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Arsenal v Spurs, 01.10.22


Arsenal scorers:-
Jesus, 49
Xhaka, 67

Spurs scorer:-
Kane (pen), 31


Referee:- Anthony Taylor
Assistants:- Gary Beswick, Lee Betts
Fourth official:- Robert Jones
VAR:- Jarred Gillett
Assistant VAR:- Timothy Wood

Arsenal (4-2-3-1):- Ramsdale; White (sub Tomiyasu, 89), Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko (sub Tierney, 73); Partey (sub Lokonga, 73), Xhaka; Saka, Odegaard (Capt.) (sub Vieira, 80), Martinelli; Jesus (sub Nketiah, 80)
(Armband to Xhaka)

Subs not used:- Turner; Holding; Nelson, Marquinhos

Booked:- Saliba (foul on Bentancur), Martinelli (foul on Doherty)

Spurs (3-4-3):- Lloris (Capt.); Romero, Dier, Lenglet (sub Sanchez, 71); Emerson Royal, Bentancur, Hojbjerg (sub Skipp, 75), Perisic (sub Bissouma, 71); Richarlison (sub Sessegnon, 71), Kane, Son (sub Doherty, 72)

Subs not used:- Forster; Spence; Sarr, Gil

Booked:- Dier (foul on Nketiah)

Sent off:- Emerson Royal – 62 mins – dangerous foul on Martinelli

The usual result then

Arsenal - 01.10.22

Thanks to Cassim Patel for the picture

Defeat away to Arsenal comes as no surprise when we have only managed two away wins in 30 previous Premier League games, but of course it is always depressing. Under pressure early in the game before succumbing to an excellent Thomas Partey goal after 20 minutes, Spurs clawed their way back through a Harry Kane penalty and began the second half on level terms. That didn’t last long though as Jesus regained the lead for the home side after Hugo Lloris spilled a Saka shot and allowed an involuntary rebound off Romero through his hands. Spurs troubles increased when referee Anthony Taylor showed Emerson Royal a straight red card for what was deemed dangerous foul play upon Martinelli in the 62nd minute. Antonio Conte had yet to make his defensive adjustments before Xhaka increased Arsenal’s lead and secured the win which took them clear at the top of the table. Spurs lost their 13-game unbeaten run in the Premier League and once again left The Emirates with their tails between their legs. Not many Spurs fans stayed to witness the last rites of this game.

Spurs’ big absences were those of Kulusevski, who returned injured from international duty, and Ben Davies who was inured before that break. Son started in the front three and Lenglet played on the left of the back three.

Spurs kicked off, playing away from their fans and enjoyed perhaps half a minute of possession in the Arsenal half before they were on the back foot in their own half. Xhaka took a long throw from the left which was turned into the 6-yard box and cleared by Lenglet. Lloris punched the resulting corner clear. After an Arsenal cross from the right, Martinelli’s right foot shot seemed to go out of play off the post but a corner was awarded. After a poor attempt to play out from the back Arsenal returned and Xhaka tried a cheeky back-heel which he put wide. Lloris then tried a long kick which didn’t even reach the halfway line and again Spurs fell under pressure. Arsenal were buzzing and knew our play-out game, putting pressure on us in our own half. There were fouls either way between Dier and Gabriel Jesus in the middle.

Spurs finally managed a decent play-out move through Richarlison, Kane and Emerson before Kane won a free kick in the opposition half. Son swung in the kick and Dier flicked the ball into Richarlison’s path, forcing a good save by Ramsdale from our Ł60 million signing. A shot by Ben White at the other end was well over after Partey’s pass inside. Xhaka had a good shot pass just wide of Lloris’s left post.

It came as no surprise when the home side took the lead in the 20th minute. Saka had passed pack to White who fed the ball inside to Partey who hit a 22-yard shot inside Hugo’s left post. It was unstoppable.

Hugo started to hit a few more long balls and we managed to attack more. Richarlison tried a nice ball for Son, but it just ran to the goalkeeper first. Emerson defended well inside his area from Jesus after good play by Martinelli. Perisic had a good chance, but hit his shot wide after good play where Spurs swiftly moved the ball from the far right across the area. Another good move featured Kane and Son, but a ball by the latter took Richarlison just too far to the right of the area. After his cross and a half-clearance, Richarlison had the ball again and he was tripped inside the area by Gabriel. Harry Kane had to deal with a delay because of jousting for position on the edge of the “D” featuring Emerson and two opponents, but ultimately he coolly scored down the middle after Ramsdale had dived to the right. The goal took Harry clear in the lead over Thierry Henry with 44 London Derby goals in the Premier League.

After a corner from the right taken by Perisic, Ramsdale slapped the ball away for a Spurs throw on the other side. Richarlison had a shot blocked just inside the box and the Arsenal defence looked a little twitchy for a short period. Son and Richarlison combined again before Perisic crossed and a Kane diving header was held by Ramsdale.

As half-time loomed, Lloris made a great save at close range from Gabriel Jesus who had twisted and turned his way past Emerson and Romero.

The first 45 minutes had been a “game of two halves” and we had hope for the second. Romero made a great forward run after he had defended an Arsenal attack. Kane found him with a great forward pass, but Romero was blocked and Arsenal cleared. Our hopes dissipated when Saka hit a left footed shot which Hugo not only spilled but allowed to run too far forward. Romero could do nothing and the ball rebounded beneath Hugo with Jesus snapping up the loose ball. Arsenal’s fans were crowing just as much as we had in May.

Spurs had a corner on the left, taken by Son and half-cleared to Hojbjerg whose shott was way off target. Zinchenko passed inside to Xhaka at the other end and his short cross was headed wide by Jesus. Richarlison hit a clever ball forward for Kane, but Harry could not quite gain full control of his opportunity.

At this point you’d have fancied us to score an equaliser, but Spurs’ hopes were dashed when Martinelli was felled (and probably made a bit of a meal of it) when challenged by Emerson. Emerson’s initial challenge seemed to brush Martinelli slightly high but then his foot followed through onto his ankle.

There had probably been just one opportunity for Antonio Conte to compensate for the loss of a defender, but before he did, Saka hit a shot wide and Spurs left too much space for Xhaka to score with a left footed shot left of Lloris after Martinelli’s short pass.

Now Spurs did make changes – four at this stage – clearly designed to prevent a further deficit to their goal difference. The formation became a 5-3-1.

There was little action of significance after Arsenal’s third goal. Saliba was shown the first yellow card of the game for a foul on Bentancur who had made a good run to take on a ball by Sessegnon. After a short touch to Kane, his shot was blocked. Martinelli was booked for halting a Matt Doherty run. Lloris had to make a good diving save from a Tierney shot and in added time Dier was also shown yellow for holding back Nketiah.

Spurs’ next game is in Frankfurt on Tuesday and Conte was clearly protecting key players for that game with his substitutions. Our trip to Brighton next Saturday tea-time will be tough as well.

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