Nacer Chadli Goal Earns Tottenham Draw At Arsenal


Nacer Chadli scored for Tottenham early in the second half and looked to have set up Spurs for a win at Arsenal. The home team equalised with 17 minutes remaining but in a battling performance Spurs held on to claim a point.

Arsenal 1 Tottenham Hotspur 1

Scorers: Oxlade-Chamberlain    Chadli

Team: Lloris, Naughton, Kaboul, Vertonghen, Rose (Dier); Capoue, Mason; Chadli (Bentaleb)), Eriksen (Lennon), Lamela; Adebayor Subs: (unused) Vorm, Fazio, Townsend, Soldado

Mauricio Pochettino spoke, before the match, of the need for his players “to show aggression” in their play and he will not be disappointed this evening. It was a battling, determined performance which saw Tottenham take the lead through Nacer Chadli in the 55th minute but even though Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain equalised in the 73rd minute, the Spurs players didn’t let their heads drop and stood up to the test presented by Arsenal.

Jan Vertonghen and Kyle Naughton returned to the Tottenham defence with Ryan Mason given his first Premier League start following his impressive display against Forest as a substitute in the League Cup.

Tottenham started cautiously, sitting deep, allowing Arsenal possession but ensuring they had few sights of goal. Spurs showed a willingness to compete as Pochettino and the fans wanted and held out comfortably to half-time without Arsenal causing too many problems. As the first half wore on, Tottenham started to move forward with greater confidence and troubled the home defence on the counter-attack.

Christian Eriksen played Emmanuel Adebayor into the area but the striker’s first touch was too heavy and then Spurs had the best goalscoring opportunity of the half. Erik Lamela broke forward and played Chadli in through the middle. Unfortunately, the Belgian mis-hit his shot and put it weakly across goal without troubling the goalkeeper.

Nacer Chadli Goal

Spurs started with more purpose in the second half but Arsenal were still dominant. In the 55th minute, Eriksen pounced to dispossess Flamini. He fell over but Lamela picked up the ball and played Chadli in on the right of the box. This time Nacer Chadli made no mistake and put the ball past the goalkeeper.

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Arsenal increased their efforts to get back into the game and Spurs had to put up a strong rear-guard action. Hugo Lloris dived low to save a header from Mertesacker within moments. In the Spurs defence Younes Kaboul led by example to clear any dangerous balls played into the area and along with Vertonghen defended admirably.

In the 73rd minute there was a touch of good fortune about the Arsenal equaliser. Lamela in trying to clear the ball from the area sliced his effort and it fell to Arsenal who played the ball back into the area. It went past the outstretched leg of Kaboul and took a deflection. Danny Welbeck completely missed his shot but the ball ran to Oxlade-Chamberlain who fired it into the roof of the net.

Disappointed to have conceded, Spurs continued to defend stoutly with Kaboul and Hugo Lloris dominating their penalty area. It was a battling rearguard action for the final 20 minutes but Spurs held out for a deserved point and to end their run of defeats against the top-4 clubs.

The point at the Emirates is Tottenham’s first since winning there in 2010 and Chadli’s goal was Spurs first against Arsenal since March, 2013.

Tottenham have been criticised for their lethargic displays recently but the players deserve credit for this performance as they battled away and competed for every ball in their efforts to deny Arsenal. Every player deserved credit with the defence standing firm well supported by the midfield work of Capoue, Mason, Chadli and Lamela.

This result will encourage Pochetino and be a boost to the confidence of both players and manager.