|DATE||Sunday 30th April 2017|
|VENUE||White Hart Lane|
NLD day and cliches abound. Form book goes out of the window.
It's all about passion. The best team doesn't necessarily win.
Well, the teams have had differing seasons, but there will be a lot of hype surrounding the last derby at the Lane. Not sure why we get so worked up about a bunch of South Londoners, but I suppose it is losing its importance, as we are more intent on finishing top of the league rather than worrying much about the Woolwich Wanderers.
Spurs have been playing more as a team and Arsenal as a collective of individuals, who don't always click. It used to be the other way around, but Pochettino is putting together a side that could challenge for years to come. Arsenal's play relies much on Ozil and Sanchez being on it. Other players flit around the periphery, but don't always come to the party, whereas Spurs are much more of a unit. A fluid one, that allows for changes of shape and personnel, but everyone knows their jobs and are smart enough to know when to go forward and when to hold back.
Arsenal have been uncharacteristically poor at defending and with injuries, their defence could be re-arranged once more.
I hope Tottenham have enough
to win this match to keep on Chelsea's shirt-tails, but Arsenal
might not be coming into form, so much as a run of luck. A
good goal disallowed against them in semi-final, a deflected late
goal against Leicester. If it carries on "Lucky Arsenal" could
pick up a fortunate point.
|PREDICTION||Tottenham Hotspur 1 Arsenal 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|
HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS :
Spurs will be missing Danny Rose, Michel Vorm, Cameron Carter-Vickers (all knee), Harry Winks (ankle) and Erik Lamela (hip). Mousa Dembele (ankle) will be taking a late fitness test to see if he will be able to play.
ARSENAL TEAM NEWS :
Shkodran Mustafi (thigh) will not be available and Laurent Koscielny (knee) is a doubt.
available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard
in these countries on these stations ...
Sunday 30th April 2017
White Hart Lane
Kick off 16:30
Alli 54m 54s
Kane (p) 57m 24s
Kane (foul on Gabriel) 73
Gabriel (foul on Eriksen) 71
Giroud (foul on Trippier) 74
Monreal (foul on Kane) 77
|Crowd : 31,811||Weather : Warm, sunny|
|Referee : Michael Oliver (Northumberland)||Assistant Referees : Mr. S. Bennett; Mr. J. Collin|
|Fourth Official : Andre Marriner|
|Spurs kicked off and played towards the Park Lane end in the first half.|
|Game time : - 90 + 7 minutes.|
|Tottenham Hotspur :||kit||Arsenal :||kit|
Kieran TRIPPIER (
Kyle WALKER 88)
10 Harry KANE
|Manager : Mauricio Pochettino||Manager : Arsene Wenger|
|Sponsor : AIA||Shirt sponsor : Emirates Airlines|
|Kit Supplier : Under Armour||Kit Supplier : Puma|
A player who was in the Arsenal
Academy and was rejected. A player who Arsenal had watched “many,
many times” according to Arsene Wenger last week.
Arsenal did have a shot from Ramsey following a scramble from a corner and it was blocked, leaving Sonny to break away, but we didn't make anything of it. On the half hour, Xhaka should have got his inevitable yellow card that he picks up most games, when he firstly dragged back Vertonghen as he turned away from the Arsenal waste of money and then Jan got kicked over for being better than the over-priced clogger. Two offences = ??? A talking to with the Arsenal captain by the referee ! Then Xhaka started limping around having injured himself trying to do the same to Jan, but he suddenly sat down wanting treatment, although Oliver didn't make him limp off for it, which he seemed capable of doing.
The closest Arsenal came in the first half was a low shot that looked as though it was curling into the corner of the net, until Hugo dived left and at full stretch, tipped the ball around the post. Gibbs then wildly blazed over the top, before Toby got in the way of another Ramsey effort at the expense of a corner. From it, the ball dropped for Sanchez, who had been out of the action until then and his curled effort went past Hugo's far post from the left hand side of the penalty box. Another curling effort rounded off the half, when Jan Vertonghen received a cleared corner just outside the box and took it with his weaker right foot. The ball was arrowing low into the goal at the foot of the post, but Cech got down to his left and got a good hand on it to push it well wide.
As half-time guests go, today's was pretty special. The return of Jurgen Klinsmann, who waxed lyrical about his time at Tottenham and his relationship with the fans. He doesn't look a lot different to when he played and as he cannot make it to the Manchester United game, this was his last visit to the Old WHL.
While Arsenal had offered little, Spurs had made the best chance sin the first half, although they had failed to take them and would it cost them like it did last week at Wembley ?? Well, they came out for the start of the second half like lions. Victor Wanyama, of all people, had the first chance of the half and went very close to opening the scoring, when he curled a shot from the edge of the box that Cech had to stretch up to his left to paw away. Tottenham then worked a short corner routine that played Son into space in the box right side, but from a narrow angle, he fired into the side netting, then Kane fired straight into Cech's midriff. Harry was involved in the next attack, which started on the right, with Trippier's long throw to the forward outside the box. He was too strong for Gabriel and the ball broke from the challenge to Dele, who was running into the box on the right. He played the ball back behind him where Eriksen took over, jinked past two defenders into the right side of the six yard box and shot at goal. Cech was close to him and beat his shot out, but it fell invitingly to Dele Alli, just outside the six yard box, who fell as he swung a left boot at the ball that went in, past a hapless attempt of a clearance by Oxlade-Chamberlain on the line. The old place went wild. A goal that Spurs had deserved for their attacking intent, had come form a player Wenger had passed up on !!!
The restart saw Spurs win the ball quickly, but when Arsenal had the ball, The Beast that is Wanyama, took the ball off a red and white shirt and slid it left to Kane, who took on Gabriel for pace into the box, where the lumbering defender completely mistimed his tackle, kicking Kane on the shin and with Oliver in close attendance, a penalty was the outcome. Again, the crowd roared, but some fans were a little less enamoured, like the bloke in front of me, who turned away from the pitch and didn't watch. It is something I have never understood, especially in this case, when Kane didn't strike it that cleanly, but the ball flew low into the right hand bottom corner of Cech's goal as the keeper could only sway one way and not even dive to get anywhere near the shot. Cur massive celebrations, including Poch landing a celebratory punch on Jesus Perez's chin !! Goal number two by a player from the Arsenal Academy !! Wenger is a football genius.
It cranked the volume up another couple of notches, as Spurs had hit two goals in 170 seconds to leave an Arsenal side, lacking any sort of shape or desire, a mountain to climb. It probably didn't help that Sanchez looked like he couldn't be that bothered and Ozil moved so far to the fringes of the game, it was only when I looked at the clock on the big screen that showed 81 minutes, that I realised the played with the ball his own side of the centre circle was the German midfielder and that he was still playing.
The reaction from Arsenal, apart from a load of whingeing from Monreal, was a weak low shot from Giroud on the left and another from a similar position from Sanchez, that Hugo took two goes to grab. Spurs hit back with a Vertonghen left wing cross headed by Alderweireld, but It was bl0cked for a corner by Koscielny. When the corner was cleared, it came back to Jan, who measured another curling effort, similar to Victor's, with Cech keeping his side in the match once again, with an even better save to tip it wide for another corner. Arsenal did create their best chance with about 15 minutes left, as Ozil crossed from the right to pick out substitute Welbeck at the far post, but he completely fluffed a volley from a yard out, to allow Lloris to simply gather the soft shot.
Victor once more broke up a move in his own half and drove forward with the ball 30 yards, before playing it right to Kane, but Harry's first touch took the ball slightly wide and allowed Cech to close him down, as our forward tried to slip the ball past him. It produced another corner and Eriksen picked out Alderweireld, whose header was slapped away by Cech, who made another very good save. Mousa came on for Son and Walcott for Giroud, but the only threat to Hugo Lloris was when he had to run outside his box to head clear and when Walcott had a great shooting opportunity, central with time and space and he could only side-foot it straight into Hugo's arms.
In contrast, Spurs were happy to keep the ball and run the game down. Arsenal couldn't do anything about it and by the time the final whistle at the end of this last London derby to a massive roar from the Spurs fans, off the pitch, the away end was decimated as badly as their side had been on it. Shamefully, only three or four Arsenal players went over to the emptying seats to acknowledge their fans, but most had gone home to get the Tube home to N7 and environs, where they all live. I hope that they heeded the message many Spurs fans gave them to "Mind The Gap" on their journey.
The performance by Spurs today justified the result, unlike last week, when they out-played Chelsea for long periods, only to be beaten. The result also showed the maturity the Spurs side are showing, with Arsenal grabbing an equaliser late in the game last season with ten men. Not this time. There was little chance of them getting back into the game and Tottenham's dominance will be of concern to the Woolwich Wanderers' fans, who couldn't stomach the 90 minutes ... just like their players. Closing the gap to four points on Chelsea, at least keeps the interest going and Spurs will need to keep winning - now nine on the trot - until the end of the season and hope Chelsea slip up. That's not likely, as Everton was probably their hardest test remaining and they eased through that.
For Spurs, it was hard to select a man of the match. From Jan's tackle taking everything with it (including Gibbs) early on, to Dier's clearing out of Ozil having taken the ball and Giroud being left in a heap after a strong challenge from Victor. Eriksen caressed the ball around, Trippier ran the right hand line, while Ben was solid on the left. Son worked the line and covered a lot of ground, with Dele always a threat to the Arsenal defence, as Harry made good moves and was always looking to test Cech. Trippier's inclusion over Walker had been an odd selection, but it worked well and when Walker came on, he had a couple of minutes, before making a point of going around to all four stands clapping the fans before disappearing down the tunnel.
A joyous occasion and one last match to come at the Lane. Another win over a famous old foe will round of the club's time at the ground in fine fashion, with the three points vital to our battle at the top of the table. We have one more team to finish above ... what more would be a fitting finale to White Hart Lane ??
Marco van Hip
Arsenal were the first
team to introduce the sweeper system into the English game.
The change was accidental, when, following an injury to one of their
centre-halves, they had to install a cleaner behind the remaining
central defender, with his role to "clean up" anything that got
through, which was his job in keeping the floors at the ground
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|What you thought|
|Benny the Ball||
For once, I really missed a dressing room selfie by the Gooners.
|Other scores during this week :|
|Stoke City||0||West Ham United London||0||Saturday|
|West Bromwich Albion||0||Leicester City||1||Saturday|
|Manchester United||1||Swansea City||1||Sunday|
|League Table 2016-17|
|8||West Bromwich Albion||34||12||8||14||39||43||44||-4|
|15||West Ham United London||35||10||9||16||44||59||39||-15|
Position before match : 2nd
Position after match : 2nd
Position after the weekend : 2nd
* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone might think so.
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