Local rivalry and bragging rights were at stake this lunchtime and the formbook flies out of the window in these games. North London Derbies have many emotions and we saw many today with late drama in another exciting game between one massive North London Club and a small time club from Middlesex.
A win would have taken us 1 point behind Spurs in what looks like it is going to be a battle betwen 4 teams to get the last two Champions League places outright. The main thing today was making sure that we did not lose the game and we did just that. Disappointed with the result in a way knowing that we had a last minute penalty to seal the game so to come out of the game with a draw was a shame. Although if you said at the start of the game would you take a draw most Arsenal fans would say yes.
Emery made 5 changes to the team who faced Bournemouth with Ozil, Aubameyang and Torreira on the bench along with Kolasinac and Jenkinson with Ramsey, Iwobi, Xhaka and Mustafi coming in.
The game started with great energy and a good start from the Arsenal as with created a glorious chance within 2 minutes when Iwobi moved forward and cut in from the left and his deflected pass going over the Spurs defence and falling to Lacazette, unmarked and with time skewing a volley wide of goal. That was a massive chance to set the tone for the game.
A breakaway from Spurs with Kane on the ball saw a very dodgy challenge from Xhaka not be penilized.
The ball is played into Lacazette on the half way line and the Spurs defence were non existent as he played a pass through to Ramsey to run onto. Ramsey ran well with the ball into the area and beat the tracking player to round the keeper to score the first goal of the game.
The one you can’t understand (Kane) had a goal ruled out correctly for offside on 24 minutes as Spurs started to squeeze us but the defence stayed strong. Another chance on 37 minutes, this time Mustafi at the back post from a free kick. He was unmarked and just needed to play the ball into the six yard box but Spurs scrambled the ball out for a corner.
Just before half time Sokratis made a brilliant interception and then with the counter attack Iwobi tried to curl a shot into the top corner but Lloris parried the ball away.
The action in the first half wasn’t done yet as Bernd Leno makes an amazing double save first from Eriksen’s volley and the ball then coming back out to Sissoko stretching out a hand to divert the ball over the bar.
The players came out after the break and a customary Emery half time substitution with Torreira replacing Guendouzi. Monreal worked hard and cut a great ball back from the goal line but Lacazette missed another great chance to double the lead.
Suprisingly Lacazette was substituted on 56 minutes with Aubameyang coming on, maybe the chances missed had a baring on the decision.
Chances for both teams and some yellow cards a piece for Mkhitaryan and Lamela and on came Ozil for Ramsey on 72. Within a flash Arsenal lost concentration from a free kick when Mustafi barged into Kane who doesn’t need much contact to go down on a good day. An all too similar issue with Mustafi and his inability to stop flying in and making contact giving silly fouls away. Penalty to the Yids and Kane scored the kick.
Tottenham 1 Arsenal 1
Llorente then booked for an elbow on Koscielny. Into the 89th minute Arsenal were awarded a penalty after Mkhitaryan slipped Aubameyang in behind and Sanchez made contact with him. Aubameyang took the penalty himself but it was saved. Deep into injury time Torreira went in to win the ball with Rose, he got the ball but was not in control with two feet and studs showing so got a straight red.
At the end that felt like 2 points lost but in fact I was impressed with the performance and the game plan worked well. Things didn’t go our way regarding their penalty which should have been chalked off for offside and the encroachment of Vertonghen for our penalty. How the referee did not see that I have no idea. Beut we move on and see what next week has in store for us.