Arsenal 5- 2 Tottenham: ‘Ade’ gifts Arsenal 5 despite AVB’s dynamic tactics
Arsenal have always been insistent on possession based game play which has led to some criticism regarding meaningless passing. But this time their playing style paid dividends to them in their London Derby against Tottenham Hotspurs. They showed exactly how a team should play when playing against a 10-man team to ultimately bag a handsome 5-2 win.
Arsenal: (4-2-3-1) Szczesny – Vermaelen, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Sagna -Wilshere, Arteta – Podolski, Cazorla, Walcott – Giroud
Tottenham: (4-4-2) Lloris – Naughton, Vertonghen, Gallas, Walker – Bale, Huddlestone, Sandro, Lennon – Adebayor, Defoe
Tottenham All Over Initially
Arsenal started off incredibly bad with AVB seeming to have done his homework right. Arsenal got some time with the ball but the Spurs’ high backline forced them to concede possession cheaply.
The action soon began to heat up for Spurs as Defoe spun off of Mertesacker and was found, clean through. His shot was saved by Szczesny, but the ball lingered tantalizingly out of his reach, and Adebayor was on hand to poke it home.
Arsenal’s lack of pressing was leaving them exposed and their high line was erratic continuously. The Arsenal fans feared for another goal but Adebayor put all their concerns to rest with a moment of sheer madness.
He dived in really late, really high, and studs up on Cazorla, and Howard Webb, after calming everyone, sent him straight off. Tottenham were down to ten men now.
The Art of Arsenal Passing
From that moment of red card on, it was all Arsenal as they kept possession very well shuffling the ball around, making the Spurs players run everywhere.
One player in particular who ran the show throughout was Santi Cazorla. The little man was everywhere, whether it was creating chances, moving for the square balls or even keeping the ball deep. His driving run down the left for the second goal was a result of his determination to keep the ball as he moved in from the left side of the box to square the ball to Giroud.
AVB Steps up the Game
The Tottenham manager made an offensive switch in the second half surprisingly putting on a 3-man defence to pull more players forward with Clint Dempsey coming on to add more firepower.
Arsenal kept on the defensive for the first ten minutes of the second half trying to keep their lead. Still, there was the matter of whether Spurs could get past the Arsenal defence with a man less. Bale was trying to do everything by himself while Defoe was isolated heavily despite the introduction of Dempsey.
Soon, the 3-man defence faced the difficult task of stopping the run of the quick Walcott who had been dominant on the right side throughout the first half. Walcott brought the ball down well on the left side and set Podolski away down the left wing. The forward looked up and found Cazorla with a nice low cross, and the Spaniard slammed a finish past the helpless Lloris.
It was all over for Tottenham now realistically. Villas-Boas looked completely helpless and it must be said that Adebayor was in for a long post match talking down.
Spurs Press Hard
Spurs still did not seem to be giving up as they worked hard tirelessly, even when they had to contend with Walcott and Cazorla who had been sublime in the game.
Bale gave Spurs a lifeline with his right footed shot that found the bottom right-hand corner of Szczensy’s net. The Arsenal defence was the culprit here as Bale was given a lot of space to surge forward with no one pressing on him.
The Emirates crowd had gone quiet as Spurs looked to push for the unlikeliest of comebacks here, but there was the feeling of a lost cause for the Spurs.
Despite the determination of Spurs, playing with 10 men against Arsenal with a 3-man defence was always a risk and Arsenal were threatening every time they moved forward.
Dempsey failed to get into the game and seemed off the pace as he gave the ball away quite a few times – the American had been disappointing up alongside Defoe.
Soon a man who was determined to earn a position in the Arsenal starting-11 showed another indication of why he has been hyped up by the media so often. Chamberlain, the promising English youngster provided Walcott with an assist after his bulldozing run.
With that Arsenal had really rubbed it in for Tottenham and the match was over.
Arsenal took the 3 points and inflicted misery on Spurs in the process after coming from behind to demolish their north London rivals. In reality, the game was turned on its head by Adebayor’s needless red card after his early goal, but take no credit away from Arsenal. The Gunners were simply scintillating, with Walcott, Giroud, Cazorla and Podolski all in great form.