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Arsenal v Spurs, 24.09.23

Many thanks to Declan Mulcahy for this match report.

Sunday 24 September 2023, 2:00pm
Premier League
Arsenal (1) 2 Tottenham Hotspur (1) 2

Arsenal scorers:-
Romero, 26 o.g
Saka 54 pen

Spurs scorer:-
Son 42, 55

Arsenal (4-3-3): Mikel Arteta
22 D Raya; 4 B White, 2 W Saliba, 6 Gabriel, 35 O Zinchenko; 8 M Odegaard (c), 41 D Rice (20 Jorginho 45), 21 Fabio Vieira (29 K Havertz 45); 7 B Saka (10 E Smith Rowe 90+7), 14 E Nketiah, 9 Gabriel Jesus (24 R Nelson 77)

Subs: 1 A Ramsdale, 15 J Kiwior, 17 C├ędric Soares, 18 T Tomiyasu, 25 M Elneny

Booked: Odegaard (15 ungentlemanly conduct asked referee to book an opponent), Havertz (57 foul on Son), Nketiah (67 foul on Vicario)

Tottenham Hotspur (4-2-3-1):
13 G Vicario; 23 Pedro Porro, 17 C Romero, 37 M van de Ven, 38 D Udogie; 29 P Sarr, 8 Y Bissouma; 21 D Kulusevski, 10 J Maddison (5 P-E Hojbjerg 78); 22 B Johnson (27 M Solomon 63), 7 H-M Son (c) (9 Richarlison 79)

Subs not used: 20 F Forster, 12 Emerson Royal, 33 B Davies, 15 E Dier, 4 O Skipp, 36 A Veliz

Booked: Udogie (15 foul on Saka), Sarr (45+1 foul on Jesus), Bissouma (45+1 dissent), Romero (75 pushed Jesus before corner was taken)
Captain's armband to Romero when Son was substituted

Emirates Stadium, Attendance: 60,156

Referee: Rob Jones
Assistants: Lee Betts, Wade Smith
Fourth Official: Michael Salisbury
VAR: Paul Tierney
Assistant VAR: Harry Lennard

Spurs see the sun with Son double producing an excellent result

Arsenal - 24.09.23

Thanks to Chris Fincham for the picture

Ange Postecoglou had stated in his preview prior to the game. "We're going to go out and play our football" and "You don't grow by being in the shade; you need to stick your head up and see the sun." The Spurs team lived up to his expectations, showed no fear and gave a fine performance at a venue where the results have not been good over the years.

Postecoglou made one change from the victory over Sheffield United with Brennan Johnson replacing Manor Solomon. This was Johnson's full debut. Alejo Veliz made his first appearance on the substitutes bench. Richarlison who had scored the late equaliser last week and then set up the even later winning goal for Kulusevski had to be content with a place on the bench. The corresponding fixture last season had taken place one week later than this year. Only two players remained from last year's starting XI Romero and Son. Postecoglou has fashioned his own team and a very different way of playing.

Arsenal made one change from the win against Everton with Gabriel Jesus replacing the injured Gabriel Martinelli. Leandro Trossard was unavailable due to injury. At this point David Raya on loan from Brentford appears to have displaced Aaron Ramsdale as Arsenal's number one goalkeeper.

From the first minute Spurs played the ball out from the back. Arsenal played a high pressing game. However Spurs showed composure under pressure and moved the ball up the pitch. Over the course of the game Spurs made 65 more passes than their opponents and their accuracy was slightly better 85.7% to 84.6% (see table at the end of the report). Clearly this was a team which wasn't going to allow the opposition to dominate the game despite their home advantage.

Spurs had the first shot when Johnson's effort was deflected for a corner. From the corner Son put the ball in the net but was clearly offside.

Jesus had an angled shot from the left which Vicario saved well.

Most of the Arsenal attacks were coming down the right wing from Saka who was putting quite a bit of pressure on Udogie. After 15 minutes Udogie fouled him. Odegaard immediately held up an imaginary yellow card in front of referee Robert Jones. The latter did book Udogie for the tackle but quite appropriately booked the Arsenal captain for ungentlemanly conduct. The incident must have temporarily upset Udogie because on the resumption of play he attempted a back pass to Vicario which Jesus intercepted but the goalkeeper snuffed out the danger.

A Spurs attack resulted in a Porro cross from the right being deflected. Sarr met it on the edge of the box but his effort was high.

After 25 minutes Odegaard played a nice pass to Saka at the back right hand corner of the box. He unleashed a shot towards the far (left) corner. Romero managed to intercept the shot but deflected it into the near (right) corner of the goal. It totally wrong-footed Vicario who had dived towards the initial direction of the shot. This was the third consecutive league game that Spurs conceded the first goal but they have won two and drawn one of those games.

Then Vieira put in a fine cross from the left towards Jesus who was well-positioned. Van de Ven made a fine interception to deny him. He had earlier made another well-timed tackle moving over to the right side of the box to stop an attack.

Maddison made an uncharacteristic error when Jesus robbed him of the ball in the Spurs box but his effort was high. Had he scored from this good opportunity the outcome might have been different. Odegaard then had a shot comfortably saved by Vicario.

After 37 minutes Son made a solo run down the right before cutting the ball back. It found Johnson whose shot produced a diving save from Raya. It was Spurs first shot on target.

Spurs now had the initiative. A cross from the right was deflected out by Raya to Johnson who had another shot saved. The ball ran loose and was collected by Maddison on the left wing. He rounded Saka and made a run close to the end line. He set up Son who scored with a left-footed shot in off the far (right) post.

In time added on a White tackle on Udogie could have resulted in a booking but didn't. The referee played the advantage. Spurs lost the ball which ended with Sarr fouling Jesus. Sarr was booked for the tackle and Bissouma joined him in the book for dissent.

Mikel Arteta made two changes after the interval with Jorginho replacing Rice and Havertz coming on for Vieira. The first change was due to Rice having sustained a back injury whereas the other was a tactical switch.

Spurs had the first chance of the half when a ball was lofted in the Arsenal box but Maddison couldn't control it.

The action then switched to the Spurs box. Following a corner Spurs failed to clear the ball which fell to White who took a shot. It hit Romero on the arm. It wasn't a deliberate hand ball but his arm was stretched out from his body. VAR advised referee Jones to view the pitch-side monitor. He then awarded a penalty.

Saka stepped up to take the penalty. Vicario dived to his right but Saka sent his shot down the middle of the goal and scored.

Spurs response was emphatic. From the kick-off Maddison robbed Jorginho of the ball in his own half. He set off towards the Arsenal goal with Son in tandem. At the edge of the box they found themselves two-on-one with Saliba. Maddison set up Son on the right of the box and he scored with a right-footed shot the bottom left-hand corner of the goal. Arsenal's lead had lasted for only one minute and thirty-eight seconds. It was Son's 150th competitive goal for the club.

Around the hour-mark Johnson pulled up with what looked like a muscle injury and was replaced by Solomon.

Maddison and Son then played a one-two just outside the Arsenal box but the former's shot was high.

Then Vicario had the ball at his feet in his box. Nketiah came rushing in and felled him after he had released the ball. It wasn't a nice tackle and Nketiah was booked.

Maddison went down with a knee injury in his own half. Play continued and Kulusevski played a good through ball to Son on the right of the box but his shot hit the side-netting. Maddison's injury initially looked as though it might be serious but he continued after treatment.

Spurs had a corner. Romero received a booking for pushing Jesus before the corner was taken.

With a little over ten minutes remaining Nelson replaced Jesus for Arsenal while Postecoglou brought on Hojbjerg and Richarlison for Maddison and Son. The replacement of Spurs two most creative players did allow Arsenal to regain the initiative.

Following an Arsenal corner a van de Ven glancing header went from one goal post to the other before going for a corner. Luckily there was no Arsenal player to attack it. Havertz hit a half-volley from the edge of the box which went over.

As time added on started Arsenal had a series of corners which came to naught. Saka had a shot through a crowded box which Vicario pushed wide.

There were ten minutes of added time but Spurs were never seriously threatened. In contrast a few weeks earlier at the same ground Manchester United conceded two goals in time added-on to lose 3-1.

Though the points were shared Spurs will be happier than Arsenal. They enjoyed more possession, made more passes at a slightly more accurate completion rate and matched their hosts in terms of shots.

Maddison and Son were the outstanding players. Maddison created two superb opportunities for the latter. However Son still had work to do to score the goals and deserves full credit. He has scored five goals in his last three league games. Maddison meanwhile after six games has created more chances and had more shots than Harry Kane did at the same stage last season. So the Son-Maddison combination has lessened the potential impact of the loss of Kane.

The two wide players Johnson and Kulusevski were a constant threat today. Kulusevski has covered more ground than almost any other player in the Premier League to date this season.

Postecoglou has made a major impact after only six league games. He has created a happy team playing very attractive football. They clearly have self-confidence as evidenced by this display away to one of the best teams in the Premier League since the beginning of last season.

Postecoglou told Sky Sports "The character, the belief the team showed, it's the team we want to be. They kept persevering and persevering. There's a will and desire to become the team we want to be which is making sure you're disciplined and buying into the team values."

Arteta commented to same source that "The second goal affected the team emotionally and it became a transitional game, which is a risk if you play against them. Then we lacked the quality in the final third. Credit to them, they have the quality and chances to do that. We have simple giveaways and we didn't do enough in certain areas to spread out in certain areas."

Son is the first Spurs player to score two goals in a league game away to Arsenal since John Hendry in May 1993.

Spurs have scored at least two goals in each of their first six league games since 1965-66 and 1960-61. Postecoglou is only the fourth Premier League manager whose side have scored at least two goals a game in their first half-dozen matches. The other three are Carlo Ancelotti, Pep Guardiola and Craig Shakespeare.

Next weekend Spurs entertain Liverpool who are now in second place in the table to Spurs fourth after this weekend's results. To date Spurs look as though they may be able to mount a challenge for one of the top four positions at the end of the season to qualify for next year's Champions League tournament. A good result next week against Liverpool would help those ambitions.

A                               TH
47      Possession              53
13      Shots                   13
6       Shots on target         5      
370     Passes                  435
313     Passes Completed        373
84.6    % Completion            85.7
11      Corners                 4
12      Fouls                   19
3       Yellow cards            4   

. Spurs record in recent London Derby League matches

. Squad numbers,appearances,bookings & goalscorers
. Read the preview for this game.
. All the Spurs Stats you could hope for here! THFC6061 Sports Stats

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