Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey Premier League Match Report - Spurs v Arsenal, 28.04.24
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Spurs v Arsenal, 28.04.24


Spurs scorers:-
Romero, 64
Son (pen), 87

Arsenal scorers:-
Hojbjerg (o.g.), 15
Saka, 27
Havertz, 38

Attendance:- 61,554

Referee:- Michael Oliver
Assistants:- Stuart Burt, Dan Cook
Fourth official:- Andy Madley
VAR:- Jarred Gillett
Assistant VAR:- Darren Cann

Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Vicario; Pedro Porro, Romero, Van de Ven, Davies (sub Lo Celso, 87); Bentancur (sub Sarr, 46), Hojbjerg (sub Bissouma, 64); Kulusevski, Maddison (sub Richarlison, 64), Werner (sub Johnson, 31); Son (Capt.)

Subs not used:- Austin; Dragusin, Emerson Royal; Gil

Booked:- Kulusevski (foul on Martinelli), Davies (foul on Saka)

Arsenal (4-3-3):- Raya; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tomiyasu; Odegaard (Capt.) (sub Kiwior, 89), Partey, Rice; Saka, Havertz, Trossard (sub Martinelli, 63)
(Armband to Saka)

Subs not used:- Ramsdale; Zinchenko; Smith-Rowe, Jorginho, Fabio Vieira; Nketiah, Gabriel Jesus

Booked:- Partey (foul on Son)

Brazen, confident, and clinical Arsenal win again.

Spurs v Arsenal, 28.04.24

We witnessed a once in 36 years phenomenon yesterday as Arsenal won back to back league games at Tottenham for the first time since 1987 and 1988. That 1988 defeat was also a 3-2 when all the goals came in the first half. On that occasion our nemesis won 5 consecutive league and cup games at White Hart Lane. We must hope that this victory does not herald a league title or another period of dominance over Spurs.

Yesterday, Arsenal fans were brazen. I can't recall so many shiny red and white scarves being openly displayed on their way to the ground, and of course those colours became more and more prevalent in the away section as the game progressed.

Arriving and leaving at the top of the league, Mikel Arteta's men were confident, and clinical in front of goal, assisted by poor Spurs defending, particularly at corners. We even set them on their way with an own goal by Hojbjerg, who had started a Premier League game for only the seventh time this season and for the first time since 3rd February at Goodison Park.

We actually scored more goals than Arsenal (with the own goal included) and while we can say we won the second half and made our opponents sweat on the result towards the end, it was all too little, too late. It is always depressing to lose, more so to Arsenal, of course, and I certainly cannot remember Spurs ever being three-up at half-time at their place.

Tottenham was heaving for hours before this keenly anticipated game and the police were out in force. As always, these days, there were plenty of South Korean fans out to see their hero - our captain - Heung min Son and they would be rewarded with seeing him fire home a powerful penalty three minutes from time.

I had been hoping to see Richarlison lead the line and our two goals did follow his arrival and that of Bissouma for Hojbjerg. If you were looking for the best example of leadership within the team, then Romero was a fine example, especially when he raced forward and took advantage of Raya's gifted pass to score our first goal.

I had also hoped for a change of strategy by Ange Postecoglou, but he stuck with the usual formation and replaced the injured Udogie with Ben Davies. We paid for that ultimately when Davies was unable to twist and turn in tune with Saka when he scored Arsenal's second goal.

On-pitch announcer Paul Coyte fired up the home crowd by quoting Bill Nicholson, stating that the two games in a season we needed to win most were those against Arsenal. Spurs kicked off and played towards the North Stand.

There were early good defensive moments for Kulusevski, Romero and Davies in our half before Bentancur won the ball in midfield and provoked an attack with Hojbjerg denied a foul as the attack fizzled out. On the whole I would say that Spurs moved the ball forward more, but I don't recall Raya having to make a save in the first half.

Bentancur fed Werner on the left, but his cross was held by Raya. That strength would often be displayed by the Arsenal keeper when Johnson replaced Werner, who suffered a first half injury.

Odegaard took a free kick which was blocked by the Spurs wall, and after Trossard lost the ball in his area under Spurs pressure, Maddison fired over. Arsenal had the ball in the net when Havertz's shot went in off Vicario, but provider Odegaard had been offside, so there was no goal.

Arsenal had a corner after a shot by Saka was blocked. It was from this corner, taken from the right, that Hojbjerg headed into his own net from the near post. Spurs won a corner on the left at the other end, taken by Maddison and headed wide by Romero, but there had been a foul anyway on an Arsenal player. Romero came close soon after, when he hit his close range header against the outside of the post from a Maddison free kick.

We thought we had equalised after another Maddison corner when the ball ran out to Pedro Porro, whose shot seemed to have been half-blocked and ran through to reach Micky van de Ven who fired home and celebrated with gusto. Everybody moved to the centre for a restart but ultimately, VAR found Micky had been marginally offside.

Arsenal's second goal followed another Spurs attack where both Kulusevski and Maddison went down in the Arsenal area but drew no interest from Michael Oliver, who was refereeing his seventh North London Derby. Arsenal broke out quickly. Havertz found Saka with a long pass from the left. The Arsenal number seven turned inside Davies with too much ease and was able to pick his spot to the right of Vicario.

Arsenal fans were crowing and chanted "Cheer up Postecoglou." (Remember Peter Reid?) I won't quote another chant they were directing at Spurs by the time they were three up, except to say it went, "You'll always be...." Oh, for the chance to us to dominate against them at home or away. It happens all too rarely, although Conte's 3-0 two years ago was nice.

It wasn't evident to us at the time but replays and analysis have pointed to dark arts by Ben White, who was hampering Vicario at Arsenal corners. Such was the case when Havertz was able to score with a header from another corner before half-time. Spurs defend zonally and Arsenal players begin such situations in a pack at the back of goal before making their runs to various positions.

Son collected a good long ball from Pedro Porro before the break but fired over.

Bentancur was replaced by Sarr at the break and Arsenal kicked off. Tomiyasu had an early header go over the bar from a Declan Rice free kick. Romero went close with a header from a Kulusevski cross. Kulusevski subsequently made a run into the box and went down under Gabriel's challenge but again got no joy from the referee.

Vicario made a great reaction save with his outstretched leg to deny Saka at close range. Nothing came from the corner. Johnson made a good run after taking a pass from Sarr and also won a corner. Pedro Porro pushed a shot wide at the end of a move involving Sarr and Kulusevski.

Arteta replaced Trossard with Martinelli whilst Richarlison and Bissouma replaced Maddison and Hojbjerg, respectively. No sooner had the substitutions been made when Romero drove forward to feed Richarlison and was rewarded when Raya gifted him the ball. Romero coolly hit a right-footed shot past the keeper and inside his right post.

Richarlison was now leading the line with Johnson switching to the right, Kulusevski in the middle and Son on the left. Spurs were at last showing some fight and intent and the crowd got behind them. Those Arsenal fans fell silent towards the end. If only we had played the first half as well, but how often have we said that this season.

Romero had been involved in the attack which preceded the award of a penalty by Declan Rice upon Davies just inside the Arsenal area. Mr. Oliver initially ignored this, but he was ultimately called to the monitor and awarded a penalty which "Sonny" confidently fired home into Raya's top right corner. It was Son's second penalty goal of the season and his sixteenth league goal, making 119 Premier League and 161 club goals in all.

Much as we tried, we couldn't get close enough to the goal again and Arsenal held out for a crucial win, which they celebrated with their fans at length.

Champions League is highly unlikely for Spurs now, but if we can beat Burnley and Sheffield United then fifth place is guaranteed. Next up though is a trip to Stamford Bridge on Thursday against a Chelsea side which has hit a bit of form recently.

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