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Arsenal 2-0 Tottenham
17.10 – Hello, and welcome to our liveblog of the North London derby.
Interesting contrast between the two managers in the pre-match interview — Tim Sherwood calls it “the most important game of the season” for Tottenham, whereas Arsene Wenger suggests it is “the same” as any other game.
17.11 – Here are the teams for today’s game:
ARSENAL: Fabianski, Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Monreal, Arteta, Wilshere, Rosicky, Cazorla, Gnabry, Walcott.
TOTTENHAM: Lloris; Walker, Chiriches, Dawson, Rose; Lennon, Bentaleb, Dembele, Eriksen; Adebayor, Soldado.
17.15 – Ireland assistant boss Roy Keane is on punditry duty for ITV.
No Irish players involved today though, unfortunately.
17.15 – We’re underway…
17.18 – Good attacking start from Spurs.
They win a corner early on that comes to nothing, before Koscielny has to make a good tackle to stop the onrushing Adebayor on the break.
17.22 – Gnabry gets to the by-line and crosses to Walcott, who can’t quite make proper contact with the ball, slicing his shot away from goal in the process.
Meanwhile, Monreal has done well to shepherd Lennon, causing the winger to over-run the ball out of play. The battle between those two could be key today, and Wenger will no doubt be aware of how influential Lennon was at Old Trafford during the week.
Great, high-tempo start to this game.
17.25 – The ball breaks in Eriksen’s favour — he outsprints Sagna, but his finish is poor, as Fabianski parries it away for a corner.
That was a big chance for Tottenham.
17.28 – Quick break from Arsenal and Walcott produces a powerful strike that Lloris manages to tip away for a corner.
They don’t look like two teams who have played an excessive amount of games in recent weeks, as the pace of the game so far has been considerable.
17.31 – Walcott again curls a shot just wide.
Seconds later, Gnabri hits a shot from just outside the box narrowly over the bar.
Arsenal are well on top at the moment. Spurs, who have 19-year-old Bentaleb making his full debut in midfield, are struggling to cope with Arsenal’s extra man in midfield.
17.33 – A look at the recent history between the sides…
(PA Graphics/PA Graphics/Press Association Images)
17.36 – Tottenham’s first attack in a while results in Dembele being taken down by Vermaelen just outside the box. The Belgian defender is booked for his infringement.
Eriksen then powers the ensuing free kick narrowly over.
Down the other end, Cazorla curls a strike just wide.
17.41 – Theo Walcott seemingly breaks the Tottenham offside trap, however his finish is weak and straight at Lloris.
Arsenal still much the better team in recent minutes.
17.43 – Nothing like a bit of topical humour…
17.46 – Chiriches has just needlessly chipped the ball out of play.
Tottenham look a little rattled at the moment, and continue to be over-worked in midfield.
17.46 – GOAL FOR ARSENAL!
17.48 – Arsenal 1-0 Spurs: Gnabry plays through Cazorla and the Spaniard makes no mistake with his powerful finish into the corner of the net (31 mins).
That’s been coming for a while.
17.51 – Great break from Tottenham and Walker is played through down the right, however the Englishman’s cross is poor, and Arsenal clear.
It would be a major surprise if there wasn’t at least one more goal in this game.
17.53 – More intricate passing from Arsenal around the edge of the area results in Wilshere getting to the by-line and crossing straight into Lloris’ arms.
Surely Tim Sherwood needs to make changes at half-time to curb Arsenal’s dominance.
17.56 – Wilshere and Dembele have already had a number of aggressive verbal clashes on the pitch.
Watch this space.
18.01 – A dangerous free-kick narrowly eludes the onrushing Sagna, as Arsenal marginally fail to double their advantage.
Down the other end, Soldado flashes a shot just wide.
18.02 – HALF-TIME: ARSENAL 1-0 TOTTENHAM
18.05 – A good illustration of the starkly different footballing philosophies of the two managers in question.
18.10 – So at half-time, Arsenal deservedly lead 1-0.
Tim Sherwood may have to swallow his pride and revert to 4-5-1 at half-time.
Tottenham have had a few half-chances, but for the most part, Arsenal have been dominant, showing the type of technical excellence and intelligent play for which Arsene Wenger sides are renowned.
Roy Keane, unsurprisingly, reckons Spurs need to “make some tackles”.
18.13 – Here’s a look at the goal that separates the sides.
YouTube credit: Best FVi
18.16 – Mertesacker is replacing Vermaelen, who has reportedly picked up a knock.
If anything, that should improve the Gunners defence.
18.17 – The second half has begun…
18.19 – Straight away, Adebayor gets away from Koscielny, but Monreal is on hand to clear for a corner.
Tottenham then try to score a Scholes-style goal, with Eriksen finding Soldado from the corner, but the Spaniard blasts his volley well over.
18.22 – Tottenham have been better in the second half.
Tim Sherwood’s side have been more positive in their approach and have consequently seen a lot of the ball.
(Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla scores his team’s opening goal — Adam Davy/PA Wire/Press Association Images)
18.28 – More swift passing from Tottenham ends disappointingly with Soldado dragging his subsequent shot just wide.
Meanwhile, Theo Walcott has gone down holding his ankle following a clumsy challenge by Chiriches. He appears to be alright though.
18.31 – Adebayor has been poor enough today.
The striker has just scuffed a chance from close range and has given the ball away more often than not.
18.33 – Cazorla plays a lovely ball through to Walcott, who rounds the goalkeeper, but can only find the side-netting.
18.33 – GOAL FOR ARSENAL!
18.36 – Arsenal 2-0 Tottenham: Danny Rose has what can best be described as ‘a rush of blood to head’ (60 mins).
Despite being the last man, he tries to turn away from Rosicky, and loses the ball.
The midfielder then calmly runs through on goal and slots it past Lloris into the net.
18.38 – Tottenham have taken off Soldado and brought on Chadli, finally reverting to a 4-5-1 in the process.
It could be a case of damage limitation for Sherwood’s side now.
18.41 – Dembele has a pot shot, which Fabianski does well to gather.
Tottenham have looked a bit more solid since the goal, though perhaps it’s more a case of Arsenal taking their foot off the pedal.
18.44 – Shouts for a penalty, as Monreal appears to impede Walker, but Mark Clattenburg waves away Tottenham’s claims.
Meanwhile, Arsenal make a defensive-minded change, as Flamini replaces Wilshere.
18.45 – Here’s a look at that Rosicky goal.
YouTube credit: AllGoals HD
18.48 – Overly casual defending by Chiriches, as he gives it away on the edge of Tottenham’s area.
Thankfully for him, Walcott curls the ensuing strike just wide.
18.52 – It’s been a frustrating day so far for this man (Adam Davy/PA Wire/Press Association Images).
18.55 – Tottenham have actually been on top in the last few minutes and have passed the ball well.
Meanwhile, Theo Walcott is carried off injured, and he appears to taunt the Tottenham fans in front of him by giving a rather enthusiastic thumbs up as he does so.
18.57 – Tottenham don’t look unlike the side under AVB now.
They have five in midfield and are playing some good football, but don’t really look like scoring.
19.00 – The influential Santi Cazorla deservedly wins the man-of-the-match award from ITV’s Andy Townsend.
It is game that has undoubtedly been won by Arsenal in midfield.
19.02 – Lloris makes a good save to stop Arsenal from scoring a third, through substitute Ozil’s shot across goal.
Five minutes of stoppage time will be played.
19.05 – After some good build-up play, Rose turns the defender and slips as he shoots.
His effort deflects off another Spurs play and goes harmlessly wide, epitomising Spurs’ woe in the process.
19.07 – FULL-TIME: ARSENAL 2-0 TOTTENHAM
19.18 – So that’s it. Arsenal win 2-0 and the only positive for Spurs is that they didn’t lose by more.
The Gunners were well on top for the majority of the game, with Tottenham struggling to combat their opposition’s superior passing and extra man in midfield.
Spurs had the odd half chance, but for the most part, there was only one team in this game.
Keane calls it a “typical Tottenham performance,” arguing that they’ll “always let you down”.
19.20 – Right, that’s it from me.
Thanks for reading and commenting, and enjoy the rest of your weekend.