Arsenal (1) – (1) Tottenham Hotspur
The Emirates Stadium, London
Last night was not a good performance, and Tottenham still couldn’t beat us!
After a bright opening 15 minutes, Spurs pretty much controlled the game and we stuggled to create any real chances in the entire 90 minutes.
If Spurs can’t beat us when we play like that, then they never will.
They even dropped Paul Robinson and had Ledley King back, but still they couldn’t hold on for the win.
With Senderos and Djourou starting together for the first time you could see the defence struggling throughout the first half, as Berbatov single-handedly ripped our backline time after time. We were fortunate when Spurs kept wasting their opportunities but on 36 minutes our luck ran out as Jenas was left with a simple tap in to score from close range.
Replays showed that Arsenal had held a perfect line – except for Senderos that is who was 4 yards behind the other players and kept Robbie Keane onside. I would rather have Djourou alongside Gallas for the next month, and the wrong player was taken off at half-time.
So Djourou was replaced with Sagna at the break and Hoyte was pushed into the middle. And Eduardo came on for the rusty Van Persie.
And Bacary Sagna made a huge different.
After a disjointed first half, Sagna added some stability and fight to the team. He was Arsenal’s Man of the Match and he only played 45 minutes.
The midfield was suffering, and it’s so sad to say it but Gilberto looked completely lost. Denilson was trying to run the midfield by himself and was crowded out, and Diaby and Theo just couldn’t get into the game. You saw it before the match even started – not being a first team regular really has effected Gilberto and most of the time he looks depressed, and it’s effecting him on the pitch. He’s never been the best passer of the ball, but he lost the ball on far too many occassions last night.
Am I right in thinking that we have yet to win a game this season when Gilberto starts? There was last night, the Champions League game against Sevilla and then the matches in the North East against Newcastle and Middlesbrough.
Diaby and Traore seemed to have a personal competition going with each other to see who can beat the most players without actually passing the ball. It got pretty boring after the first 10 minutes but they kept trying it throughout the match.
I can’t remember when an Arsenal side lost the ball so cheaply and so often than they did last night.
With the midfield struggling, Arsenal’s forwards rarely got the ball and Bendtner and Eduardo couldn’t impose themselves in the game – and the same was for Van Persie in the first half. Things opened up in the last 10 minutes when Theo ‘scored’ the equaliser and it was a really fantastic throughball from Eduardo to put him through.
It was a strange game yesterday. The kids are usually fearless and have brilliant movement and a high passing tempo but it seemed to stall last night. I suppose we have to give credit to Spurs (unfortunately) who did have their strongest possible team out. And after being beaten by Arsene twice this season already Juande Ramos was always going to make sure his side didn’t lose again.
1-1 is a decent result, because Arsenal WILL score at White Hart Lane and if Arsenal score twice in the second leg it’s pretty much game over.