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Merseyside derby ends in draw, Giroud rescues point for Arsenal against the Saints

Everton's Wayne Rooney equalizes from the penalty spot


Everton captain Wayne Rooney scored for the first time in a Merseyside derby on Sunday with a late penalty to take an unlikely point in a 1-1 draw against Liverpool at Anfield.

With the snow swirling, Rooney sent the 77th-minute spot kick straight down the middle after Dominic Calvert-Lewin went down following a push in the back by Croatian defender Dejan Lovren.

Mohamed Salah had earlier fired Liverpool ahead with a 42nd-minute stunner that sent the Egyptian clear of Tottenham Hotspur’s England striker Harry Kane as the league’s top marksman with 13 goals this season.

Liverpool stayed fourth with 30 points, 13 adrift of leaders Manchester City who were playing later at second-placed Manchester United. Chelsea are third on 32 with Sam Allardyce’s Everton moving up to 10th.

Giroud to the rescue as Arsenal draw 1-1 at Southampton
* Southampton and Arsenal drew 1-1 at St Mary’s


Dec 10 (Reuters) – Second-half substitute Olivier Giroud rescued Arsenal with a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw at St Mary’s on Sunday after Southampton had looked like holding on for all three points.

The France international, who replaced compatriot Alexandre Lacazette in the 72nd minute of a lively game, scored two minutes from fulltime with a glancing header off an Alexis Sanchez cross.

Southampton had made Arsenal sweat until then with Charlie Austin grabbing a fourth goal from his last three league starts with a third-minute shot past Petr Cech after being fed through by Dusan Tadic.

It was the 17th time Giroud has scored as a substitute for Arsenal, equalling Norwegian Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s record with Manchester United for most goals scored off the bench for a single club.

If the draw remained a lost opportunity for the Gunners, the goal at least staved off a second successive league defeat after a stinging 3-1 loss to Manchester United at the Emirates last weekend.

“Last week had an influence on today’s game,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, whose side played in the Europa League on Thursday, told Sky Sports television.

“They wanted to start strong but it took us time to get into the game again,” added the manager, who criticised the amount of time-wasting in the match.

“I think he (Giroud) has come back into a very good shape, he’s shown that today again. He’s mentally extremely strong as well. It’s a remarkable achievement what he has done again today.”

Arsenal moved up to fifth place, behind Liverpool on goal difference, but 14 adrift of leaders Manchester City who were playing Manchester United later in the day.

Southampton moved up to 10th, ahead of Huddersfield Town and Everton, who were playing the Merseyside derby at Liverpool.

“We started really well, got the goal. Should have got the second really,” said Austin, who had a low shot from the right well saved by Cech minutes after scoring.

“Against Arsenal, you give them one chance and the big man’s come on and scored. It’s just one of those things…we take away a point from here but we should have taken all three.”

Austin also hit the post with another effort in the eighth minute with the Arsenal defence in disarray but the linesman flagging for offside.

Arsenal worked their way back, picking up the tempo as Southampton were forced on the defensive but without giving home goalkeeper Fraser Forster much to worry about.

Southampton were still dangerous against the run of play, however, with Spanish defensive midfielder Oriol Romeu firing in a long-range shot that smacked the crossbar in the 62nd.

Arsenal took off defender Per Mertesacker shortly afterwards, bringing on Danny Welbeck to add firepower, but Southampton could still feel unlucky not to increase their advantage.

Ryan Bertrand had a golden opportunity when he shook off Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny, but lofted the ball high over Cech, while Austin saw another opportunity trickle past the post.

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