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Spurs v Arsenal, (PL2 match - 23.10.17)
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]

      Premier League 2, Division 1, 2017-18
        Hotspur Way, Bulls Cross, Enfield
        Monday 23rd October 2017, 12 noon

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

             3(2)              2(2)

       Alfie Whiteman  1  Joao Virginia
         George Marsh  2  Tafari Moore
      Keanan Bennetts  3  Tolaji Bola
         Luke Amos(C)  4  Julio Pleguezuelo(C)
    Christian Maghoma  5  Joseph Olowu
      Japhet Tanganga  6  Zech Medley
      Samuel Shashoua  7  Aaron Eyoma
         Oliver Skipp  8  Charlie Gilmour
      Shayon Harrison  9  Folarin Balogun
       Marcus Edwards 10  Vlad Dragomir
     Anthony Georgiou 11  Tyreece John-Jules

           Jack Roles 12  Harrison Clarke
       Brandon Austin 13  Hugo Keto
     Joseph Pritchard 14  Tobi Omole
            (7)71Mins     (11)74Mins
     Kazaiah Sterling 15  Josh Benson
            Ryan Loft 16  Zak Swanson

       Harrison 10        John-Jules 15
       Shashoua 11        Gilmour 24 (pen)
       Edwards 59 (pen)

       Maghoma 20(Foul)   Bola 65(Foul)
       Shashoua 67(Pull)  Pleguezuelo 66(Foul)
       Amos 76((Pull)     Gilmour 68(Pull)
       Marsh 86(Foul)     Dragomir 72(Foul)

       Wayne Burnett      Steve Gatting

Attendance: 280

Referee: Savvas Yianni
Assistants: Daniel Bonnywell & Dele Sotimirin
Fourth Official: Michael Chard

It was a cool overcast morning at Hotspur Way for this North London Derby. There was a lot riding on this match for both sides. A win for the visitors would see them join Liverpool at the top of the league while Spurs are only above Manchester United at the bottom by goal difference so points are vital to both. Arsenal beat Sunderland 2-0 in their last game while Spurs drew 1-1 with Leicester City. Last season Arsenal did the double over Spurs winning 2-0 both times.

Spurs lined up with Whiteman in goal behind Maghoma and Tanganga with Marsh at right back and Bennetts on the left. Amos and Skipp were in front of them while Shashoua, Edwards and Georgiou were ahead of them in support of Harrison up front. The visitors employed a 4-3-3 formation which reverted to 4-5-1 most of the time when Spurs had possession.

It took a while for the game to settle into a pattern as both sides tested each other out. Spurs scored from the first chance in the game when Edwards played in Harrison to beat the keeper and score. After Arsenal re-started the game they lost the ball to Shashoua who skipped past the centre backs to finish low in the corner for a quickfire two goal lead. It was less than sixty seconds between goals.

The visitors had been content to sit back and break but now came out looking for a response. They got it when a loose ball from Georgiou was picked up by Balogun who got into the area before losing it. It went to Gilmour who struck the left post with his attempt. From the resultant corner Whiteman saved from Medley. Arsenal's next attack was only half cleared and John-Jules hit a wicked drive that flew into the net.

Maghoma was booked in a tussle with Balogun which saw Whiteman save from Medley following the free kick. Arsenal were awarded a penalty for handball by Tanganga when the defender stooped to head the ball away. He did not make good contact and the ball hit his arm. Gilmour beat the keeper to his left to draw the visitors level. Arsenal retreated to their defensive formation and let Spurs attack them. Edwards fired well over before Skipp got forward to play in Harrison who fired wide. Harrison played a one-two with Edwards to get through but steered the ball wide as the half ended.

There were no changes for the start of the second half which saw the visitors looking to press high. John-Jules made a good run through the right channel to draw a save from Whiteman before Spurs made their first change. Sterling replaced Georgiou and went up front with Harrison dropping into midfield. Sterling was played in and tripped by Olowu in the area to win a penalty. Edwards stepped up to curl it into the left side for Spurs to regain the lead.

Skipp made a great run from his own half to the Arsenal area before playing in Shashoua but Virginia was out quickest to the ball. We then had a crazy spell of four bookings in the space of four minutes as the visitors tried to turn things round. Bola was first for fouling Edwards as he shielded the ball on the right flank. Pleguezuelo was next for diving in on Bennetts as he ran onto a loose ball. Shashoua was the third, tackling back after losing the ball on the right. Gilmour then went into the book for fouling Skipp as he drove through the middle.

Dragomir fired over before Spurs made their second change which saw Pritchard replace Shashoua in the middle. Pritchard's first action was to pick up the ball and run at the Arsenal defence which prompted Dragomir to stop him at the expense of a yellow card. Arsenal made a change of their own taking off the pacy John-Jules and going all out for goal. Gilmour fired over before Amos was booked for a pull. Balogun headed wide from a corner before Spurs sent on Loft in place of Harrison to go up front as they looked to see out the game.

Marsh was booked for a foul on Bola before Spurs could have killed them off when Sterling laid the ball off for Skipp to run from the halfway line into the visitors' area but he lost control at the vital moment. Spurs saw out the five minutes of added time to claim victory in the first derby of the season.

This was a good performance from Spurs against the old enemy. They worked hard chasing everything. Arsenal were not very adventurous but were quick to counter attack when they won the ball. They should not have got the penalty for handball in the first half which got them back from two goals down to two all. This was only Spurs' second win and moves them up to ninth in the table with a trip to Pride Park on Friday to play Derby County who lost at Manchester City last week and are now only a point above Spurs.


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