Arsenal 2 - 0 Tottenham
Derby day. Arsenal were hosting their most bitter rivals Tottenham in the third-round of the FA Cup. The Cup itself my have lost its classical shine, but the North London Derby was still raging on. The winner got some juicy bragging rights - and a place in the next round of the FA Cup.[quote_right]”Spurs found it increasingly difficult to deal with the pace and movement of Gnabry and Walcott in particular.”[/quote_right]
I actually attended this match, hence the slightly late report. The atmosphere started poorly, but definitely picked up in the second half.
Arsenal began the game slightly on the back foot. Tottenham were revving their engines in the opening minutes as we have all come to expect. They were passing well and trying to get balls into our box, but no avail.
Eventually Arsenal got into their own flow, and started regulating the tempo of the match. Gnabry, Rosicky, Wilshere, Arteta and Cazorla were doing a great job moving the ball around in the middle, whilst Walcott was making run after run up top.
As the half wore on, Spurs found it increasingly difficult to deal with the pace and movement of Gnabry and Walcott in particular.
In the thirty-first minute, The Gunners got their goal. Gnabry floated in-field from the right with some pace, whilst Walcott’s run pulled the entire Spurs defence apart. This left plenty of room for Gnabry to poke the ball to Santi Cazorla on the left, who finished beautifully past Lloris.
The game cooled in the minutes leading up to half time, and when the whistle blew, Arsenal could walk down the tunnel feeling in control.
Yet again, Spurs started the second half in predictable fashion. They chased every ball, made energy-sapping runs, and were giving it their all. But it just wasn’t working for them. What a shame.
Typically, the energy of Tottenham soon wavered.
Arsenal regained control in midfield before long, and started to pass the ball not just quickly, but wisely. Possession was being kept well, and the second goal seemed imminent.[quote_left]”Spurs had failed to make any impact on the game, and they knew it. They were already defeated.”[/quote_left]
It came in the sixty-second minute. Danny Rose - who was Tottenham’s last man, was caught on the ball by Rosicky at the half-way line. The Czech had half the pitch ahead of him, but he kept his cool during his dribble, and beautifully chipped Lloris to finish off his run. Walker was in hot pursuit, but Rosicky’s experienced head meant it was all too easy. A deserved goal for both him and the team.
The remainder of the game was surprisingly easy. Spurs had failed to make any impact on the game, and they knew it. They were already defeated.
Theo Walcott went down injured in the eightieth minute, and was stretchered off the field. As he made his exit, the Tottenham fans exposed their lack of class by jeering him and throwing coins. Theo responded with a cheeky “Two-Nil” hand gesture, with smile on his face. This only sent the animatistic Spurs fans into over-drive, and it was nothing short of epic.
Arsenal had to play the rest of the game with ten men after making all their subs, but you would never have known. Spurs simply withered away, and Arsenal marched to a relatively easy victory.
[title]Arsenal Player Ratings[/title]
Had almost nothing to do. He gathered crosses and long balls well, and looked comfortable with the ball at his feet. Easy game.
I was thankful Sagna played ahead of Jenkinson today. Bacary kept his cool at all times, got forward plenty, but never left his defensive duties. Made some important challenges.
Only played the first half, but did an okay job. He was booked for a poorly timed tackle, but soon made up for it when Soldado tried to turn him, only to be denied by a last-ditch Vermaelen tackle.
What a defender. Adebayor was safely in his pocket at all times. Laurent leap in front of striker to intercept, won headers, and was nothing but solid at the back. Great performance.
Another assured performance from Nacho. He got forward brilliantly by not just looking to cross, but also to drive into the box. Defended very well against Lennon.
Rosicky: [9/10] - MOTM
What a fantastic performance. Tomas was lively from start to finish, made tackles, got stuck in, drove the team forward, and was always positive in his play. He also did extremely well for his goal, which he made completely for himself, defying the odds against some pacy Tottenham defenders. What a season he’s having.
Jack threw himself about a bit, and gave as good as he got against Dembele, who was trying to dominate Arsenal’s midfield. Jack made some decent passes and kept things moving nicely, despite playing deeper than Rosicky. Gave us a bit of passion in the middle.
Santi took his goal perfectly. He did well to find the space, and his shot was accurately placed across goal. He made some good passes throughout the game, but he also gave a fair share away too. Still, a solid performance.
Serge worked his socks off today. He was up and down the right-wing, staying positive and trying to make things happen. His assist for Cazorl was superb, and he almost managed to assist Ozil in the dying minutes, but for a good Lloris save. Let’s see more of him, Arsene.
Played in the defensive role today, and did a good job of it. He broke up play when needed, and also made some good passes in the Tottenham half to keep the ball moving. Misplaced a few though.
Theo didn’t get a goal or assist today, but he certainly played his part. He was lively in the opening few minutes, made a range of runs all game, and looked constantly dangerous. His run mae Cazorla’s goal possible. Also, his gesture to the Spurs fans as he was stretched off was pure quality.
Came on with the game already won, and didn’t have much to do. We appeared to play him in a false 9 position thanks to there being no strikers on the pitch. Almost scored, but had his good shot saved by Lloris.
Replaced Vermaelen at half time, and slotted in perfectly. Although, he should have done better against Adebayor for one of hs chances, although the Togo striker fell over anyway.
The scoreline doesn’t indicate a spanking, but it definitely was.
Spurs were atrocious, simply because Arsenal imposed themselves on the game so well. Wilshere, Arteta and Rosicky dominated the middle, whilst Cazorla, Gnabry and Walcott provided the flair in the final third.
Tottenham had almost no real chances, yet The Gunners were firing at will. It was a great game of football, as far as Arsenal are concerned anyway. The only worry was Theo’s injured knee, and t goes without saying that everybody hopes it’s nothing major. His brilliantly “Two-Nil” gesture to the Spurs fans might indicate that it’s nothing to worry about.
Next up, Aston Villa - but not before a well deserved nine-day break.
What did you think of the Arsenal vs Tottenham match? Let me know in the comments below!