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    Arsenal 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur: Match Report

    By Tom Regan

    This was undoubtedly Tottenham’s best all-round display at the Emirates, despite having to settle for a draw, after taking a thoroughly deserved first half lead. Spurs dominated for a majority of the game, and will justifiably feel they could have left with all three points.

    Mauricio Pochettino kept faith with the same XI that started against Aston Villa last Monday. Arsenal’s injury problems have been well documented, but they were able to name central defender Laurent Koscielny in their starting lineup after he shook off a hamstring injury.

    The Lilywhites were on the front foot immediately, as Moussa Dembele led an encouraging early move, passing to Kyle Walker. The advancing full-back played the ball back to the Dembele, and the Belgian passed inside to Christian Eriksen, whose effort was blocked. After a brief Gunners attack which was soundly defended, Tottenham once again came forward with intent, as Erik Lamela tried to break Arsenal’s defensive line and free Harry Kane.

    Mauricio Pochettino’s side were playing their third game of the week, but you would never have known as they were full of energy and commitment, and they adopted their high pressing game to the maximum.

    Spurs were putting Arsene Wenger’s team under relentless pressure all over the park. Dele Alli who protects the back four with Eric Dier, was getting forward at will, and together with Eriksen, Dembele, and Lamela, gave the Arsenal defence some nervy moments.

    Dembele charged forward again, passing inside to Dier, who laid the ball to Lamela in a central position. Lamela delivered to Danny Rose on the outside, who then crossed, but Petr Cech comfortably gathered.

    The Lilywhites won a corner after a Dembele shot was glanced wide off a red shirt. The corner was taken short, as Eriksen exchanged passes with Dembele, before the ball was fired wide across Cech’s goal. Harry Kane was fouled, and Dier headed wide from an Eriksen free kick.

    Dembele was at it again for Tottenham, as he stroked the ball out to Lamela on the right, who fed Walker. Walker crossed deep, and the ball went beyond the back post to Danny Rose, who could only snatch at the ball, sending it high and wide.

    Spurs fans were loud, the home crowd were non-existent. With 31 minutes on the clock, Danny Rose redeemed himself with an excellent ball down the left to Harry Kane, who had raced clear of the defence and calmly slotted past Cech to send the away fans into ecstasy.  
    After 39 minutes, the Lilywhites played a free kick backwards, and Dembele failed to clear in his own area. This gave Alexis Sanchez an opportunity to spread the play, as he found Joel Campbell on the right. Campbell released Sanchez, and Hugo Lloris made a smart save down to his right from the Chilean.

    Martin Atkinson blew for half time, and Arsene Wenger replaced the ineffective Santi Cazorla with Mathieu Flamini. Whatever was said during the interval seemed to work as the Gunners got much tighter to Pochettino’s men after the break.  

    Lloris saved an effort from Campbell after being played in by Mesut Ozil. Referee Martin Atkinson, had showed leniency throughout, but annoyed Tottenham when he allowed a handful of blatant fouls to go without punishing the offender.

    Spurs won a corner after fine work by Eriksen, allowing Walker an opportunity on goal, which was deflected. At the other end, Ozil curled in a free kick from the right, which Oliver Giroud should have buried, but instead, headed onto the top of the bar.

    Lamela was the only player to receive yellow for a foul on Francis Coquelin. The resulting free kick saw Koscielny head over from Ozil’s cross. Giroud headed wide following another ball by Ozil.

    The Lilywhites responded, as Kane played the ball to Walker, who fed Eriksen on the inside, and the Dane’s shot was well saved by Cech, before Alli's follow-up sailed over. Kane fired a shot wide of Cech's goal, after being set up by the influential Eriksen. Another short corner gave Dier a headed chance, and had it gone in, it would have been chalked off as a team mate was in an offside position.

    Tottenham centre-back Toby Alderweireld had a header well saved by Cech from a Lamela corner. Kieran Gibbs came on for Campbell, taking a position on the left wing. Heung-min Son came on for Lamela. Ozil was the provider once more, but this time Arsenal took their chance, as the German international crossed high towards the back post, and substitute Gibbs slotted home after being on the pitch for just three minutes.

    The momentum shifted with the Gunners, as Mertesacker tried a scissor kick, which went just wide of the post, and Lloris denied French team mate Giroud from an Ozil cross.

    Three minutes of injury time was indicated, as Kane fired wide across goal from a Rose cross. Josh Onomah had another brief performance, as he is slowly eased into first team football. Spurs saw out the remaining minutes and secured reward for a fantastic team display.

    Many connected with the Lilywhites would have taken a draw before kick-off, and this was a good point for Spurs, but there was almost a disappointment at not sealing the full three points after an outstanding performance. From a personal point of view, I was pleased to have got my match prediction spot on (7-1 with bet365), so I hope some of you got behind it.

    Pochettino’s men climb above West Ham on goal difference into fifth, and the Hammers are Tottenham’s next opponents after the international break, followed by struggling Chelsea. Sitting just five points off league leaders Manchester City, the feel good factor is well and truly back at White Hart Lane, and a top four place is a distinct possibility following a great run of form.
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    Item Reviewed: Arsenal 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur: Match Report Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Tom Regan
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