Arsenal vs Tottenham: Kane Brace Brings Gunners Back Down to Earth


Arsenal vs Tottenham FINAL: 1-2

After a month of absolutely electric football from Arsenal, one which even saw the side travel to the Etihad and come away with three points and a clean sheet, the gunners have been brought back down to earth… hard.

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The match started off in thrilling fashion It was real end-to-end football with chances at either end, but it was Arsenal who opened the scoring in just the 11th minute.

A brilliant move from Danny Welbeck saw him knock the ball past Danny Rose and come in freely from outside the right side of the box.  From there he found Olivier Giroud in the box who passed shot the ball to Mesut Ozil who followed it up with a brilliant finish.  It was a finish which may get lost in the defeat, but it really was something special.  It is just another example of Ozil making something look easy which could have been botched in about a million different ways.

The rest of the half was dominated by the Tottenham attack.  With the early lead, it seemed Arsenal were ready to stick with their new gameplan, allowing the opposition to have position while they get stuck in and play the counter. Mason, Kane, Rose and even Bentaleb all had decent chances, but a stout defense and some acrobatic saves from David Ospina saw the halftime whistle blow with the score still 1-0 to the Arsenal.

Many Spurs supporters must have been having flashbacks to the derby at White Hart Lane last campaign where Arsenal went up almost immediately from the whistle and ground out a 1-0 win.  Unfortunately for Arsenal though, their luck could only carry them so far.  

The Spurs breakthrough finally came from a Lamela corner in the 56th minute.  The delivery was headed back across the box by Jan Vertonghen and then slotted home by Harry Kane.  Not much to be done in a scenario like that.  Kane was in the right place at the right time, and unmarked. A player in the form he is right now was never going to miss from that range.

The way the match had been going Arsenal supporters surely would have taken even a 1-1 draw away from home, but even that was not on the cards on the day.  With the exception of an impressive Welbeck curling effort followed by an even more impressive save by Hugo Lloris, the Arsenal attack was toothless until it would prove to be too late.

“We scored early, but I think going forward, we didn’t produce enough,”- Arsene Wenger

The nail in the Arsenal coffin came in the dying embers of the match in the 86th minute.  What I’m about to say pains me so I going to try to get it out quick.  This Spurs goal really was impressive (eww…). Bentaleb  delivered a beautiful ball from near midfield which found Kane in the box and he finished it with a near perfect floating header, giving Ospina no chance.  I’m done with that now I promise.

Arsenal seemed to have a bit more impetus after that goal and the introduction of Theo Walcott, Tomas Rosicky, and Chuba Akpom at various times, but it just wasn’t enough.  At the end of the day Arsenal got what they deserved, having put in a poor performance way from home at their bitter rivals.  

They were consistently pressed and lost possession which combined with a scarcity of chances going forward is always going to spell trouble.  Arsene Wenger had this to say about his teams performance afterwards:  

"We scored early, but I think going forward, we didn’t produce enough… I believe that we made too many technical mistakes compared to our level, because of Tottenham in the middle of the park. They put us under pressure and we lost some balls we are not used to losing."

Too true monsieur Wenger, too true.

Wenger was also quick to point out that referee Martin Atkinson didn’t have his best day either.  Do I think he cost us the match?  Absolutely not, but in a heated match such as this he certainly left a little to be desired and I need something else to complain about. Ryan Mason got away with no card from a two footed, studs up challenge with no chance at the ball, while Monreal was cautioned for a good bit of defending, grazing/blowing on a Spur later in that half.  

In the end though, Arsenal can’t really complain about the result. The only thing to be done is get on with it and make sure we take the three points from Leicester on Tuesday.  4th place may not be in our own hands anymore, but here’s to having a little faith that all us Gooners will be celebrating another St. Totteringham’s day in the coming months (#COYG)

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