Arsenal 5 - 2 Tottenham
The North London Derby is always an interesting affair. Tottenham travelled to the home of Arsenal to avenge their 5-2 thumping back in February, looking to capitalise on the shaky form of Arsenal. Better luck next time I guess.
The derby began in typical fashion, with Spurs charging at the Arsenal back four, causing problems and getting ahead of themselves. The opening minutes of North London Derbies are notoriously dominated by Spurs, and today was no exception.[quote_right]”However, just eight minutes after he scored, Adebayor lunged in with both feet on Santi Cazorla. The tackle was shocking. The red card produced by Howard Webb, was not.”[/quote_right]
In the tenth minute, an excellent run by Defoe ripped open the Arsenal defence. His shot was parried by Szczesney, but only to the greedy, disloyal feet of Emmanuel Adebayor, who tucked the ball away. As the Togo international danced and jived in front of the fans, Arsenal’s back four, yet again, looked dejected.
Tottenham continued to press, and Arsenal’s midfield trio of Wilshere, Cazorla & Arteta was yet again looking pacified. An all too familiar occurence.
However, just eight minutes after he scored, Adebayor lunged in with both feet on Santi Cazorla. The tackle was shocking. The red card produced by Howard Webb, was not. Arsenal now had a golden opportunity to stamp their authority on the game.
Arsenal began to liven up, as Cazorla & Walcott eased through the Tottenham defences. The latter in particular was crossing brilliantly and causing the left back Kyle Naughton all sorts of problems. In the twenty fourth minute, he crossed the ball to Mertesacker on the penalty spot, who headed beautifully into the top corner. Game on.
Arsenal were starting to play like their old selves again. Cazorla was taking charge, and the movement from Podolski, Giroud & Walcott was superb. In the forty-second minute, Podolski received the ball in the box and hammered the ball at goal. The ball ricocheted between Gallas and himself, eventually trickling past Lloris. Our two Germans completed a perfect comeback.
Just before the half time whistle, Cazorla picked the ball up from midfield and drove brilliantly into the box, skipping past challenges along the way. He crossed low for Olivier Giroud, who slotted the ball home. The Frenchman’s doubters, along with the Tottenham fans, were silenced.
The second half held quite a few nervous moments for Arsenal. Tottenham threw on Dawson & Dempsey and went on the attack. A brave move that very nearly paid off.
Despite Arsenal taking their foot off the pedal, Podolski found space on the left hand side and whipped a great ball to the back post, where Santi Cazorla had made his run. The finish was easy, and Arsenal were sitting comfortably.
So comfortably in fact, that Koscielny & Mertesacker once again allowed Gareth Bale too much space. Bale struck a well hit shot into the left corner of the goal, leaving Szczesney with no chance. It was now 4-2, and the nerves returned.
For the remainder of the game, Arsenal settled the play, kept the ball well enough, and didn’t try anything too fancy. However, Arteta & Ramsey, who had replaced Jack Wilshere, were making it a habit to lose the ball in the middle of the pitch, much to the despair of the Arsenal fans.
Oxlade Chamberlain was thrown on in place of Olivier Giroud, and in the final minute of the game, he crossed to Theo Walcott who capped his excellent performance with a goal to make it 5-2. A breath of fresh air for Arsenal. Just what we needed.
[title]Arsenal Player Ratings[/title]
A decent enough return to his duties. Couldn’t have done much for either goal. Good to have him back.
Back to his old ways. Kept Bale quiet down the right hand side and linked up brilliantly with Walcott all game.
Defoe ‘s movement was too much for the big German for the first goal, and he could have perhaps got closer to Bale for the second. But Per got his first ever Arsenal goal today at a great time, and made some good challenges.
A solid performance from the Frenchman, made some important tackles and looked comfortable even against Lennon’s pace. Should have closed Bale down for the second goal.
Yet again, not the greatest of performances from Vermaelen. He is slowly improving, but perhaps playing at left-back isn’t helping his form. Didn’t do much wrong though.
Did well for the majority of the game, except when it mattered most. At 4-2 down, Arsenal were in need of a mature presence to settle the tempo. Instead, Arteta gave the ball away habitually in the second half. Needs to get his confidence back.
Before the horrific Adebayor challenge, Cazorla was looking just as tired and non-existent as he has done for the least few weeks. However he really turned it on today, grabbing a goal and an assist. Excellent.
Just what the doctor ordered. Battled and strived against Sandro & Huddleston, making some great passes out wide. Fitness is obviously still an issue. Subbed for Ramsey.
His best game for weeks. Podolski was not only dangerous going forward, but did well on several occasions to help out Vermaelen with the pace of Lennon. Got himself a goal and an assist. Subbed for Santos.
MOTM. for weeks, Theo Walcott has been the man pushing Arsenal forward, and today was no exception. The bright Englishman was crossing great balls and making good passes all game. Got a goal and an assist. Sign. Him. Up.
The doubters have now certainly been silenced. Giroud now has 5 goals in 5 starts for Arsenal, and attacked the ball well for his goal today. Won a few aerial battles and overall looked threatening.
Came on for Jack Wilshere to do nothing but lose the ball. Had a good chance to cross during a counter attack, and instead felt the need to pass to Lloris. Shocking.
The Ox: [7/10]
Did well down the flank and whipped in a good ball to Theo Walcott to make it five goals. Good to have him on the bench.
After a number of disappointing results for Arsenal, the Gunners needed three points, as well as a solid performance. With the help of Santi Cazorla & Theo Walcott, they got just that.
Tottenham were dazed and confused by our excellent movement and deadly finishing. We still have defensive errors to cut out, but as long as our attacking prowess is as good as today, we shouldn’t be too worried. Another derby, another demolition. Cheers 5pur2!
What did you think of the Arsenal Vs Tottenham Match? Was Adebayor’s challenege a red card offence? Share your views below by leaving a comment.