Determined Gunners gun down 10-man Spurs’ in an edgy North London Derby
One of the most exciting occasions in football is when teams are pinned against each other in geographical rivalries, fondly known as derbies.
Another rivalry, spoken in the same vein is the North London Derby, which has been keenly contested since 1913 between two very proud clubs, Arsenal and Tottenham. Yesterday was no different, as these two North London clubs locked horns for the 189th time, with Arsenal coming out on top.
Tottenham were rather dented with the 2-1 score line, as they were hopeful to pull off a first league double against their fierce rivals since the 1992-93 season. As a result of the loss, a top four finish now looks more distant for The Lilywhites.
With the triumph last evening, the Gunners also arrested their slump against their North London rivals stretching back to December 2018.
So, without further ado, lets dive into another exciting and edgy North London derby affair as the Gooners had much reason to celebrate:
A first half held at one apiece
Despite being deprived of the services of regular skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who was left out of the playing XI to disciplinary reasons, Arsenal started the first half brightly.
In just the 16th minute, the Gunners had their first opportunity when stand-in skipper, Alexandre Lacazette touched the ball onto Emile Smith-Rowe, who curled the effort on goal albeit the ball unfortunately hitting the top of the crossbar.
Against the run of play, Tottenham drew first blood in the 33rd minute through Erik Lamela, who came on as a substitute for the injured Son Hueng-min. The Argentine went for the Rabona, drilling it past two defenders, straight into the far post.
The result, Arsenal 0 – 1 Tottenham.
The Gunners were shocked and Spurs rather ecstatic as their maiden effort on goal got them going.
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Arsenal almost equalised in the 37th minute through Cedric, who got the better of Lucas Moura in the Spurs box. Unfortunately, though, his effort hit the woodwork, second time unlucky for The Gunners.
Not to be denied on their third attempt, Arsenal finally drew level through a fine conversion from Odegaard minutes before half-time. The Norwegian made no mistake in drilling the ball into goal after it took a deflection off Spurs defender Toby Alderweireld to beat keeper Hugo Lloris.
As the first 45 ended, the score was locked at one apiece.
Alexandre Lacazette plays a captain’s hand
The Gunners continued to attack in the second half. Lacazette had his first opportunity on goal in the 56th minute, only for his shot to be saved by his countrymen, Lloris.
Not to be denied, Arsenal’s stand in captain earned a well-deserved penalty minutes later as he was brought down by Sanchez in the D. The Frenchman made no mistake in converting the spot kick to put the Gunners 2-1 up.
The match soon went from bad to worse for Spurs, as Erik Lamela did a 180 from being a hero to zero. He was shown the red card in the 76th minute, following his first yellow minutes earlier.
Tottenham were down to 10-men and desperate for an equaliser to salvage a much-needed point at the Emirates.
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Harry Kane very nearly did the business in the 83rd minute, as his header beat Leno to go into the back of the net from a Lucas free-kick. However, the goal was adjudged off-side with the Englishman setting off a tad too early.
Arsenal were lucky to survive, and Tottenham were in dire need to survive to make a match of the contest.
The English striker tried his hand yet again to put Spurs level in the 90th minute as his strike hit the post and Arsenal did well to keep out Sanchez’s rebound effort.
As the referee called time, The Lilywhites were rather rattled to lose this thrilling contest after being one nil up and so nearly levelling the game at two apiece.
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Tottenham ponder on what could have been
A derby double would have seen Spurs climb up to fifth to dethrone West Ham, with a top four finish looking ever more likely.
Alas, what happened was the polar opposite, with Spurs still reeling on seventh and now looking to the Europa League next year as a more realistic bet.
In truth, as someone who is a keen admirer of Tottenham Hotspur, I was a bit heartbroken with the outcome not going in favour of The Lilywhites. Albeit in the bigger picture, another North London derby lived up to its expectation of being exciting, enthralling and most of all edgy.
Well done Gunners, you had all the arsenal!
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