Match Preview – Arsenal 1-1 Tottenham

A huge battle saw two North London clubs come away with a point each, but with many chances spared.

Arsenal started the game keeping the ball well in their own half. Tottenham pressured well and responded to the Arsenal threat, but they really didn’t test Lloris.

Vertonghen dived in and was skinned by Welbeck, responsibility fell to Kaboul to block Welbeck’s shot. It was fantastic tackling. Tottenham’s first shot came after Wilshere cynically cut down Mason, the resulting kick supplying Adebayor to head into Szczesny’s hands. Lloris responded brilliantly to a well-struck shot in the 25th minute.

A powerful run from Chadli gave Mason the chance to get a ball across the box. He failed to find Adebayor, the ball safely in the keepers’ clutches. The two North London sides were exchanging blows, but neither were causing too much trouble for the goalkeepers. Adebayor’s touch wasn’t good enough to allow him onto goal after good team play. Tottenham were piling on the pressure. They won a corner in the 39th minute from increasing good football. Vertonghen forced Mertesacker to nearly put it past the keeper.
Lloris made a top class save to deny Arsenal, to deny a vehement strike. Spurs countered, but Chadli could not finish. A yet another chance passed up. Just before half time Lamela flicked a ball to Adebayor, who on the turn volleyed to force a corner.

Arsenal came out all guns blazing in the second half, but it was Tottenham that countered and forced a corner. Kaboul later made another saving block. The captain was superb and worked hard throughout the night. The key element to take from the game was that the players battled hard, and it showed. They were passionate and finally showed some of the determined play that we as fans have been screaming for, for weeks.

Tottenham took the lead through Nacer Chadli. The Belgian latched onto the Erik Lamela pass to calmly bury the ball past Szczęsny, and give Spurs the lead. The tremendous work from Eriksen prior to the goal was especially important, when viewing that in past weeks he hasn’t performed to the standard we know and love.

After a long period of hard defending and superb work from our defence, the Gooners finally bounced back. After some fortunate antics in the middle by Welbeck, Oxlade-Chamberlain finally found the loose ball, and riffled it past Hugo Lloris. This was perhaps harsh in hindsight after our good defending, however the possession stats show that Arsenal were hot on our heels in the second half.

Tottenham battled hard for the result and the game finally finished 1-1, with both sides feeling pretty happy with the outcome. Oxlade-Chamberlain describe the games as “nerve-wracking”, and perhaps that is a true testament to the style in which Spurs played.

Player Ratings

Lloris – Emphatic stops throughout. A leader also. (Excellent)

Naughton – Did his job and was solid (Very good)
*MOTM* Kaboul – The performance of a captain (Excellent)
Vertonghen – Back to his best (Excellent)
Rose – Outstanding. He loves a derby. (Excellent)

Capoue – Made some unnoticed (albeit key) interceptions (Good)
Eriksen – Much improved. Key in the goal (Very good)
Chadli – Missed some chances but took the goal well (Good)
Lamela – Passing let him down at times. Good assist however (Average)
Mason – Our trooper. Worked tremendously hard (Very good)

Adebayor – Made little impact on the game (Poor)

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