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Arsenal vs Tottenham (2-1) Match Summary: Jose’s top four hopes blown away
A game with huge ramifications regarding Spurs’ European intent as the Gunners take away the points.
M. Arteta Amatriain made three changes to his side that won against Olympiakos Piraeus. Surprisingly, talisman and captain P. Aubameyang was benched by Arteta due to ‘disciplinary reasons.’ Lacazette came in and was handed the armband. Emile Smith Rowe replaced W. Borges da Silva, and H. Bellerín Moruno made way for C. Alves Soares.
Tottenham made six changes after the win against Dinamo Zagreb in the Europa League. Three of the back four were changed as M. Doherty, S. Reguilón Rodríguez, and T. Alderweireld came in. P. Højbjerg replaced Sissoko with L. Rodrigues Moura da Silva and Bale coming in for Alli and Lamela.
Tottenham Hotspur were on three consecutive wins coming into the Derby and were looking to create a new record of the longest unbeaten run against the Gunners. Besides, a top-four place was looking possible after their winning run, and a win at the Emirates would increase the possibility for J. dos Santos Mourinho’s men.
Arsenal started the game well and took the game to Tottenham, who didn’t start the game with similar energy. Arsenal were winning the second balls, and Tottenham were under pressure. Arsenal created some excellent chances but failed to convert them.
Tottenham’s counter-attacking threat was being handled well by Partey’s game reading ability. However, Spurs were gradually growing into the game as Arsenal just kept missing chances. E. Smith Rowe was excellently combining with Tierney, whose runs were a big part of Arsenal’s offensive threat.
Tottenham’s Korean star H. Son had to go off through injury as Lamela came on. The Argentine then scored against the run of play with a brilliantly executed Rebona. It was a rare Spurs attack, and as soon as the ball found its way to E. Lamela, his improvised finish was top-class. Out of nowhere, Spurs had the lead. However, Arsenal’s tactics didn’t change as they kept coming with pace and precision. What they needed was slightly more efficiency in front of the goal.
Just a minute before the half-time, Arsenal had another attack involving their emerging left-back Tierney. The Scotland international picked out an excellent pass for M. Ødegaard; his deflected effort was in the net.
After all the great chances Arsenal had, being level on the scoreline was poor on their part. More efficiency was required in the second half.
As for Spurs, a lot more thrust was needed all over the pitch. Their main man H. Kane touched the ball inside Arsenal’s box on just one occasion. This shows the lack of effect Tottenham’s midfield was having offensively. They were fortunate to be levelled at half-time after a poor first-half display.
N. Pépé came in for B. Saka, who reportedly picked up a knock in the first half. Tottenham did respond after the restart as they looked more hungry to win the second balls. T. NDombèlé Alvaro started to have more impact, which allowed Spurs to get up the pitch. Still, G. Baleand Kane were struggling to get into the game.
Arsenal started to get control again, and Spurs needed more energy in the middle of the park. As a result, M. Sissoko replaced Bale and Ndomebele shifted to a more attacking position. Just after that, Ndombele made way for B. Alli as Jose tried to insert more enthusiasm into his midfield.
However, Arsenal’s control was increasing, and Tottenham were on the back foot. Eventually, Arsenal’s pressure paid off as they were awarded a penalty for a four by D. Sánchez Mina on Lacazette. A VAR review followed, but it didn’t overturn the decision. However, it was a tight decision, and if the initial decision weren’t given, then VAR wouldn’t have overruled it either. This is due to the fact that referee Micheal Olivier didn’t make a clear and obvious error according to the VAR.
The penalty was converted well by A. Lacazette as Arsenal took a deserved lead. A few minutes after the goal, Lamela picked up a yellow card for a reckless sliding challenge. Incredibly, just seven minutes later, he picked up a second yellow for elbowing Tierney. A player who is known for his lack of discipline struggled to keep it down in a derby.
Tottenham kept pushing for the equalizer and had some genuinely good chances. Harry Kane’s long-range free-kick effort hit the bar. The ball then found its way to Sanchez, whose effort was cleared by G. dos Santos Magalhães as B. Leno was strangled to the ground. Kane then scored a header from a wide free-kick delivery, but the assistant rightly put the flag up for offside.
Tottenham failed to find a way to score the second after a poor performance in the Derby. Arsenal deservedly winning after a hungry and enthusiastic performance despite having their talisman on the bench.
Fixture Details: Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspur (14/03/2021)
Kieran Tierney (Arsenal)
Arguably, Arsenal’s best player this season, K. Tierney, had another outstanding game against Tottenham. He didn’t only provide the assist for his side’s first goal, but his all-round display was solid.
The 23-year-old Scotsman completed 38 passes, including 2 key passes, 1 cross as well as 6 long balls. With his energetic attitude and pace, Tierney also won 9 ground duels. He also completed 2 dribbles. Defensively he was solid as well, completing 1 interception and a fantastic 6 tackles.
Thomas Partey (Arsenal)
Another fabulous performance came from T. Partey. His thrust, anticipation as well as footballing ability allowed Arsenal to dominate the midfield. He was influential in Arsenal’s attempts to stop Tottenham’s well-known counter-attacks.
Partey completed 2 key passes, 4 long balls and 2 dribbles. He won 9 duels in total and was fouled on 3 occasions. On the defensive side, the 27-year-old recorded 1 interception and completed 3 tackles.