Arsenal 5 - 2 Tottenham Hotspur: Just what we needed

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Post by Jay29 Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:07 am

North London derbies. They're always fun.

With no key players returning from injury, Arsenal's line-up was pretty straight-forward. Szczesny came back in for Mannone and Wilshere returned from his suspension to take the place of Coquelin in midfield. Other than that, it was as you were.

Spurs made the interesting decision to play 4-4-2 with Adebayor and Defoe up front. Kyle Naughton came in at left back as Vertonghen moved across to centre back to replace the injured Caulker.

First half

As you'd expect in big derby games, the opening minutes were frantic. Players were closing down everywhere, trying to nick the ball back and getting the ball forward with urgency. At the same time, Arsenal looked nervous and it was Tottenham who started better of the two sides.

Tottenham's most potent threat was coming from three players: Bale, Adebayor and Defoe. Adebayor looked highly motivated and buzzing about our defensive third, while Bale and Defoe were making good runs at the Arsenal defence. Mertesacker struggled to cope with it, losing Defoe often and not being able handle two or three quick players running into his zone.

The opening goal was a result of a mistake by the German and some unconvincing goalkeeping by Szczesny. Mertesacker steps-up for some reason and completely loses sight of Defoe, who simply spins in behind to get on the end of Vertonghen's ball over the top. Szczesny saves his shot, but in the process palms it to Adebayor in the six yard box to sweep in. It may be harsh on the keeper, but the keeper has to push the ball away from the centre of his penalty area. Otherwise, you're just asking for trouble.

Arsenal are used to having to come back from behind, though, and you'd expect them to with 60,000 fans fully behind them. Throw in Adebayor's red card for a stupid tackle on Cazorla and it was almost inevitable that Arsenal would score.

I don't think anyone expected Mertesacker to be the one to score it though.

Walcott manages to get round Naughton and play in a great cross - fully indicative of the form he's been in - to the centre of the area. Mertesacker still has a lot to do here, since there wasn't a lot of power on the ball in, but the BFG loses Huddlestone, who's standing around picking his nose, easily and rises to power in a header into the top corner.

The second goal was fortuitous, but instigated by some direct play by Arteta. The Spaniard made a good driving run off the ball, and Wilshere probably would have found him had his pass not deflected off of Huddlestone. The ball fell to Podolski, who managed to turn and get his shot off. The shot deflected off the defender and trickled into the far corner.

Clearly, the presence of Jens Lehmann had galvanised our two Germans.

Arsenal were fully in the ascendency as this point. Cazorla was looking lively and he had a shot that narrowly went over the bar, while Sagna and Walcott were creating all sorts of havoc down that right hand side (we've really missed these two playing together). Goal number three looked a matter of time and Giroud duly delivered.

Cazorla got on the ball and ran at the Spurs defence. He was fouled along the away, but Webb played a very good advantage and Cazorla carried on his run. A simple ball across found Giroud, who managed to get there ahead of two Spurs defenders and score his 4th goal in just three games.

3-1 at half time.

Second half

For the second half, I think Arsenal needed to go and kill the game off well and truly. With Spurs down to 10 men, it was possible that, if they played well, Arsenal could win the game 5-1 or 6-1.

To Spurs' credit, though, they played well in the second half and didn't let us have it all our own way. Vilas-Boas made a few changes, replacing both their fullbacks with Dawson and Dempsey and changing to a 3-4-2 with Bale and Lennon as the "wingbacks".

While Spurs did improve, they were leaving gaps all over the place. Neither Bale or Lennon were playing the defensive role of being wing back particular well and were leaving tons of space behind them. The centre backs in the "3" had to shift across to cover, which in turn lead to massive gaps between them. They were also playing a high line, trying to congest the centre of the pitch. Podolski and Walcott basically parked themselves in those gaps for the whole second half and had Arsenal been little bit sharper in their passing, they probably could have exploited them more often.

The trick to beating a 3-man defence is, of course, to stretch it and get on the outside of the two side-centre backs (LCB and RCB, in FIFA terms), and Arsenal did this to score their fourth. Giroud knocks the ball on to Walcott, who takes it down and plays a through to Podolski, who made a run on the outside of the right-sided centre back. Podolski then crosses the ball across goal to Cazorla, who had acres of room on that since the other two centre backs had to shift across. Cazorla does well to keep the ball down and get a much deserved goal.

Would it be wise for Arsenal to play 3-5-2? Just a thought.

Anyway, Spurs got another goal through Bale. It was a good goal that you can't fault the defenders for. The problem started when Arteta was caught ball watching and allowed Bale to run into that space. Our defence did the right thing showing him onto his right, but he still managed to find an angle and placed the ball right into the corner. Not much you can do.

This made the remainder of the game nervy, but I thought Arsenal saw it out well by keeping hold of the ball and killing Spurs' momentum. Walcott scored the 5th and wrapped up a very good day for Arsenal.

Looking ahead

The performance wasn't perfect despite the win. Defensively, we still look fragile, with Mertesacker starting to make mistakes and the back four just looking unsettled and unconvincing. Szczesny has a lot of improving to do, also.

On the bright side, our attack has looked better. Podolski is in the goals again, and Giroud is beginning to find form. Cazorla was brilliant and Walcott is in frightful form. This front four should create chances and score goals if they play like they did today.

This is a much needed morale boost. Arsenal have two tough away games at Villa and Everton next and if they can get good results there, that will set them up beautifully for December. This is our chance now to put a good run together.

Player Ratings

Wojciech Szczesny - 5. Wasn't called upon often. Should have done better with the first goal, imo. That's just me being harsh, though.

Per Mertesacker - 7. Not as solid at the back as we've come to expect, but did make up for his mistake with a goal. No better time to score your first Arsenal goal than in a North London derby.

Laurent Koscielny - 6. Played well, with no great incidents to speak of.

Bacary Sagna - 6. Shakey to begin with, but played well overall against Bale.

Thomas Vermaelen - 6. Decent performance. No mistakes to speak of, which is great.

Mikel Arteta - 6. Not at his best.

Jack Wilshere - 6. Good showing. A little too rash with his tackling.

Santi Cazorla - 8. His best performance for a while. Simply excellent.

Theo Walcott - 8. Carried on his great form. #signdathing

Lukas Podolski - 7. Goal and a assist despite not being involved all that often.

Olivier Giroud - 7. Another goal to continue his good form.


Last edited by GoonerJay29 on Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:30 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Eman Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:15 am

Per's first goal :bow:

Another 5-2 win :bow:

Spurs not knowing that you can't play the same way when you go a man down until the second half :bow:

And of course: Adebayor :bow:

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Post by EL Patron Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:20 am

Will give the team a big boost, if the team doesn't gain anything from this then nothing else will save our season
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Post by Rev Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:29 am

Apart from the first 15 minutes, everything went right today.

Wilshere and Arteta controlled the midfield, our fullbacks were comfortable the whole game, CB's were relatively untroubled, Caforla pretty much destroyed them and our front 3 for once clicked and worked perfectly.

That's the bigger picture of course.

Around the 70th minute mark we became complacent and our closing down was atrocious. Bale's goal shouldn't have happened.

Obviously, there are things that need working on, but for now, let's just enjoy the moment and laugh at Spurs. rofl
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Post by RealGunner Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:54 am

GET INNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN

Exactly what we needed :bow:

Fantastic win
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Post by EL Patron Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:13 am

Wenger's bizarre subs almost fcked up everything, bringing Ramsey on right after we conceded scratch
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Post by timzink Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:24 am

this doesnt really have anything to do about our good win but what do you think about steve clark as manager once wenger goes ? obviously we will have to wait until the end of the season to judge clarke as a manager and the successes the teams hes been associatated with could be just coincedences but it would be interesting right ?
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Post by Jay29 Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:30 am

Updated the first post.

Nice to celebrate a win for once. drinking

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Post by EL Patron Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:39 am

Wenger: "Cazorla was outstanding today - it shows the best training is to travel to Panama!" rofl
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Post by Wilson37 Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:05 am

The Derby lived up to its hype.. and hopefully this result kickstarts our season..
After how long i am seeing us passing the ball with ease in the final third..

I am sure It would have been a different match, a very tough match if we didnt have that extra man advantage.. Spuds dominated the game early. It was sad to see our midfield being dominated and pressurised. we couldnt hold possession at all. they looked dangerous and unsurprisingly were the first to score.. We really need someone with physical presence in our midfield. Adebaywhore celebrated only to end very fast and costing them the match.. Then it was all Arsenal except for some moments of brilliance by Bale..
Our midfield took over. Cazorla was awesome, had a good finish and created chances.. But i was more impressed by Wilshere with his through balls and Cesc type long passes.. They received good support from the frontline.. Podolski for once looked involved in the game.. Walcot was energetic inspite of wasting some 1v1 and poor decision making.. Giroud was excellent again, worked hard, aerially dominant and rewarded with a well taken goal..
Our defence looked terrible initially but improved later but tested lesser than expected.. Koscielny showed signs of his last season.. Metskr compensated his mistake with a superbly placed header.. Vermelen was not confident enough.. He doesnt look like he enjoys playing at LB..

Ratings
Sczeny - 6 hardly tested.. Could have done better with the first goal..
Sagna - 6 handled Bale well.. Good linkup play upfront..
Koscielny - 6.5 best of our defenders today.. Showed signs of getting to his form..
Metskr - 6 his lack of pace was exposed.. He recovered from his mistake with an excellent header to equalise..
Vermaelen - 5.5 showed his poor form and confidence.. Was not looking good going forward.. Where are his runs ? Defensively also not upto mark..
Arteta - 5.5 surprisingly had a poor match.. Saw him giving away balls to easily..
Wilshere - 7 good performance.. Beautiful longpasses and distribution.. Getting better and better..
Cazorla - 8 motm.. Kept creating chances.. Once he got more time on the ball looked dangerous.. Great finish and assist..
Podolski - 6 was involved more in the game.. Good cross.. Bagged a goal.. But gave the ball easily.. And some good tackles..
Walcott - 6 energetic.. Got a goal.. But wasted some direct chances when he drifted wide and some poor decision making..
Giroud - 7 another superb game.. Well taken goal..
Ramsey - 5 saw a good through ball.. But he was trying to make the most difficult pass and route..
Ox - 6 some good dribbling and an assist.. Welcome back..
Santos - 5 was given the luxury of roaming everywhere in the ground.. And got injured..


Last edited by Wilson37 on Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:02 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Post by urbaNRoots Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:16 am

Wenger really has to do something with the players being way too complacent. We just don't look like scoring without conceding first. This could've been easily a "Fulham".

Anyway Arsenal won and got the 3 points, hopefully this win will only make us better in this season.

Cazorla was MOTM for me, no doubt.
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Post by Wilson37 Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:11 pm

Jack Wilshere 4%
Santi Cazorla 49%
Theo Walcott 27%
Lukas Podolski 3%
Olivier Giroud 9%

man of the match poll from arsenal.com...

i thought Wilshere and Giroud performed better than Walcott.. Walcott managed a goal and assist.. but he wasted some direct chances.. hmm
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Post by Wilson37 Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:19 pm

on Villas-Boas' claims of dominance…
If our opponents are in control from the first to the last minutes and we win 5-2, then I don't mind too much.

Wenger.. rofl :bow:
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Post by furiouswindbottom Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:24 pm

Very enjoyable evening. Not just the win. The fact I got a thought in my head about what family are humans part of.

It was really bugging me, as I know it, but after six beers it went from my brain. I blame Gareth Bale tbh.


Google came to my rescue (or I would not sleep tonight).

Primates.

However, back on topic...

..well done. It's not Arsenal's fault that Adebarndoor tried to kill our top player out of jealousy (like with Van Purse Strings).

We won. We mixed up our play and did the business.

Rejoice cheers
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Post by furiouswindbottom Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:24 pm

Utd struggling...time for the ref second half?
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Post by Rev Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:35 pm

Great review Jay, I thoroughly enjoyed the read.
Anyway, if anyone's interested in Goal.com's biggest troll's recent comments: Laughing
Once again, Theo Walcott has shown the world his credentials as the best in the world. Beautiful. Just beautiful performance. Such pace, such power. Never before has a player of his caliber been seen in football. You all mocked me. You all laughed. You all called me names when I said he was the best. Well you foolish heathens, look at him now!!!!!!! After THOSE performances vs Sweden, Reading, and Tottenham he is clearly the best of the world, and he is just a LEGENDARY player now. GIve him his contract Wenger. This boy is simply stunning. Only Super Messi is his rival, although Walcott edges out Messi due to his stunning ability and power and explosive pace which even puts the Brazilian Ronaldo to shame.

WHOM CAN STOP MY POWERFUL WALCOTT??????//
WHOM CAN STOP MY POWERFUL ARSENAL???????

:bow:
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Post by Amar Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:38 pm

Fantastic win, but our start was very, very concerning. Could have easily been 2-0 within minutes and that could have been that.

I guess we can only hope for a massive confidence boost next time.
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Post by Raptorgunner Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:01 pm

Great game, was not too happy with the first 15min, our defending must improve. I am happy with the win but not convinced yet, we need many more games like this to feel confident going in to games.

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Post by EL Patron Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:25 pm

The thing is the defence keeps making mistakes , everygame there is at least one defensive mistake.
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Post by Raptorgunner Sat Nov 17, 2012 2:00 pm

That goal by Bale pissed me off, too easy for him. Clubber
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Post by MJ Sat Nov 17, 2012 2:09 pm

When asked whether Adebayor should have been sent off:

"I didn't really see it," Walcott said. "But I think he did go in quite two-footed but the referee's made the decision and you'd have to ask him what he felt.

The result of working for Arsene Wenger for 6 years Laughing You could have told me AW was the one who said that and I wouldn't doubt it for one second.


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Post by Sina Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:48 pm

Arsenal 5 - 2 Tottenham Hotspur: Just what we needed 46394_503799206317125_1445381963_n

Razz
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Post by Sina Sat Nov 17, 2012 4:02 pm

Arsenal 5 - 2 Tottenham Hotspur: Just what we needed 0d4fV

Cool

Arsenal 5 - 2 Tottenham Hotspur: Just what we needed 0fdcs
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Post by RealGunner Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:39 pm

hate to being the pessimistic one but our defending was pretty poor until adebayor got sent off.

They could have easily scored 3 goals... Not even exaggerating.

I wish we had played them with 11 men for the 90 minutes tbf. That gives us a better idea of the current team. We would have probably still won because our attacking was brilliant. But it would have been a lot more harder.

Hope wenger sees this
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Post by Wilson37 Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:19 pm

RealGunner wrote:hate to being the pessimistic one but our defending was pretty poor until adebayor got sent off.

They could have easily scored 3 goals... Not even exaggerating.

I wish we had played them with 11 men for the 90 minutes tbf. That gives us a better idea of the current team. We would have probably still won because our attacking was brilliant. But it would have been a lot more harder.

Hope wenger sees this
what we really needed was a win against Spuds.. and we got a big win.. all that currently matters is the momentum and confidence we get to move forward...
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