SUNDERLAND, November 23, – A late goal by Everton's Spanish midfielder Mikel Arteta forced a 2-2 draw with in-form Sunderland in their Premier League clash here on Monday.
A fine double by Sunderland striker Danny Welbeck – taking his total to three in two matches – had looked to be enough for the Black Cats to build on their superb 3-0 hammering of Chelsea in their previous match.
Welbeck, on loan from Manchester United, had levelled the game at 1-1 after Australian Tim Cahill had given the visitors an early lead.
The result leaves Sunderland with just one defeat since August while Everton have won just one match in their last seven since beating bitter city rivals Liverpool.
Ghanaian World Cup star Asamoah Gyan sat out the match through injury after an outstanding performance in the humiliation of Chelsea but manager Steve Bruce was able to bring England international Darren Bent back after injury.
It was Everton, though, who got off to the flying start as excellent work down the flank by Leighton Baines saw him deliver a great cross for Cahill to tuck away neatly with his head.
Baines, though, was on the receiving end for the hosts equaliser as he was turned inside out by Dutch veteran Boudewijn Zenden – who had a more rewarding night than his brother-in-law Johnny Heitinga who was appearing for Everton in defence – and from his cross Welbeck was on hand to knock it past Tim Howard.
Welbeck added his second in the second-half scoring from former Manchester United midfielder Kieran Richardson’s cross, though, there was a hint of offside about the goal.
Everton fought hard to at least grab a point and Arteta duly delivered it when his weak shot took a deflection off Phil Bardsley and beat Craig Gordon.
Both sides had chances to get a winner but first Welbeck miscued when well set up by Steed Malbranque and then former Leeds United marksman Jermaine Beckford was released by England international defender Phil Jagielka, but he completely messed up his shot when one on one with Gordon.