|ARSENAL 2 (1)||TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1 (1)|
|Date : – 14th March 2021||Kick off : – 16.30|
|Competition : – Premier League||Venue : – Emirates Stadium|
|Crowd : – 0,000|
|Referee : – Michael Oliver (Northumberland)||Linesmen : – Mr. Simon Bennett; Mr. Stuart Burt|
|Fourth official : – Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)|
|VAR official : – Paul Tierney||VAR Assistant : – Lee Betts|
|Weather : – Chilly, rain before the match|
|Arsenal kicked off the first half attacking the Clock end|
|Playing time : – 90 + 8 minutes
|Odegaard 43m 49s||Lamela 32m 09s|
|Lacazette (p) 63m 30s|
|Xhaka (foul on Moura) 82||Reguilon (foul on Saka) 40|
|Sanchez (foul on Lacazette) 63|
|Lamela (foul on Partey) 69|
|Lamela (second yellow – arm in Tierney’s face) 76|
|1.||Berndt LENO||1.||Hugo LLORIS (c)|
|17.||Cedric SOARES||2.||Matt DOHERTY|
|23.||David LUIZ||4.||Toby ALDERWEIRELD|
|3.||Kieran TIERNEY||3.||Sergio REGUILON|
|18.||Thomas PARTEY||5.||Pierre-Emile HOJBJERG|
|34.||Granit XHAKA||28.||Tanguy NDOMBELE ( 20. DELE Alli 62)|
|7.||Bukayo SAKA ( 19. Nicolas PEPE 46)||9.||Gareth BALE ( 17. Moussa SISSOKO 57)|
|11.||Martin ODEGAARD||27.||Lucas MOURA|
|32.||Emile Smith ROWE ( 12. WILLIAN 77)||7.||Heung-Min SON ( 11. Erik LAMELA 19 )|
|9.||Alexandre LACAZETTE (p) ( 25. Mohamed ELNENY 88)||10.||Harry KANE|
|33.||Mat RYAN||12.||Joe HART|
|2.||Hector BELLERIN||33.||Ben DAVIES|
|21.||Callum CHAMBERS||15.||Eric DIER|
|8.||Dani CEBALLOS||8.||Harry WINKS|
|14.||Pierre-Emerick AUBAMEYANG||45.||Carlos VINICIUS|
|Manager : – Mikel Arteta||Manager : – Jose Mourinho|
|Kit Supplier : – adidas||Kit Supplier : – Nike|
|Shirt Sponsor : – Fly Emirates||Shirt Sponsor : – AIA
|Shirt Sponsor : – Visit Rwanda||Shirt Sponsor : – Cinch
|Colours : –
||Colours : –|
|Images of kits courtesy of the marvellous Colours of Football website|
In this match at the Emirates, Erik Lamela showed the good and bad sides of his Argentine character and Arsenal benefited from two large slices of luck to take the points 2-1.
In the first ten minutes, Arsenal had most of the possession, with only a free-kick and a couple of subsequent crosses into the Spurs area to show for it. Spurs got their first ball into the box in the ninth minute, with bale putting a cross in with the outside of his left foot from the right wing, but straight in Leno’s hands. Both sides were getting plenty of players back behind the ball when the other attacked, with Tottenham finding it difficult to get the ball under their control. After Lloris raced out to clear a through ball about ten yards outside his box, it was a foot in by Gareth Bale on the Arsenal player the clearance went to that prevented an immediate shot on the Spurs goal which Hugo wasn’t in.
With 15 minutes gone, Smith-Rowe struck the crossbar with a shot from 20 yards out, just right of the D, with it going over Hugo, but bouncing down off the face of the bar. That was worrying, but more so was the run that Son made to chase a through ball when he pulled up with what looked like a hamstring injury. He got up to walk off after the physio has looked at the problem, but immediately, Lamela came on as Sonny grimaced as he departed own the tunnel. The winger had been playing deep and it was his first real offensive move of the match and as it turned out his last.
Moura moved to the left with Erik taking a central role, although it didn’t stop the home side having more of the ball and allowing some space, which Arsenal couldn’t make much of. Smith-Rowe broke up their left and pulled the ball back, but Lacazette could only direct his shot off for a throw in on the other side of the pitch. Spurs were not pressing hard on the home defenders when they were in possession or when they were in midfield, giving them the chance to spend more time in the Tottenham half. It meant that there was little chance for our players to get involved in the match, as most times that Tanguy Ndombele and Lucas Moura tried to go forward they were brought down.
Moura was fouled about four times in one move didn’t get a free-kick as the referee allowed play to go on and Lucas got the edge of the box. Play moved right until a cross-field ball picked out Sergio Reguilon on the far side of the box. His cushioned volley found Moura in the box and he laid the ball sideways left for Erik Lamela, although it was slightly behind him. With two players between him and the goal, he produced a rabona that went through Partey’s legs and beyond Leno’s dive into the far side of the net. It was an imaginative effort and one that took everyone by surprise and while much of his early involvement was with Xhaka and Luiz without the ball being in their close vicinity, the first shot of the game on target for either side brought the first goal.
Arsenal hit the woodwork again in the 37th minute, when Smith-Rowe’s pull back went behind Lacazette and travelled outside the box, where Cedric got there before Moura and smashed a shot at goal, but it cannoned out from Lloris’ left-hand post. Most of the openings for the home team had been coming from their left wing and Spurs would need to stem that flow.
Arsenal were flinging crosses into the Spurs box without any tall players in their attack although one found Odegaard free, but he put his header well wide of the mark. The Arsenal goal came from where you might have guessed it would, with Tierney’s low cross finding Odegaard around the penalty spot and his shot deflected off Alderweireld’s foot to divert it past Lloris’ dive for an equaliser with their first shot on target. Coming just over a minute before half-time, it was a bit of a blow, but on the balance of play probably about fair.
Pepe replaced Saka after the break and when Arsenal lost possession halfway into their own half, Reguilon’s intended ball to Kane was just picked off before it reached the Spurs striker. We were a bit loose in possession and in playing the ball out from the back, which handed the ball to Arsenal a bit too easily, but Bale did break into the box on the left side to lift a cross to the far post, but there wasn’t a Spurs player on the end of it.
After ten minutes if the second half, Laxazette made space by nudging the ball past Sanchez on the edge of the box, but Hugo was well behind the shot to his right. Tottenham’s poor passing was turning the ball over in midfield and allowing Arsenal to move forward and when Lloris’ ball off the floor was intercepted and Pepe played Lacazette in and he sliced his shot, only for Sanchez to foul him and a penalty it was. It was an attempted clock that was only a foul because of the Arsenal captain’s poor shot. He got up to slot the ball to Hugo’s left with our captain diving the wrong way.
The goal was a bit out of the blue but was of our own making. Dele had come on for Ndombele just before the goal and it was now a case of Tottenham having to look to go forward but retaining possession would have to play a big part in that … and that was something we weren’t doing that well. Losing the ball also earned a yellow card for Lamela, who brought down Partey as he tried to win it back. Kane almost found Dele with a cross into the Arsenal box, but there wasn’t any contact on the ball to trouble the goal. Lamela did get some more on a ball in from Hojbjerg, but it was a long way out and Leno held it above his head.
Weakness in the tackle was costing Spurs, as we were getting to their players when they had the ball but were not winning the ball. It all meant that there was little relief for the defence and little opportunity to get into the Arsenal penalty area. It all went belly up when Lamela’s protective arm caught Tierney in the face like Robertson’s on Trippier in the Champions League final, but he didn’t get away with it and Oliver produced a second yellow, so there could be no VAR review and having put us a goal up, Lamela now left us a man down. With about 15 minutes left, there was little hope of getting anything out of the match now.
Spurs won a corner and when it came in, Kane got to it, but it looped up into the air for Leno to come and claim it. Xhaka picked up his routine yellow for a foul on Lucas Moura. It looked as though Spurs might have made the Swiss international pay for his indiscretion, as Harry Kane headed the ball from the left side of the goal across the keeper and into the net, but he had gone too early and was offside.
Ironically, Spurs were more attacking with ten men and Moura’s cross from the right-hand corner of the box almost picked out Kane at the far post, but Luiz managed to head away for a corner. Arssenal were aware of this and while they had brought on Willian, they now took off Lacazette and brought on Elneny. Xhaka fouled Moura again and from that free-kick just inside the arsenal half, Partey flattened Kane a couple of yards outside the box to give Harry Kane the chance to have a go at goal. He did just that and rattled Leno’s left-hand post and when it rebounded out, Sanchez shot on target, but Gabriel headed it away from in front of an open goal.
There was some panicky Arsenal defending as the game entered five minutes of added time although more loose Spurs passing handed the ball to the opposition, giving them the opportunity to play keep ball with the benefit of the extra man. With a minute to go, Moura took on four red shirts before he was brought down three yards outside the Arsenal box and level with Leno’s left post. This time Kane’s shot went up and up over the bar to ensure that there would be no comeback. It was all too late, when a bit of tempo to the attacking moves might have put more pressure on the creaky Gooners back four.
It had been a strange game, with Tottenham lining up with the emphasis on attack, but it never got going. Not because Arsenal were stopping that at the beginning of the game, but because the team looked sluggish and didn’t really test the shaky Arsenal defence. With Son’s early departure and with Ndombele replaced in the second half, Tottenham really only had Moura to run at the defence, but they stopped him before he got anywhere near.
Later in the evening, Harry Maguire made a challenge on West Ham’s Soucek in the box after he had let go his shot. According to Gary Neville, it was never going to be a penalty and VAR barely gave it a glimpse. Consistency is all we ask for.
Arsenal had the fortune on the day with a deflected goal and the inability of their forward to kick the ball properly that won them a penalty. But our approach contributed to the defeat. It wasn’t like the home game against them, where we attacked with pace and won the ball tigerishly. With sloppy passing and little forward momentum, the game was handed to Arsenal to dictate. Luckily, they were pretty useless at finishing, but Spurs can’t allow this sort of performance to recur during the last few games if they seriously want to force their way into a European place in the table or win the Europa League.
Erik Lamela made his 250th Spurs appearance.
|Leeds United||0||Tommy Tucker’s Chelsea||0|
|Crystal Palace||1||West Bromwich Albion||0|
|Newcastle United||1||Aston Villa||1|
|South Coast Big Club||1||Brighton & Hove Albion||2|
|Leicester City||5||Sheffield United||0|
|Manchester United||1||West Ham United London||0|
Premier League Table 2020-21
|4||Tommy Tucker’s Chelsea||29||14||9||6||44||25||51||+19|
|5||West Ham United London||28||14||6||8||42||32||48||+10|
|14||South Coast Big Club||29||9||6||14||36||51||33||-15|
|17||Brighton & Hove Albion||28||7||7||14||28||45||28||-17|
|19||West Bromwich Albion||29||3||9||17||20||57||18||-37|