Arsene Wenger has voiced dissatisfaction at a robust approach by Everton.
Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw by Roberto Martinez’s in-form side, but still moved five points clear of closest rivals Liverpool and Chelsea at the top of the Premier League.
Martinez had been praised heavily for the way he has got Everton playing football this season, but the Gunners manager was annoyed with their tactics at the Emirates.
“When we got out of the pressure and got into the passing, they stopped us every single time with a foul,” Wenger said.
“To just make a foul without being punished by the referee is a huge advantage because after that you play 10 against 10 in one half again.
“It was a very tense game. I thought it was very tight today. They remained always dangerous on counter attacks. But it’s a point.”
Though Wenger admitted he was happy to still be on top defeat with 5 points leading, adding: “Not bad to take – ideally we wanted seven, but at least we’ve got five. It gives a little bit of a cushion to play in a serene way against other teams.
“Then it’s a difficult task in Naples and then go to Manchester City.”
Wenger set his sights on maintaining his side’s advantage as they prepare for the visit of Chelsea – currently in third – on 23 December.
“As long as we are five points ahead, you cannot rule ourselves out even with the best desire, so let’s keep that cushion,” he said.
“It shows you that it will be a tough Premier League and the consistency, in the end, will be rewarded. It is down to us to keep this attitude until the end of the season.”