The Halloween Frights Come Early As The Arsenal Self-Destruct (w/ Player Ratings)

Arsenal (4) – (4) Tottenham Hotspur
Silvestre (37′), Gallas (46′), Adebayor (64′), Van Persie (68′)
The Emirates Stadium, London

Well first of all what a game.

David Bentley scored the opener with a stunning effort on 13 minutes, and that seemed to set the tone of the game. The ball was bouncing around in midfield and Bentley controlled the ball with his first touch and volleyed in a speculative effort from 43 yards with his second. While it was a fantastic piece of vision you really thought Almunia should have parried the ball wide rather than try and tip it over the bar when you see how low it dipped into the net.

From then on Spurs sat back and tried to get us on the break.

And as if to keep with the Halloween theme it was the Addams Family’s very own Gomes who seemed to continue his very own personal nightmare from crosses. As the Arsenal pressure mounted it took a corner from Van Persie to get the equaliser. His dipping cross was headed in by Silvestre after Gomes was in no mans land.

Then the second half saw Arsenal take the lead after only 50 seconds of the restart, again after a fantastic corner from Van Persie. William Gallas connected well with it and while Gomes got a hand on the ball it wasn’t strong enough to keep out the header.

With the game at 2-1, it took another 20 minutes before we saw another goal. In between though, Adebayor had a fantastic chance to score when he flashed his effort wide of the left post and Bentley had a low shot well saved by Almunia.

And then on 64 minutes the game burst into life.

A simply stunning through ball from Van Persie made it through to Nasri who found himself through on goal. His chipped effort beat Gomes but it took the finish from Adebayor to make sure it made it into the net. And with that you thought the game was over.

Like hell it was.

In a hectic period, Almunia made a howler from a Huddlestone effort when he pushed the ball straight to Darren Bent to score a simple tap in. Luckily Spurs were also in a generous mood as Alan Hutton passed the ball to Adebayor who played in Van Persie to emphatically smash the ball home.

4-2 and Arsenal were cruising, so Wenger brings off Walcott, Van Persie and Nasri to rest them for the weekend. Maybe they should have stayed on a little longer.

Because in the last 5 minutes Arsenal were all over the place.

Call it inexperience, call it poor concentration – the last few minutes of the game were unacceptable and really re-enforce the fact that this set of players isn’t up to mounting a real title challenge. What happened was just insane, and Arsene must be absolutely fuming.

On 89 minutes, Clichy dawdled on the ball and slipped letting in Jenas to run on goal. He waltzed through without anyone putting in a proper challenge and he curled the ball with his left foot into the corner.

Then when you thought Arsenal would have learnt their lesson, they just simply lost the plot. Instead of holding onto the ball they tried to pass it around and continually gave away possession. Then on 93 minutes, a shot from Modric deflected off Silvestre, and Lennon creeped in score the equaliser and make it 4-4.

Player Ratings

Manuel Almuna: 5/10
Was out of sorts today. Could have done a lot better with Bentley’s pop shot and gifted Darren Bent of all people a simple tap in. Unlucky with the final equaliser but that summed up his day.

Bacary Sagna: 7/10
Solid as usual and can’t really be blamed for any of the goals.

Mikael Silvestre: 7/10
Did well to score his goal but looked shaky alongside Gallas at the back, but then again who doesn’t? Not the quickest player and got caught on a few occasions.

William Gallas: 7/10
Had his usual strop at full-time but did score a vital goal. Should probably concentrate on defending a bit more though.

Gael Clichy: 8/10
Once again was full of running and yet again put in a fantastic performance. Made a mistake to let in Jenas which opened up the floodgates.

Theo Walcott: 8/10
Caused Spurs all kinds of problems on the right and you could tell the dynamic of the game changed once he came off.

Denilson: 7/10
Popped the ball around well but seemed to struggle near the end.

Cesc Fabregas: 7/10
Put in another decent performance but hasn’t seemed to reached top gear since coming back from the European Championships.

Samir Nasri: 7/10
Looked bright at times but always on the periphery.

Robin Van Persie: 9/10
Arsenal’s best player by a mile. Lively, inventive and always a threat. Made Arsenal’s first two goals and scored a fantastic effort to seemingly kill off the match. The team lost their killer instinct once he game off.

Emmanuel Adebayor: 7/10
Never really in the game. Poor touch throughout and really should have scored more than the one goal after wasting a couple of decent opportunities.