Match Report: Tottenham 1 – 1 Arsenal

Tottenham Hotspur (0) 1 Arsenal (1) 1
Premier League
Wembley Stadium, London HA9 0WS
Saturday, 2nd March 2019. Kick-off time: 12.30pm
(4-2-3-1) Leno; Mustafi, Sokratis, Koscielny, Monreal; Guendouzi, Xhaka; Mkhitaryan, Ramsey, Iwobi; Lacazette.
Substitutes: Čech, Özil, Torreira, Aubameyang, Maitland-Niles, Suárez, Kolašinac.
Scorer: Ramsey
Red Card: Torreira
Yellow Cards: Mkhitaryan, Xhaka
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Attendance: 81,332
When, at the end of the season, we cast a critical eye over the peaks and troughs of this campaign, surely the North London derby of today will be looked at as one of missed opportunity for us. How can this be? Arsenal did everything correctly; the tactics were spot-on, the attitude was first-class and the players did all that was asked of them over the course of the match here at Wembley Stadium.
After just a quarter of an hour, Arsenal capitalised on an appalling Davison Sánchez error, and in a blink of an eye, Alexandre Lacazette dispossessed him and made a crucial pass through the chasm of the Spurs defence for Aaron Ramsey to run onto. He sprinted like a gazelle through the Tottenham Hotspur half, and with the hapless Victor Wanyama in chase, rounded Hugo Lloris to slot the ball home to take a well-deserved lead. We found their Achilles heel; time and time again with the Spurs players stranded in our half after yet another attack that had broken down, smash-and-grab became our forte, and at times our play became breathtaking in its inception, cruel in delivery.
Undoubtedly the moment of the latter stages of the first half was the incredible double stop save from Bernd Leno, who played the match of his life between the sticks today. This save was other worldly; how on earth did he manage to stop the ball from ending up in the net? Two minutes before the break, Harry Kane slotted the ball through to Christian Eriksen who hit the ball on the volley, which the Arsenal goalkeeper saved and the rebound fell to Moussa Sissoko, whose subsequent shot Bernd Leno saved athletically and superbly.
Alexandre Lacazette fluffed his lines badly today, and it was no surprise when Mr. Emery substituted him for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang just eleven minutes after the restart. This had the effect of a defibrillator on the chest of the team. Pow! We sprang back to life. Our midfield were winning balls and dictating the pace and direction of the match again. Alex Iwobi was moving in and out of the Spurs defence at will, and the excellent Henrikh Mkhitaryan was causing the not-so cocky Cockerels endless problems all over the pitch.
Arsenal smelled the rancid odour of a Tottenham defeat in their nostrils, and after Mesut Özil replaced Aaron Ramsey with just under twenty minutes remaining on the clock, Arsenal were running the show.Then it happened. A free-kick from Christian Eriksen whipped in behind the Arsenal defence, and in the ensuing melee, Shkodran Mustafi tumbled into Harry Kane; referee Anthony Taylor gave the penalty, Harry Kane converted it, and the N17 gang got out of jail. The television replay showed the England captain to be in an offside position when the ball came over, but it wasn’t spotted by the officials, sadly. More drama was yet to come when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was brought down in the penalty area by Davison Sánchez; now came our moment to change the direction of the match. Not quite. The subsequent penalty, taken by the victim of the foul, was timid and one that was easily saved by Hugo Lloris. Wait a minute! The ball was thundered in by young Alex Iwobi, and just at the point of contact by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the Spurs centre-half Jan Vertonghen (who was encroaching inside the box when our penalty was taken) saved the day (and the match too) for the lucky Lilywhites. Right at the end of the match, another one of our substitutes, Lucas Torreira (who replaced the fatigued Mattéo Guendouzi just after the break) recklessly challenged Danny Rose (who was fortunate to still be on the pitch after his sixteen-stud challenge into the chest of Bernd Leno earlier), and we unfortunately finished this exhausting match with ten men.
We deserved more out of this match than we got, but hey, we’ll take the point as we move onwards and upwards from here. On another day, we would have thoroughly beaten Spurs with this spirit and Mr. Emery’s tactical brilliance, but that will happen in another time, another place. This match is gone; we meet Rennes on Thursday evening, Manchester United on Sunday afternoon. Keep going boys, let’s aim for the stars. Remember everyone, keep the faith, get behind the team and the manager, as these early days are going to be crucial for our future success in all competitions. Stick with the winners. Victoria Concordia Crescit.


Too Dearly Loved To Be Forgotten: Arsenal v Racing Club de Paris 1930-1962 by Steve Ingless (Rangemore Publications, ISBN 978-1-5272-0135-4) is now available on Amazon.


1 thought on “Match Report: Tottenham 1 – 1 Arsenal

  1. Sue

    Very pleased with our performance… not so pleased with the officiating (again!)
    Very unlucky to not come away with all 3 points… oh well unbeaten against them in the league…. COYG FOYS



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