Did Deulofeu's goal stop Arsenal from running away with the title?

Arsenal looked as if they were going seven points clear at the top of the table before the youngster's intervention gave Everton a point at the Emirates Stadium

Sunday’s events in the Premier League could be one of the defining moments in the season. When Mesut Ozil struck in the 80th minute to give Arsenal the lead, there were murmurs it was the hallmark of champions.

A side that had been in a real battle with Everton and had been second best large parts of the game looked as if it was digging out a win, showing the grit and determination to go alongside the finesse and potency they have possessed all season.

It looked as if Arsenal were going to be seven points clear after 15 games, a massive gap at this stage of the season given how consistent they have been, and with other sides dropping points fairly frequently.

But Gerard Deulofeu’s wonderful strike to snatch Everton a point meant Arsenal weren’t starting to go off into the distance. Though their lead has extended at the top of the table from four points to five, it is still a case of them being only two slip-ups away from the chasing pack, three would have been a bit more of a cushion.

A long way to go maybe, but sides aren’t looking around and thinking ‘it’s going to be really hard to catch them’ whereas they may have thought differently if the Gunners had held on to their lead.

And there is every opportunity that Arsenal could slip up away from home next week at Manchester City, who have a faultless domestic home record, after what is sure to be a very difficult trip to Naples as they try and finish the job of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League.

If they were to slip up against City, the gap could be down to two and suddenly things don’t look so ominous, whereas if they held on there would have been a degree of comfort for the Gunners travelling to North West.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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