Arsenal have the bragging rights on Spurs
Written By: Robert Halter
Rival managers, Mauricio Pochettino and Unai Emery embraced each other before the early December North London derby at the Emirates stadium. In the first breakaway move, Ben Davies was dispossessed by Henrikh Mkhitaryan and then Hector Bellerin won the ball, before a delivery by Mkhitaryan, was headed over by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. On nine minutes, a push in the back by Serge Aurier on Aubameyang, won Arsenal a free kick that Granit Xhaka took, and it struck the hand of Jan Vertonghen in the area, who conceded a penalty and was also booked by referee Mike Dean, while challenging Shkodran Mustafi, of which Aubameyang, stroked the spot into the left side of the net. The Lilywhites pressed on twelve minutes, when Dele Alli hooked the ball over to Heung-Min Son, who cut inside Rob Holding, before his effort was kept out by the legs of Bernd Leno. In the next two minutes, Arsenal responded as Sead Kolasinac, sent the ball over to Aubameyang in the area, but his footing got tangled up. After Eric Dier shoved Mkhitaryan in the back, a quick free kick from Xhaka found Kolasinac, and his pull back to Alex Iwobi, was rammed straight at the feet of Hugo Lloris, in the eighteenth minute. In the next minute, through a Kolasinac cross, a strong block by Davies on Bellerin, went back out to Lucas Torreira, who missed to the left. On twenty three minutes, from a flick on by Christian Eriksen, after weaving through, Son fired his shot straight against Leno. After a push in Son’s back by Sokratis Papastathopoulos, a perfectly delivered free kick by Eriksen, was headed into the left corner by Dier, on the half hour mark, whose over exuberant goal celebrations with his team mates, clashed on the side line with the Arsenal substitutes warming up. In the next two minutes, Spurs were awarded a penalty, when Harry Kane’s flick allowed Son to break into the box, who was charged into from Holding, and from the resulting spot kick, Kane struck the ball into the bottom left area of the target. In first half stoppage time, from a short corner by Mkhitaryan and Xhaka, a header on by Aubameyang, was ballooned over with a Mustafi bicycle kick. Then before half time, from another short corner by Mkhitaryan and Xhaka, a header from Mustafi was touched onto the top right corner of the crossbar from Lloris. Before the re-start, Alexandre Lacazette replaced Iwobi and Aaron Ramsey went on for Mkhitaryan. After Kolasinac rugby hugged Alli, a free kick was whipped in by Eriksen, and a well timed header by Kane, was pushed over from Leno, on forty eight minutes. Two minutes later, Xhaka got booked for clipping Alli, and Kane’s free kick was theatrically tipped over by the hand of Leno. But the Gunners got back on level terms when Bellerin’s long ball forward was brought across by Ramsey, and a first time finish by Aubameyang, curled into the right corner, in the fifty sixth minute. Arsenal reacted again from Xhaka’s corner, and knock on by Holding, as Mustafi’s strike was cleared from Alli in front of Lloris, and as the ball went back out to Torreira, he fired wide to the left. Then from another Xhaka corner, a header by Sokratis flew over. From a miss placed pass by Bellerin, a low drive from Son, was kept out at full stretch from Leno, in the sixty eighth minute. In the final Arsenal change, Matteo Guendouzi took the place of Mustafi, due to injury. Arsenal restored their lead on seventy four minutes, after Foyth lost the ball to Ramsey, who found Lacazette, whose strike deflected off Dier, into the left hand corner. A resurgent Arsenal got a fourth, when Aubameyang’s inch perfect pass, opened up space for Torreira, who found a way past Lloris, into the left side of the goal mouth. The Lilywhites then made a double change of Lucas Moura for Son and Harry Winks for Alli. After Davies’s corner was headed wide by Moura, a final Spurs switch saw Danny Rose replace Davies. The Lilywhites misery was compounded as Vertonghen was sent off for a second yellow, after he slid into Lacazette.