COMPETITION Premier League 
DATE Saturday 18th November 2017
VENUE Emirates
Arsenal  SQUAD 2.  Mathieu DEBUCHY
6.  Laurent KOSCIELNY
7.  Alexis SANCHEZ
8.  Aaron RAMSEY
9.  Alexandre LACAZETTE
10.  Jack WILSHERE
11.  Mesut OZIL
12.  Olivier GIROUD
13.  David OSPINA
14.  Theo WALCOTT
16.  Rob HOLDING
17.  Alex IWOBI
18.  Nacho MONREAL
19.  Santi CAZORLA
20.  Shkodran MUSTAFI
21.  Calum CHAMBERS
23.  Danny WELBECK
24.  Hector BELLERIN
29.  Granit XHAKA
32.  Chuba AKPOM
33.  Petr CECH
34.  Francis COQUELIN
35.  Mohammed ELNENY
PREVIEW The international break interrupted the early stages of the season with both clubs in decent form.  Arsenal lost to Manchester City last time out, but then most teams do.  Other than that, they have only lost by single goals to Watford and Stoke City, although they did get taken apart at Anfield 4-0.

The factions within the Arsenal support are still at loggerheads and although they haven't fought amongst themselves as much as West Ham United London fans this season, they are still divided.  Some about whether Arsene Wenger should leave the club and others about whether they are a bigger club than Spurs in North London.  Well, they are welcome to their petty arguments, but they will raise their game against Tottenham as they always do. 

Strangely Petr Cech is not the Arsenal number one, as he is number 33 and back up keeper Ospina is 13.  How unlucky.  Cech lacks the agility of his Chelsea days and has found his time at Arsenal much more difficult, with the defence exposing him more than the think blue line that used to be in front of him.  With Wenger not having adequately replaced the back four he inherited at the club, the likes of Mustafi, Monreal, Koscielny and Kolasniac is not that awe-inspiring, although the Serbian full back is a threat in attack.

With many column inches dedicated to the whole Ozil/Sanchez will they/won't they saga, much criticism is aimed at them for disappearing in games.  With Ramsey, Walcott and Wilshere all disappointing compared to the potential they once had, they have Bellerin relying on his pace, but getting found out; Coquelin not developing into a regular in the midfield; Xhaka an accident waiting to happen and Elneny signed as a star, but only occupying a fringe role.  Cazorla has been out with a nasty reaction to his surgery that has seen him lose a large part of his Achilles tendon.

Youngsters brought through and bought in have failed to make the desired impact.  This leaves the side without a strong spine, players randomly rotated in the side around the pitch, making consistency difficult.  Arsenal are good at home though and it will be a tough ask for Spurs to bring home something from the match other than the obligatory draw that has been the common feature of this fixture over recent years at Highbury.

With a 1-0 victory over Palace in Tottenham's last game, we struggled to break down a defensive side.  Arsenal might have to come out a bit, as their fans expect a win and they are at home, so it is possible that the likes of Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen could lead breakaways.  Moussa Sissoko has also been prominent in the team's ability to get forward from defence very quickly of late.  With a number of first teamers returning, the side will be strengthened and while Alderweireld joins Wanyama and Lamela on the injured list the squad is now able to cover for the absences.

With Arsenal determined to try and get something in the credit column with their fans, they will be keen not to lose, so Spurs might have to battle away at the home defence, but, while I would like to see three points heading back to Wembley, a draw might be the most likely outcome.

PREDICTION Arsenal    1        Tottenham Hotspur    1
LAST SEASON'S MEETING For a look back at the match report, click here.
RESULTS HISTORY Click here for results, match reports and facts on meetings with Arsenal
Arsenal TEAM NEWS :
Olivier Giroud (knock) misses the game on Saturday, with Danny Welbeck and Shkrodan Mustafi are doubts. 
Erik Lamela is fit, but may not be ready for a return to action yet, while Toby Alderweireld is set for at least a six week spell on the touchline with his hamstring pull and Victor Wanyama is still on the road back from his knee injury.  Harry Kane, Harry Winks, Hugo Lloris, Michel Vorm and Dele Alli were all back in training this week.

Sky Sports 1 - (live coverage)
Sky Sports 1 -  Game of the Day -  Saturday 20.00
Match of the Day  (BBC 1) - Saturday 22.20 (highlights)   [repeated at 07:25 Sunday]  Also available online.
Goals on Sunday (Sky Sports 1) - Sunday 10.30 (repeated at 21.00)
Match of the Day 2  (BBC 1) - Sunday 22.30 (highlights)  Also available online.

For coverage in all parts of the world, check here and here.

Radio :  
BBC LONDON 94.9FM (London area only), Digital Radio (London area only) &  Sky Channel 0152  (live coverage)
Commentary may be found on
>   BBC Radio Five Live (live coverage)  606/939 MW
TalkSport (DAB or 1089 MW)
Absolute Radio  (1215 AM/MW)

If available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard in these countries on these stations ...
Australia (Melbourne)
SEN  -  116 AM  Live Transmissions: TWI, Saturday. 12.45 & 15.00 matches
Australia (Sydney) 
Radio 2  -  1611AM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 12.45 Match
Media Corp Radio  -  93.8 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
South Africa 
SABC (Radio 2000)  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
Uganda  Radio 1 (English) 90.0 FM, Radio 2 (Lugandan) 87.9 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
North America (USA, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean) 
Sirius Satellite Radio  Live transmission: Saturday - 12.45, 15.00 (TWI) & 17.15 (BBC) Sunday - 14.00 & 16.05 (BBC) Mon, Tue, Wed - Various times (BBC)

Internet :   Live webcast  - subscribers only
BBC London - click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.

Arsenal  2 (2)  

Premier League
Saturday 18th November 2017
Tottenham Hotspur  0 (0)

Kick off 12:30
Mustafi  36m 05s
Sanchez  41m 01s
Xhaka (foul on Dele) 32
Sanchez (foul on Sanchez) 38
Mustafi (foul on Kane) 47
Monreal (foul on Dele) 72


Kane (foul on Xhaka) 49



Crowd :   59,530 Weather :  Drizzle
Referee :   Mike Dean (Wirral) Assistant Referees :  Mr. I Hussin; Mr E. Smart
Fourth Official :  Kevin Friend  
Tottenham kicked off and played towards the North stand end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 6 minutes.
Arsenal : kit Tottenham Hotspur : kit
33  Petr CECH

  6  Laurent KOSIELNY (c)
20  Shkodran MUSTAFI       
18  Nacho MONREAL     

24  Hector BELLERIN
  8  Aaron RAMSEY
  Granit XHAKA

  Alexis SANCHEZ       
11  Mesut OZIL  (17  Alex IWOBI  84)

  9  Alexandre LACAZETTE  (34  Francis COUQELIN  73)

Unused subs: 
13  David OPSINA
23  Danny WELBECK

    1  Hugo LLORIS (c)

  6  Davinson SANCHEZ
15  Eric DIER

19  Mousa DEMBELE  (29  Harry WINKS 62)
17  Moussa SISSOKO

  2  Kieran TRIPPIER
20  DELE Alli  (  7  Heung-Min SON  75)
23  Christian ERIKSEN
33  Ben DAVIES 

10  Harry KANE       (18  Fernando LLORENTE  75)

Unused subs: 
13  Michel VORM
24  Serge AURIER


Manager :  Arsene Wenger Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino
Sponsor :   Fly Emirates Shirt sponsor :  AIA
Kit Supplier :  Puma Kit Supplier :   Nike
Match report

A gloomy day in North London saw Spurs take to the pitch without Danny Rose anywhere in the vicinity of N7, apparently not injured and left to train with the players who were not included in the match-day squad.  By the end, it was gloomy all round the Spurs end as Arsenal registered their fist win over us at their seventh attempt.  It will signal mass celebrating on the streets of Highbury and tweets from perennial substitute Jack Wilshere, but will it mean much in the long run come May ?  We will see.

The early stages of the game saw the teams tentatively feeling each other out, but Eric Dier delayed playing a pass out of defence and it went to Lacazette to blaze his shot high over the bar.  Kane was a little more accurate when two Arsenal defenders went for the same ball and left him a run into the box, but his final shot was straight at Cech, who got right behind it. Twice the ball was played to Lacazette in good positions, but the first was mis-controlled and the second nicked away by Sanchez.

We didn't really get going in the first 15 minutes, but had a little spell of pressure with a couple of balls into the box, with Arsenal unable to clear the ball effectively.  When they did go forward, Arsenal got Bellerin in behind Davies on their right and his low ball across the face of goal could not be touched in by Lacazette, as Sanchez and Dier squeezed him out on the edge of the six yard box and the ball went off for a throw-in on the other side of the pitch.  A home corner wasn't cleared well by Spurs and they went through a little period where they couldn't find an out ball. When they did and Sissoko looked to break inside his own half, Xhaka brought him down with a rugby tackle. The game was being peppered with free-kicks and stoppages, with Spurs grateful to Hugo Lloris coming out quickly to clear a short back pass from Davinson as Lacazette closed in. Tottenham's passes weren't finding their targets, which lead to the ball coming back and when Ozil got free on the right, Eric Dier had to slide in at the near post to concede a corner. Xhaka had a shot blocked from it for another corner, but a break from it came to nothing when Arsenal got numbers back around Eriksen.

Arsenal were working hard to close us down, but when Spurs worked the ball from the right wing across to Christian Eriksen, he slipped a ball through, but it was between Alli and Kane and went through to Cech.  Xhaka finally went in the book in the 32nd minute for a crude block.  The free-kick was cleared and Spurs recycled the ball for Ben Davies to pull it back for Eriksen to have a shot from inside the box that hit the outside of Cech's right hand post. Kane planted a firm header at goal from 12 yards out to Sissoko's cross shortly after, but the keeper reached up to grab it.

Mike Dean was trying to prove he wasn't Tottenham's friend with a soft free-kick for a foul on Alexis Sanchez by Davinson Sanchez, so you know what happens next. Mustafi rose and heads in off the post to give Arsenal the lead, which sums Arsenal up. He got up between Dier and Vertonghen, but the ball should never have been allowed to come in as it was a joke decision. It looked like it was “Arsenal In Need” weekend such was the charity Dean extended to them.

Four minutes before half time, it became 2-0 when Lacazette was played in inside the box on the right and his low ball found Sanchez, who got the bounce and rifled the ball into the roof of the net from a foot out at Lloris' near post.

The first half had seen the players chosen for the Tottenham side lacking their usual sharpness in passing and movement.  Dele and Kane looked less than 100% and they were closed down as quickly as they received the ball, allowing little time to lay the ball off.  Dembele hadn't been as effective as he can be, which is what we needed in this match. We hadn't played well and that had to change.

Mustafi set the tone for the second half with a foul on Kane from behind, which he was booked for and then under a lot of pressure from Arsenal players in his face, Dean evened things up by booking Kane with the next challenge in the match.  Spurs had looked a little more on it at the start of the second half, but high balls to Kane were getting picked off.  When it was played to him in the box, Kolasniac blocked him and the ref played on, but a slip outside the box presented the ball to Eriksen and he fed Harry.  His low shot from the right side of goal was blocked by Mustafi.

The transition of the ball from the middle third to the final third was poor by Tottenham. Either by the slowness of passing or by the failure to run it past Arsenal defenders. So, perhaps with that in mind, Harry Winks was brought on for Mousa.  The way things were going for us was typified when Davies pulled the ball back to Christian on the left hand corner of the penalty area, but he fired it too high, when his shots for Denmark in midweek nestled in the net.  Spurs found themselves facing ten outfield opposition players between them and goal in open play at times, so they needed some guile to break through the massed ranks of red shirts blocking their way. 

Playing on the break, Arsenal's Sanchez had two shots at goal. One high over the bar and the second weakly bobbled through to Lloris.  When Moussa Sissoko ran the ball out of defence, it looked a promising situation, but when he got the other side of the centre circle, his heavy touch gave the ball back to Arsenal. with 15 minutes remaining, Dele and Harry Kane were substituted with Son and Llorente coming on, but that signalled the fact that neither were fully fit and that Pochettino had thrown in the towel.

Lloris denied Sanchez at the near post again, getting behind his close range shot, but Tottenham needed to give Fernando some service that he could attack at the other end to get back into the game.  Eriksen had a dragged effort on target, but with little threat in his shot and then a corner was headed back across goal, but Cech got there to push the ball away, leading to a long ball out of defence, which Lloris had to run 30 yards out to, heading it horizontally for a throw-in.  When Spurs did play a decent ball up to Llorente, his nod on put Son in on the edge of the box, but the ball wouldn't come down for him and he ballooned his shot over the goal.  Arsenal were sitting in and looking to hit Spurs on the break, but most of the time, they overplayed the ball.  Hugo again blocked a Sanchez shot at the near post, while at the other end a Trippier cross came in and Llorente was pulled down before Son hit a shot at goal that Mustafi deflected over the top.

It was like playing Chelsea in the last couple of seasons. They rouse themselves for one game a season. But again, it was a match where Tottenham failed to perform as they can against a side who are chasing them from a position below them in the table, which is where Arsenal still are.  Things have not been as simple this year for Spurs, with teams setting up to stifle us, but we need to find ways to get our game going when that is the way they want to play.  We failed to get our wing backs involved enough today and when we did, their crosses were not picking out Tottenham shirts.

Most of the major decisions went Arsenal's way, when all their fans were up in arms about Mike Dean being named as the referee in the lead up to the game.

At least it will unite the Arsenal fans in thinking Arsene Wenger is the most brilliant manager ... ever !

James Carroll




Arsenal are the only Football League club to take part in South and North London derbies.


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What you thought
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Other scores during this week :
Bournemouth 4 Huddersfield Town 0 Saturday
Burnley 2 Swansea City 0 Saturday
Crystal Palace 2 Everton 2 Saturday
Leicester City 0 Manchester City 2 Saturday
Liverpool 3 Southampton 0 Saturday
Manchester United 4 Newcastle United 1 Saturday
West Bromwich Albion 0 Chelsea 4 Saturday
Watford 2 West Ham United London 0 Sunday
Brighton & Hove Albion 2 Stoke City 2 Monday



League Table  2017-18
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Manchester City 12 11 1 0 40 7 34 +33
2 Manchester United 12 8 2 2 27 6 26 +21
3 Chelsea 12 8 1 3 23 10 25 +13
4 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 12 7 2 3 20 9 23 +12
5 Liverpool 12 6 4 2 24 17 22 +7
6 Arsenal 12 7 1 4 22 16 22 +6
7 Burnley 12 6 4 2 12 9 22 +3
8 Watford 12 5 3 4 19 21 18 -2
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 12 4 4 4 13 13 16 0
10 Huddersfield Town 12 4 3 5 8 17 15 -9
11 Newcastle United 12 4 2 6 11 14 14 -3
12 Leicester City 12 3 4 5 16 17 13 -1
13 AFC Bournemouth 12 4 1 7 11 14 13 -3
14 Southampton 12 3 4 5 9 14 13 -5
15 Stoke City 12 3 4 5 15 24 13 -9
16 Everton 12 3 3 7 12 24 12 -12
17 West Bromwich Albion 12 2 4 6 9 18 10 -9
18 West Ham United London 12 2 3 7 11 25 9 -14
19 Swansea City 12 2 2 8 7 15 8 -8
20 Crystal Palace 12 1 2 9 6 24 5 -18


Position before match :  3rd
Position after match :  4th
Position after the weekend :


* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone might think so.


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