten in the Premier League, and those runs would be extended following an entertaining stalemate.

Arsenal are now two points clear of their London rivals Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur in third place, while Everton are the same distance behind their top-four rivals.

Below, Sports Mole analyses whether the result was reflective of the action in the North London.

Match statistics

Arsenal:
Shots: 10
On target: 6
Possession: 56%
Corners: 8
Fouls: 11

Everton:
Shots: 10
On target: 5
Possession: 44%
Corners: 1
Fouls: 12

Was the result fair?

Just about. Arsenal will claim to have had the better of the chances, which is probably true. However, Everton themselves posed a threat and defended so brilliantly that it would have been an injustice if they weren't rewarded with a point.

Arsenal's performance

As well as Everton defended, Arsenal were also excellent at the back and negotiated the physical threat of Victor Anichebe and Marouane Fellaini with little trouble. They proved to be a threat down the flanks, with Kieran Gibbs a useful outlet from left-back. Olivier Giroud had a handful of chances, but Arsenal's creative players couldn't unlock Everton often enough to create regular clear-cut opportunities.

Everton's performance

They defended brilliantly and often in last-ditch fashion, with Seamus Coleman, Sylvain Distin and Phil Jagielka all on hand to make fantastic goal-saving blocks. They had their own chances too, Steven Pienaar's early chance and Ross Barkley's bending long-range strike the best of them.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Sylvain Distin: This could have been awarded to to any of Everton's back four, but I think that Distin just edged out Jagielka and Coleman. He made a couple of vital interceptions and blocks and dealt with the pacey Theo Walcott well throughout. An outstanding all-round defensive display.

Biggest gaffe

Giroud had several goalscoring chances this evening, not all of them as easy as his opportunity just prior to the break. He had done well to get in front of his marker and beat Everton keeper Tim Howard to Aaron Ramsey's cross, but from there, he should have converted the ball into an empty net from eight yards.

Referee's performance

Neil Swarbrick was prepared to let a feisty game flow, and should be credited for doing so. His decision not to show Darron Gibson a second yellow card for a block on Walcott was a sensible one considering that it was early in the match. Arsenal will argue that rules are rules though, and that the former Manchester United midfielder should have been sent off.

What next?

Arsenal: A trip to London rivals Fulham before a home match against old enemy Manchester United.

Everton: They travel to a Sunderland side rejuvenated by new manager Paolo Di Canio on Saturday.

Arsenal's Olivier Giroud rues a missed chance in the Premier League match with Everton on April 16, 2013
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