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Spurs v Arsenal, 02.03.19

PREMIER LEAGUE
SATURDAY 2nd MARCH, 2019
(12.30pm - at Wembley)
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1(0) ARSENAL 1(1)

Spurs scorer:-
Kane (pen), 74

Arsenal scorer:-
Ramsey, 16

Attendance:- 81,132

Referee:- Anthony Taylor
Assistants:- Gary Beswick, Adam Nunn
Fourth official:- Jonathan Moss

Teams:-
Spurs (3-4-1-2):- Lloris (Capt.); Alderweirld, Sanchez, Vertonghen; Trippier, Sissoko, Wanyama (sub Lamela, 59), Rose; Eriksen; Kane, Son (sub Llorente, 79)

Subs not used:- Gazzaniga; Aurier, Davies; Skipp; Lucas Moura

Booked:- Lamela (foul on Xhaka), Rose (foul on Leno), Llorente (foul on Koscielny)

Arsenal (3-4-2-1):- Leno; Mustafi, Sokratis, Koscielny (Capt.); Monreal, Guendouzi (sub Torreira, 46), Xhaka, Iwobi; Mkhitaryan, Ramsey (sub Ozil, 72); Lacazette (sub Aubameyang, 56)

Subs not used:- Cech; Maitland-Niles; Suarez, Kolasinac

Booked:- Mkhitaryan (foul on Kane), Xhaka (Dissent)

Sent off (90+5):- Torreira ( Dangerous play - foul on Rose)

A draw - and high drama!

Wembley Stadium - 02.03.19

Spurs' highest Premier League crowd of the season turned out for this Saturday lunchtime North London Derby which meant so much to both clubs, the teams and fans. This was a true "six-pointer", and having been behind for almost an hour of the game after Ramsey's opener for Arsenal, I think we have to be grateful for a share of the points.

Harry Kane had levelled the scores with a 74th minute penalty, but it looked as if Spurs would lose the game to an added time Arsenal penalty, which was poorly taken by Aubameyang, but well saved by Hugo Lloris, diving to his right.

The sun shone upon Wembley for what we all hope will be our last Premier League game played at out temporary home where we have been in residence for over 18 months. Whilst there has been no confirmation as yet, the hope is that our remaining home games will be played at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

There was good news for Spurs fans with the inclusion of Jan Vertonghen, who obviously passed his late fitness assessment, whilst Harry Winks failed his and was absent. Victor Wanyama stepped in beside Moussa Sissoko, who will quite possibly win the man of the match vote thanks to another stalwart performance.

Spurs played three at the back, with Kieran Trippier perhaps surprisingly retaining his place, despite that disastrous own goal on Wednesday. One of his crosses was nearly as disastrous as that own goal!

Arsenal also played three at the back, and I was surprised that Aubameyang started on the bench with Lacazette chosen to play ahead of Mkhitaryan and Ramsey.

I have to say that for to much of the game Arsenal showed more pace, more desire, more running off the ball, and certainly more toughness than did Spurs. In this they were probably helped by referee Anthony Taylor who certainly did not seem to have much sympathy for Spurs, although we had cause to be grateful regarding the award of our penalty in the second half.

As usual, Spurs were often too slow getting the ball forward. We also failed to get close enough to their players when they were on the attack. Iwobi got away down the Arsenal left flank after only a minute, and he passed inside to Lacazette, who thankfully scuffed his shot. Spurs had a couple of attacks down the right with Sissoko and Trippier involved. Jan Vertonghen was getting on the ball in an advanced position, but Arsenal were defending stoutly. Trippier got a ball inside to Son, but he was not strong enough against the red and white shirts of the visitors.

Son did seize onto a poor midfield pass from Arsenal, making a run and passing the ball ahead for the run of Sissoko. The pass was too far ahead of Moussa. Kane seemed to be subject to some rough stuff as he was fed the ball from the left, but Mr Taylor gave no foul. Such leniency simply encouraged the visitors.

Arsenal took the lead after a Spurs attack broke down with Kane in the box. The ball was cleared and Davinson Sanchez failed to deal with it, allowing Ramsey to have a clear run at Lloris's goal, ultimately picking his spot to score. The man who will leave for Italy in the summer certainly relished his goal and celebrated almost offensively in front of the home fans.

Spurs had a free kick out on the right after Eriksen was fouled. Son stood in front of the ball but Trippier took the kick and Harry Kane headed home across the keeper, but the offside flag had been raised to the bitter disappointment of most of the massive crowd.

Arsenal did generally seem happy to get men behind the ball, but they were defending with confidence. Spurs had a good attack after half an hour, through Eriksen on the left and Trippier on the right. The move actually ended with an Eriksen shot going wide after a being fed the ball by Danny Rose. Rose also gave Son a chance, but his left footed shot was deflected for a corner.

Jan Vertonghen picked up a loose ball and took it forward before hooking a shot wide across the Arsenal goal. However, Spurs were lax at the other end, allowing Arsenal's runners too much space. Iwobi hit a right foot shot which was very well saved by Lloris palming the ball away to his left.

Spurs then had their best chances with Leno in the Arsenal goal making a double save. First he saved from Eriksen's shot on the turn after Son and Kane had fed him the ball from the right. The Arsenal keeper then made an even better save low to his left from Sissoko's powerful shot. A corner resulted. In added time, Son put another chance wide.

Guendouzi was replaced at the interval by Torreira.

Danny Rose, and Harry Kane moved the ball from left to right for Trippier but this was the moment for that shocking over-hit cross, which went for a throw on the opposite side. Trippier sunk with shame to his knees. The Spurs crowd groaned at his ineptitude.

Eriksen floated a free kick from deep on the left beyond the back post, and it was met by Toby Alderweireld, but he fired wide into the side netting.

Lacazette was replaced by Aubameyang. Mkhitaryan got Arsenal's first yellow for a cynical foul on Kane not far inside the halfway line. Kane had been getting plenty of rough treatment throughout. Victor Wanyama made way for Erik Lamela, with Eriksen falling back at this stage.

Aubameyang had a god chance for Arsenal following a free kick, but this was blocked. Lamela showed early indiscipline and was booked for a foul on Xhaka. Soon after that Erik had a shot from 25 yards, fed by Sissoko, but that passed wide.

Danny Rose got booked when he over-stretched for the ball inside the 6-yard area making too much contact with Leno. Soon after this, Danny lost the ball inside the Arsenal half. Arsenal were quick to seize upon their opportunities and hit a long ball to Aubameyang, but Sissoko showed great determination, strength and not a little skill in defending the threat.

Spurs had a free kick on the right after a foul on Lamela. Eriksen took the kick and Harry Kane was shoved in the back by Mustafi. Mr. Taylor had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Xhaka was booked, I believe for dissent, and Arsenal claimed that Kane had been offside. No matter, the decision had been made. I liked the psychological battle that preceded the kick in front of the west goal. Kane seemed almost to be facing Leno's left corner and then perhaps made him think he would kick the penalty to his right, but he planted it firmly in Leno's bottom left corner.

Now Spurs' tails were up, and the crowd was at last roaring them on. Llorente replaced Son.

I should point out that at some stage in he second half, Emery switched to a back four with Monreal now on the left and Mustafi on the right. It took a while for Pochettino to respond to this, but in the latter stages he moved Danny Rose into midfield with Vertonghen at left back, and Eriksen left of Rose.

Sadly it was an error by Jan Vertonghen near the halfway line which led to one of those balls for Aubameyang who was allegedly fouled by Davinson Sanchez. A 2-1 defeat looked a certainty, but Aubameyang's kick was weak to the right of Lloris, who saved. To his credit, Vertonghen was the man who prevented Aubameyang's follow-up attempt going in, and Spurs had a corner to defend.

In an extended period of added time, Harry Kane was fouled and Eriksen took the free kick. There were three men at the back post, but none of them could reach and convert the cross. Almost the final piece of action saw Torreira shown a red card for a studs-up challenge upon Danny Rose. The Arsenal man didn't want to go, but it looks like a three match ban will ensue.

So, Spurs have their first Premier League draw of the season, and for a total of 32 league games. It could have been worse. We have to accept it has been a bad week with two defeats and this draw, but we are still four points ahead of the Gooners. Manchester United are one point closer, and we face a twitchy run-in with games at Anfield and Man City yet to come.

Next up is our quest for a Champions League quarter-final place when we go to Dortmund on Tuesday.

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