By Chris Harris

Abou Diaby insists that Arsenal "will not give up" despite falling further behind in the title race after the midweek fixtures.

The French midfielder played a vital part in his team's stoppage-time equaliser at Goodison Park, picking out Robin van Persie with a raking pass before the Dutchman lashed a shot past Tim Howard to secure a 1-1 draw.

The result leaves Arsenal five points adrift of Aston Villa, the team currently occupying the fourth and final Champions League berth. Arsène Wenger's men are eight points behind leaders Manchester United - having played a game more - but Diaby believes Arsenal have what it takes to close the gap.

"We are not going to let up until the end of the season," he told "We are going to try to get points in every game and won't give up.

"We are very focused on our games. Of course, Aston Villa have been fantastic and are in front of us, but we are really focused on our job and what is most important is what we are doing on the pitch.

"I think tonight it was very important to get something from the game. We drew and took one point which I think is good for us because we were not so good. When you see the game, Everton were better than us and to take one point is very good here."

Van Persie was the catalyst for that potentially vital point and Diaby paid tribute to the man who, incredibly, has scored or created every Arsenal goal in 2009.

"Robin scored tonight and it's good for him and the team," said the Frenchman.

"His first touch is unbelievable and that makes a big difference. But we all try to play and give everything in each game and do our best to help the team."

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
29 Jan 2009