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Arsenal v Spurs (PL2), 31.08.18
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]

 
      Premier League 2, First Division 2018-19
                 Emirates Stadium
           Friday 31st August 2018, 7pm

             ARSENAL     v     SPURS
           (Red/White)      (White/Blue)
             4-2-3-1          4-2-3-1

               2(1)             1(0)

      Emiliano Martinez  1  Brandon Austin
           Joseph Olowu  2  Brooklyn Lyons-Foster
            Tolaji Bola  3  Jaden Brown
        Charlie Gilmour  4  Oliver Skipp
          Danny Ballard  5  Japhet Tanganga
     Julio Pleguezuelo(C)6  Timothy Eyoma
         Xavier Amaechi  7  Paris Maghoma
         Joseph Willock  8  George Marsh(C)
     Tyreece John-Jules  9  Troy Parrott
         James Olayinka 10  Shayon Harrison
       Emile Smith-Rowe 11  Tashan Oakley-Boothe

              Ben Sheaf 12  Jack Roles
              (2)51Mins     (8)62Mins
         Arthur Okonkwo 13  Charlie Freeman
          Robbie Burton 14  Jonathan Dinzeyi
              (8)87Mins     (2)79Mins
            Bukayo Saka 15  Dylan Duncan
             (11)62Mins
        Folarin Balogun 16  J'Neill Bennett
                            (11)46Mins

Scorers:-
        Willock 2           Brown 90+4
        John-Jules 58

Booked:-
        Bola 84(Late)       Brown 56(Foul)
     Pleguezuelo 84(UGC)    Roles 72(Foul)
     Burton 90+6(Foul)      Tanganga 78(Foul)

Sent Off:-
                            Parrott 84 (Violent conduct)

Coaches:-
     Freddie Ljungberg      Wayne Burnett

Attendance: 1422

Referee: Adrian Quelch
Assistants: Anthony Pope & Gary Jordan
Fourth Official: Tim Donnellan 

Spurs travelled to Arsenal on a cool evening to play the League Champions in the North London Derby. The champions have not made a good start to their defence losing 6-5 to Manchester City and being held to a draw by Brighton. Spurs themselves have not started well either, having only picked up two points from three games. One of those was a 1-1 draw at Liverpool when they played almost the entire game with ten players when Tanganga was sent off in the opening minutes. Spurs did the double over Arsenal last season winning 3-2 at Hotspur Way and 3-1 at Borehamwood.

Spurs lined up with Austin in goal behind Tanganga and Eyoma (I swear they had the wrong shirts on again) with Lyons-Foster at right back and Brown on the left. Skipp and Marsh anchored the midfield with Maghoma ahead of them flanked by Harrison on the right and Oakley-Boothe on the left in support of Parrott up front.

Spurs again started badly as they defended the "Clock" (Ed:- ?) end where the Spurs fans were located. The 1882 group kept up the noise in a near empty stadium but the pace of Willock on the left was too much for Brown and Eyoma so an early switch by the Centre-backs saw Eyoma move to his favoured right side.

The hosts took an early lead when John-Jules crossed from the left for Willock to score. Spurs gradually got into the game and actually had more possession than the "Gunners" who looked to counter quickly.

Austin saved from Amaechi when Smith-Rowe played him in. The Spurs keeper also saved from Willock before he came out of his area and lost out to Smith-Rowe who put the ball into the net but was ruled offside by the assistant referee. Gilmour headed over from a free kick as a dull first half continued to half-time.

Spurs replaced Oakley-Boothe with Bennett for the start of the second half and he showed his pace with an early run down the wing before his effort was blocked. The hosts lost Olowu to injury early as the game continued with Spurs having the lion's share of possession without creating chances and Arsenal making chances from little as when Smith-Rowe broke down the left before hitting the far post with his effort.

Parrott headed wide from a deep cross by Marsh for Spurs' first real chance. Parrott had been on the receiving end of some physical challenges without any help from the referee which may have led to his behaviour later. Brown was the first name in the ref's book for a foul on Amaechi which was just before Willock got down the left and crossed for John-Jules to get Arsenal's second goal.

Spurs immediately made their second change with the more attacking Roles replacing Marsh in midfield.

John-Jules put a cross from Amaechi over the bar before Olayinka played in sub Saka to draw a save from Austin. Roles' combative nature saw him booked for a foul on Gilmour before Saka made a run into the area with Tanganga making a sliding tackle to prevent him shooting. The referee awarded a penalty and booked the defender. Gilmour stepped up and hit the penalty to Austin's right but the keeper guessed right and saved.

Spurs reacted to the penalty by taking off Lyons-Foster for Dinzeyi who went into the centre with Eyoma reverting to right back. We then had a mass set-to which started when Bola was late in on Roles who reacted by pushing the defender. As the players began to move away Parrott shoved Gilmour in the chest to the ground and had to be pulled away by a furious Maghoma who knew what was going to happen. The referee sent Parrott off and booked Bola for the late change and Pleguezuelo for his part in the melee.

Harrison went up front but Arsenal were now able to have more possession. John-Jules headed wide from a Saka cross and Austin saved a strike by Amaechi also from a Saka cross. Deep into five minutes of added time Spurs got forward and Harrison played in Brown who was coming in from the left. Brown's low shot beat Martinez for 2-1. With Spurs' hopes rising Burton was booked, preventing Spurs from mounting a counter attack in the last minute.

It was a funny game in that Spurs had most possession doing little with it and Arsenal used counter-attacking to create chances when usually you would expect it to be the other way round. Spurs are starting games badly and were punished in a forgettable first half of few chances in this one. Spurs missed the dribbling of Edwards or Shashoua to open up the home defence after they went out on loan earlier in the week. Hopefully Tracey will be fit for the visit of Manchester City in a fortnight's time as Parrott will be with the U-18's. Arsenal move up to second in the table as Manchester City crashed 5-0 at Brighton while Spurs are in the relegation zone. Next week Spurs will field an U-21 team in the Checkatrade Trophy at Crawley Town where they may have a new manager to impress.

Ray

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