Arsenal vs. Spurs.
The north London derby – almost minute-by-minute reaction and thoughts to the action as the match between Arsenal and Tottenham progressed.
Starting with the same team we played against Swansea. Early attack down the right, Spurs have a corner.
Rosicky runs at the defence and is brought down, Lloris lines up the wall. Dipping free kick on target. Lloris pushes it to one side for the corner.
Looped in. Giroud heads over. Another free kick on the edge of the area. Walcott cleverly drew the foul.
I can see a goal coming from this. It’s like a penalty only just outside the D. I thought that was in, he slotted it past Lloris’s right post. The left as we look at it from the camera’s perspective in the West Stand. That was Cazorla.
8th minute. Arsenal probing, starting to dominate. Quick burst from Spurs down the right, a cross from Danny Rose, kicked out for a throw in. Rose and Chadli combine nicely; Chadli gets a corner on the left. Vertonghen and Dawson come for it. Cleared after a bit of head tennis. Pumped back, headed off by Gibbs for a throw on the right.
More good work by Chadli on the left ends with a lame cross/shot into Czesny’s hands. Rosicky again looking in good form for Arsenal. Etienne Capoue proving hard to shove off the ball in midfield. Rose switches play up to the right for Townsend. A good cross which Soldado hits into the defender.
14th minute. More good approach play and pressure from Spurs weak shot goes past the post. David Beckham and his lads are in the crowd. We could do with one of his free kicks – or Bale’s.
18th minute, corner from the left. Wasted. As has been the case with our set pieces in recent games. Walcott goes to ground again. This time in the area. No penalty but building up the pressure on the referee though.
23rd minute, 1-0 to Arsenal. After our attack breaks down, straight up the field and a cross from the right. Giroud gets across in front of Dawson and deflects it in low at the near post off the outside of his boot. One touch, in the narrow gap between a diving Lloris’s glove and the woodwork. That was against the balance of play and the first goal we have conceded this season. It was just what Arsenal needed because they have been much more comfortable playing on the counter attack in this game.
It’s a cliché I know but what a difference a goal makes. Arsenal now full of confidence. First to the ball. We could well be in for another one. Great play on the right from Arsenal, Walcott shoots, Lloris palms it across goal. Luckily no Arsenal players coming in on it. Could and should be 3-0 to Arsenal.
29th minute, Spurs getting a foothold in the game again, passing the ball across midfield. It’s a bit like watching a typical European away tie. Townsend cuts in from the right. Good shot saved.
30th minute. Interchange of Arsenal passes into the Spurs box. Ramsey hits it over the bar.Walcott slipped through. Lloris out like a flash, good sliding tackle outside the area. Rosicky annoyed no foul given and gets booked himself for a foul. They call Lloris the keeper/sweeper and that was a good example. Not the sort of thing that we want him to have to do on a frequent basis though. Paulinho shapes to shoot but then slips a hospital ball to Townsend. Arsenal break. Then Spurs’ turn again.
I hate to say it but there is no real flair apparent in this Tottenham performance. We look solid but not much else. I am missing Bale. I hope Eriksen might supply the sprightly Modric / Mata style flair.
40th minute. Paulinho draws a save from just outside the area. Arsenal come again with a surging attack after poor piece of control by Townsend. Dembele caught on the half way line.
43rd Wilshere struggling. Looks like he is going to be substituted.
On comes Flamini. Gets a free kick off Kyle Walker 15 yards outside the area. Lloris punches the ball out for a throw in. Arsenal players proving much sharper in on the loose ball. Our new boys aren’t up to speed with the cup tie nature of the derby.
Here we go. Second half. Straight away Spurs get a corner. Right hand side. Then another. Headed out. Throw in to Spurs. Arsenal attack down the left. Hoisted in, defended well. Lloris keeps meeting back passes by whacking the ball down left wing.
54 min Dawson passes out from back. Townsend wins throw in. Cross field ball by Danny Rose. Free kick outside the area Chadli over the bar. None of that Bale swerve or dip. Walker breaks down Arsenal attack. Fouled by Ramsey. We are looking sluggish, ponderous in midfield. Walker brought down. Free kick easily headed out by defence. Chadli gives away free kick halting counter attack. Paulinho puts in a nice cross. We can’t get a decent header on it.
62nd minute. Spurs now have more urgency in their play but attacks flounder and Arsenal break. Giroud nearly scores. Lloris must have got a hand to that, it’s a corner. We clear, works its way all the way back to Czesny. We come again; Townsend goes on a run, no one on the end of his cross.
69th min, Defoe comes on for Dembele. It gives us an extra man up front but it means midfield are going to have to work harder to plug the gap. Arsenal immediately take advantage of the space and get through on Lloris.
70th minute we are going to bring Lamela on. Capoue goes down holding his leg. Cazorla fell on it. Goes off breathing oxygen on a stretcher. Great shot from Defoe just stopped by Czesny.
77 minutes Arsenal bring on Nacho? Monreal. He almost scores from his first touch from a free kick. Defoe gets booked for an elbow. We only look like scoring if we get another penalty.
Lloris gathers a shot/cross from Monreal. Defoe sent up in the air. We get a free kick but it’s blasted over the bar. Another Bale moment goes begging.
We can only hope that as the season goes on this squad produces a team that does much better than its first attempt. No need to panic. It should do. AVB knows what he is doing.
89th minute Sagna coming on to shore up the defence. Walker cuts in from the right and slices one harmlessly over the bar that Bale would have buried on last season’s form.
5 added minutes.
93rd minute. Corner for Spurs. Cleared without any real trouble. Crossed back in. Dealt with again by the defence.
All over 1-0. It’s going to be tight at the top tonight.