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Tottenham 2-1 Arsenal
15.37 – Hello, and welcome to today’s liveblog. Here are the teams:
Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto, Dembele, Parker, Lennon, Bale, Sigurdsson, Adebayor. Subs: Friedel, Gallas, Naughton, Defoe, Holtby, Livermore, Carroll.
Arsenal: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Monreal, Ramsey, Arteta, Walcott, Wilshere, Cazorla, Giroud. Subs: Mannone, Koscielny, Rosicky, Podolski, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Coquelin, Gervinho.
15.41 – Biased much?
15.59 – There’s been a few classics between these teams over the years. Remember this game?
YouTube credit: PhantomFX91
16.02 – So who do you fancy today?
16.04 – We’re underway, and Dawson immediately almost latches on to an inswinging Gareth Bale free-kick.
He’s adjudged offside anyway.
16.10 – Lloris makes a decent save from a Giroud header from a corner.
Down the other end, Kyle Walker storms forward menacingly, but his cross is easily cleared.
This game is being played at a frantic pace and looks set to be a cracker*.
16.12 – Giroud breaks Tottenham’s extremely high line and goes through on goal.
However, Vertonghen gets back to make an excellent recovery tackle.
It’s a risky strategy that Spurs are adopting.
16.19 – Spurs haven’t enjoyed the best of times in this fixture of late, as the image below illustrates.
(PA Graphics/PA Graphics/Press Association Images)
16.21 – Adebayor is booked for a rash challenge on Ramsey.
It’s reminiscent of the tackle he was sent off for in the reverse fixture earlier this season, though not quite as bad.
16.25 – After the first 20 minutes, Arsenal look the better side.
They’ve used the ball better and appear more threatening in attack.
Though as I type, Bale is inches away from latching onto a clever through pass by Sigurdsson.
Arsenal’s high line is looking just as tenuous as Tottenham’s at the moment, suggesting there will be plenty of goals in this game.
16.32 – Adebayor is lucky not to receive a second booking after going down rather easily in the penalty area in what looked an attempt to win a penalty.
Arsenal’s defence is looking uncharacteristically solid right now, effectively stemming some threatening Aaron Lennon runs on numerous occasions
Gareth Bale, meanwhile, remains conspicuously quiet.
(A warm embrace from the two managers prior to kick-off – John Walton/EMPICS Sport)
16.37 – GOAL FOR TOTTENHAM!
16.39 – GOAL FOR TOTTENHAM!
16.44 – Tottenham 2-0 Arsenal: Two goals in quick succession from Tottenham (36 & 39 mins).
First, Sigurdsson plays through Bale, and unsurprisingly, the Welshman makes no mistake, slotting home.
Then, Parker plays another defence-splitting past, and Lennon rounds the keeper and strikes it into the empty net to make it 2-0.
Arsenal really need to sort out their defensive high line, as Spurs are exposing it consistently.
16.49 – HALF-TIME: TOTTENHAM 2-0 ARSENAL
“How can you run off Bale – one of the best strikers in the world?” cries Fox analyst Piers Morgan.
Eamon Dunphy, eat your heart out!
16.54 – Amid the chaos of that first half, Gareth Bale had a banana thrown at him.
16.56 – “We fell away in an embarrassing manner” – Piers Morgan on Spurs’ first goal.
He continues: “Spurs fans are singing ‘Arsene Wenger, we want you to stay.’ Does it get any worse than that?”
17.02 – The second half is underway…
17.05 – Arsenal have comeback against Tottenham before in recent times, and the way both sides are defending, there are bound to be more goals in this game.
YouTube credit: llllIIIllIIllll
17.08 – GOAL FOR ARSENAL!
17.11 – Tottenham 2-1 Arsenal: The much-maligned Per Mertesacker gets Arsenal back in the game (50 mins).
A cross is played in and he gets in front of Gareth Bale to head home.
17.13 – Arsenal suddenly look totally rejuvenated.
Walcott marginally fails to latch onto a Cazorla through ball.
17.17 – Here’s what Arsenal’s goal looked like:
YouTube credit: chfootballhighlights
17.22 – Bale has blasted over from close range following Assou-Ekotto’s inch-perfect cross.
Meanwhile, Rosicky replaces Jenkinson for Arsenal, with Ramsey moving to full-back.
17.25 – Tottenham players are furious that Arsenal didn’t put it out of play with Adebayor down injured.
Surely though, it’s the referee if anyone that they should be unhappy with, given that it was his responsibility to stop the play.
Meanwhile, Defoe comes on for the injured Adebayor.
17.29 – Sigurdsson goes through on goal as Spurs break, but tries to pass, when he would have been best advised to shoot on goal himself.
Jermain Defoe then drags a shot from the edge of the box just wide, seconds later.
Even with just 20 minutes left, it looks like there might well be at least one more goal to come.
17.32 – The ball falls to Bale at the edge of the area.
He catches it well, but it’s straight at the keeper.
It’s a great game to watch, with both teams continuing to attack at will.
17.39 – Ramsey finds himself free on the right, but his shot goes narrowly wide.
Tottenham look to be sitting back completely now, and appear content to try to hit Arsenal on the counter-attack.
17.45 – There’s far less space available in this game now.
Tottenham, perhaps wisely, have opted to stop playing a high line, and are defending far deeper now.
Arsenal, as an inevitable consequence, are looking less threatening in attack.
17.47 – Dembele has jarred his knee and is replaced by Livermore.
They play similar roles so that change is unlikely to have a big effect on the game.
As I type, Walcott flashes a free-kick just wide.
17.48 – There will be a massive SIX minutes of injury time…
17.51 – Spurs are slowing the game down well at the moment, and look set to win this game.
At least Arsene Wenger can take consolation from the fact that Arsenal are still doing extremely well in the Premier League second-half table.
17.52 – Dawson does well to divert Podolski’s shot away from goal.
17.54 – FULL-TIME: TOTTENHAM 2-1 ARSENAL
18.13 – So Tottenham beat Arsenal, despite making hard work of it in the second half.
Not for the first time, Arsenal’s poor defence has ultimately cost them the match.
The high line looked an accident waiting to happen, and Spurs unsurprisingly exposed it with their immense pace after a while.
Tottenham are consequently now seven points clear of the Gunners following this win, but are far from assured a Champions League place – they still have Chelsea, Liverpool and City, among others, left to play.
18.15 – Right, that’s it from me.
Thanks for your company, and enjoy the rest of your weekends.