|DATE||Saturday 7th February 2015|
|VENUE||White Hart Lane|
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|PREDICTION||Tottenham Hotspur 1 Arsenal 1|
|Click here for more info on opponents - stats v thfc , an alternative history, etc.|
|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS :|
|ARSENAL TEAM NEWS :|
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Tottenham Hotspur 2 (0) Arsenal
Saturday 7th February 2015 Kick off 12:45
White Hart Lane
Kane 55m 52s
Kane 85m 37s
|Ozil 10m 43s|
Kane (foul on Giroud) 36
Mason (foul on Ramsey) 79
Bentaleb (kicking ball away) 90+2
Monreal (foul on Walker) 43
Welbeck (foul on Rose) 45+1
Kosielny (foul on Dembele) 53
Giroud (foul on Mason) 85
Ramsey (foul on Bentaleb) 90+4
|Crowd : 35,659||Weather : Bright, chilly|
|Referee : Martin Atkinson (South Yorkshire)||Assistant Referees : Mr. S. Child; Mr. H. Lennard|
|Fourth Official : Andre Marriner||-|
|Spurs kicked off and played towards the Park Lane end in the first half.|
|Game time : - 90 + 5 minutes.|
|Tottenham Hotspur :||kit||Arsenal :||kit|
Hugo LLORIS (c)
18 Harry KANE
Chuka AKPOM 89)
Danny WELBECK (14
Theo WALCOTT 78)
|Manager : Mauricio Pochettino||Manager : Arsene Wenger|
|Sponsor : AIA||Shirt sponsor : Emirates|
|Kit Supplier : Under Armour||Kit Supplier : Puma|
For once, the popular tune that accompanied the youngsters attending their first game at the Lane, as they paraded around the ground, might have some resonance with them in future years. Oh, yes ... "This Could Be The Best Day Of My Life" applies to more Spurs fans who were in the ground this afternoon than just the newly inducted as Tottenham earned a well deserved 2-1 win over Arsenal, with a late winner ... but this time not from Christian Eriksen.
In truth, the score-line does not reflect the dominance of the game Tottenham had over Arsenal. The one shot the visitors had in the first half was their goal and in the second, they brought two good saves out Hugo Lloris, but at the other end they were grateful to two stops by the hapless Ospina (who the Arsenal fans seem to love !) and a clearance off the goal-line by the otherwise anonymous Coquelin. Spurs were dominant in all sections of the after match stats, except for two. That was fouls committed and bookings. Tells a tale, doesn't it ?
With both sides in decent form, Pochettino was the one who made changes, with Dier replacing Fazio and Dembele taking a central role in the attacking midfield three, while Arsenal stuck with their team that beat Manchester City and the youngsters who had impressed in recent games in place of the injured old guard kept their places. By the end of the game, the comparison of the Spurs young stars against the Gooner youngsters was a non-event, as there was no comparison.
As you might expect with a local derby, the pace was unrelenting, with both sides not wanting to concede space or possession, but both teams found joy down the same side of the pitch in the early stages. Danny Rose had lots or room on the Spurs left wing, while, when Arsenal attacked, it was mainly down Rose's flank. Tottenham played on the inexperienced youngster Bellerin, who looked like a rabbit in the headlights and Arsenal had joy getting behind the attacking Rose.
As when Spurs beat Arsenal a couple of seasons back, the midfield were looking to thread passes between the Arsenal back four, but they were intercepted to prevent Tottenham getting through. When Walker broke past Monreal on the right wing, his decision to turn back and put in a low cross ended with it being cut out, whereas an early ball might have been more difficult for the Arsenal defence to deal with. do
Good link up play between Mason and Lamela set up Kane on the left for a shooting chance and his bending shot looked like it might have ended up inside the post if Ospina hadn't dived to his left to palm the ball away for a corner. He had a significant amount of treatment before he could continue, taking the corner and shortly after picking off Rose's cross after he got wide on the left wing. When Welbeck got beyond Rose in the 11th minute, Bentaleb could not get there to stop him crossing the ball for Giroud. The big Frenchman took a big swing at the ball and sliced it so badly, it went sideways to Ozil, who volleyed it past Lloris from ten yards out at the far post in what was almost a replica of the Gooner's goal at Highbury in the season's previous meeting. 12 minutes gone and 0-1 down to the visitors' first shot on goal ... well, second if you count Giroud's, but it wasn't actually "on goal".
Typical Arsenal. Could Spurs break the luck of the Woolwich Wanderers ? And who would be the player to break them down this time, if it was to happen ?
As it was, the goal was just a blip in the course of the first half, with the ball heading off to our left towards the Park Lane most of the time. Rose was freed on the left wing by Dembele and he drilled in a low cross/shot that Opsina touched wide when the ball might have been touched in otherwise. Lamela hit a shot wide after winning the ball off Cazorla and getting it back from Bentaleb, but it was hard going for Tottenham, who were patient in their build up as Arsenal were now getting ten men back behind the ball as soon as they conceded possession ... which they did frequently. Rose tried his luck again with a low shot across the Arsenal goal, but it missed at the far post, while Mason was denied by the keeper on the half hour. Kane had taken three defenders with him on a run, but it was nicked off him before Erik Lamela won it back and he played it to Ryan, who looked as though there was not much pace on his shot, but it made Ospina fly to his left to push it wide for a corner.
There was some erratic refereeing from Martin Atkinson (no change there then), with Mertesacker getting away with two arms around Kane's neck to stop him winning a header, but then he did allow the same when Dier got above Giroud, but he booked Kane for a tackle on Giroud, whereas he had let Welbeck get away with a blatant foot left in as Hugo came to claim a ball inside the edge of his area. Kane was involved in a good chance, when Vertonghen hit a wedge cross into the box and Ospina came for it, but missed it completely. He might have played in a World Cup but the pressure seemed to be getting to the keeper. Harry hit an early shot a few minutes later that went wide and then had another good chance, but the linesman pulled him back for offside. Monreal went into the book for a crude challenge on Walker and from the free-kick out on the right wing, Eriksen put in a good cross that was between the defenders and the keeper, but nobody in a white shirt had gambled on it and the ball was knocked away.
Welbeck had been booked for a foul on Rose in injury time, but at the half-time whistle, the former Manchester United forward made a bee-line for Danny and appeared to put his head into him, in full view of the linesman. Unfortunately, the linesman had seen little in the first half and decided to continue in the same way, with Lloris having to intervene to pull Welbeck away and Atkinson stood by and looked on.
Wales rugby captain Sam Warburton had made the journey after last night's defeat in his 50th international by England in Cardiff and Cliff Jones was there on his 80th birthday. Ledley King came out to present them with Spurs shirts with Warburton 50 and Jones 80 on. Much of the talk around me was how we had played so well, but still found ourselves 0-1 down.
Bentaleb had a go at the start of the half and it went way over, but within five minutes of the restart, Hugo did well to dive to his left to palm away Cazorla's low drive across him. Dembele broke down our right and as he approached the area, Kosielny dived in to tackle him and cleared him out, bringing another yellow card, which in this case probably was a bit harsh. The free-kick came to nothing, but after a Mason shot was deflected off for a corner, when Lamela played it in from the Tottenham right, Dembele went up with Dier at the near post and headed at goal. The keeper had stayed on his line and pawed the ball away towards a place beyond the far post, but Harry Kane had dropped off there and was quickest to react and calmly side-foot the ball in from a narrow angle a few yards out. The majority of the crowd went bonkers, while a corner of N17 went as quiet as the Library which is their normal normal habitat. It was a goal from a goal-scorer and from one so young, showed great composure.
Just minutes later, Rose put in a cross which was inches away from finding Harry Kane, then Eriksen smashed a shot at goal that was blocked and then Dembele forced Ospina to save. Just after the hour, Arsenal broke away and Welbeck curled an effort at goal from just outside the penalty area, but Lloris stretched up to his left and tipped the ball wide with a fine save. He makes these look so easy, but his positioning and footwork make them look everyday. From the corner, he had an easier task, when Kosielny won a free header in the middle of the penalty area and headed it down, but it went straight at Hugo.
A corner at the other end nearly brought another goal, as Dier headed Eriksen's corner goal-wards and Bellerin nodded it off the line with Ospina nowhere, but the ball dropped outside the box for Mason to hit a first time volley that unfortunately was straight at the keeper. Spurs continued to push forward and the Arsenal goalie had to push a Bentaleb drive wide, then from the corner, Eriksen played it short to Ryan Mason, who struck a shot, but it went over the bar.
Mason and Bentaleb hassled the Arsenal midfield all afternoon and this annoyed them, as it did not allow them the time and space they normally think they deserve. Dembele was strong all afternoon, taking the ball forward, but still not getting his shots off as we want him to. While Lamela did not do too much damage, he was available to receive the ball, laid it off well and also tackled back. Christian Eriksen was constantly prompting, but he was not as effective from dead ball situations today.
Possibly a match-winning opportunity came Giroud's way from a cross by Ozil, but he put the chance wide off his head and with that Wenger brought on Walcott for Welbeck to boos from the Spurs crowd. I was not sure who they were for, but it could have been either of them for their actions today and in the past.
Eriksen made a run down the left and played the ball into the area, where Lamela met it at the near post, but the winger could only slice it into the air and then the Dane put a free-kick over the bar when Giroud fouled him 25 yards outside the box. but with five minutes remaining, Spurs did break through to go ahead and it was a fine cross from the left, with Nabil Bentaleb playing a long ball across the area and Harry Kane rose above Kosielny to head the ball back the way it came and the ball lopped over Ospina, who failed to get near to stopping Tottenham taking a 2-1 lead.
As Arsenal tried tog et an equaliser, Rose just cut out a through ball aimed for Walcott with a stretching leg and then when a cross was cleared out to Rosicky, he hit a shot straight back at goal, but Lloris was solidly behind it to catch the effort. The bookings racked up, with Kane on the break taking the ball into the corner, which annoyed Arsenal, so when Bentaleb broke away in added time, his run down the Tottenham left was cynically ended by Ramsey, who cleared him out right on the touchline in front of the dug-outs. No class, no chance.
With the final whistle, Bentaleb, Mason, Kane and Rose all piled on top of each other and across the pitch, white shirted players were showing what it meant to them, while most of the Gooners sloped off without celebrating in front of their fans ... and the only way Spurs topped them this time was by out-classing them on the pitch. Even Wenger could not bring himself to not see how good Spurs were today and he said the win was deserved. Pocehttino got things right today and the pleasing thing was that they continued to play their game even when they went behind. Pacy, sharp passing and good movement gave Arsenal the run around. They couldn't live with the energy and dynamic movement allowing Spurs to make chances against a side who are supposedly known for that style of play.
It is another three points and that must be the aim from every game between now and the end of the season. This three points put us above the Goons. We have 43 points, so are probably safe from relegation now. We need to make sure that we don't slip up or slip back. The team are starting to have belief that the early season training is paying off. They look like a group who want to play for each other, as everyone put in a good performance today in their own way and there is a short break before the Liverpool game on Tuesday. Another big game and another performance to be put in before a ten day break until the Fiorentina match.
Arsenal nearly missed the
football boat altogether, as their ground in South London was only
accessible by boat when the river Thames flooded Woolwich marshes.
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|What you thought|
self-abuse from Szczesny then ?? Quelle Suprise !!
I thought a snap of him with
the other crap Arsenal keeper Ospina might make a good photo for
Twitter ... two twits together.
|The Funky Phantom||I
thought Szczeny was bad, but Opsina looked a real liability.
His first save to push Kane's curling shot around the post required him having treatment (for shock as he actually saved one ?) and then he was questionably at fault for both Tottenham's goals. The first, he got a hand to Demeble's header, but neither did he come for it nor did he deal with the ball being put out of the danger area very well. The second, he sort of crumpled as Kane's header looped over him without making much effort to go for it.
But then, he did get let down by his defenders for the second goal, with Kosielny (who I can't see any merits to), jumped for Bentaleb's cross, but not with an eye on the ball, he was looking at Kane. Dreadful defending.
Long may Wenger make such
inspired goalkeeping and defensive signings.
How hilarious is Olivier Giroud ??
What a tart.
First of all, he whinges and moans about everything with no real cause; then he goes down at the slightest touch (which for a big man must be a real embarrassment) and tries to simulate that he had been fouled, before getting up and scything down Mason.
But he wasn't the only one to escape lightly.
Aaron Ramsey should be had up for all the little niggles he was perpetrating off the ball and then his cynical taking out of Bentaleb, as he looked to race past him right in front of the tunnel, was appalling.
Welbeck could have been off before half time (if not just after the whistle for the end of the first 45). He had gone through Lloris late and not got booked before he did get a yellow card for up-ending Rose. Then as the players were walking off, he moved his head into Rose in an idiotic act that could have seen him red-carded for that alone.
The team lacks discipline and it is no wonder they have such a bad disciplinary record.
For once, you have to agree
about Wenger's criticism of the referee ... he could easily have
made Arsene's day a lot worse if he had been any good.
|Benny The Ball||
Listening to the Gooners singing "Sol Campbell ... he's one of our
own" just makes you realise how sad they really are.
They can have him as one of
their own. They just forget that he let them down as much as
he did Spurs and England.
The amount of simulation by Arsenal players was embarrassing.
Giroud and Ozil were at it all the time, trying to get free-kicks
(as they didn't get in the penalty area that much) and Mertesacker's
weak attempt to get a penalty when Chadli caught his hand with his
own hand resulted in nothing more than a broken nail.
And what is the whole thing with Ramsey being in the referee's ear the whole match ? Is he the ghost of Tony Adams reincarnate ? Perhaps he should concentrate on his passing (which was truly awful) instead.
|Other scores during this week :|
|Leicester City||0||Crystal Palace||1||Saturday|
|Manchester City||1||Hull City||1||Saturday|
|Newcastle United||1||Stoke City||1||Sunday|
|Burnley||2||West Bromwich Albion||2||Sunday|
|West Ham United||1||Manchester United||1||Sunday|
|8||West Ham United||24||10||7||7||35||28||37||+7|
|15||West Bromwich Albion||24||5||8||11||22||34||23||-12|
Position before match :
Position after match : 4th
Position after the weekend : 5th
* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone will think so.
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