Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Arsenal: 5 Takeaways from the game
Arsenal travelled to Wembley to face Tottenham Hotspur in the North London Derby on Saturday, with a lot more than just pride at stake. It was a contest between third and fourth in the Premier League and the two sides were separated by just 4 points.
It was also a battle between two sides with contrasting recent fortunes. Arsenal had thumped Bournemouth 5-1 in midweek and as such, were on the rise. Tottenham, on the other hand, had lost 0-2 to Chelsea and were low on confidence after two back to back defeats. As such, Emery had a golden opportunity ahead of him to strengthen his team’s position in the league, while Pochettino would have been looking forward to bouncing back against one of his fiercest rivals.
The game started on a high tempo and Arsenal took the lead in the 16th minute through Aaron Ramsey. However, Tottenham drew level in the 76th minute, when Kane scored from the spot. Arsenal had a chance to regain their lead in the dying moments of the game, but Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang failed to convert a penalty.
The match ended in a draw and here are 5 Takeaways from the game:
#5 Arsenal Reacted well to Tottenham’s high line
Pochettino started with a back three of Davinson Sanchez, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld, hoping to isolate Arsenal’s front three. It was an attempt from the Argentinean manager to nullify the threat posed by the Arsenal forward players, and in the early stages of the game, it seemed to work.
Lacazette was isolated by Sanchez, while Alderweireld and Vertonghen attended to the wide men. But as the home team grew in confidence, the two Belgian defenders moved up to help break Arsenal down. Tottenham started playing a high line and Emery saw an opportunity to take advantage of.
Even under intense pressure from the home team, Emery opted to keep both Ramsey and Lacazette near the Tottenham defence, hoping to catch them on the counter. The opportunity arrived in the 16th minute, with a high ball from Xhaka from his own box. After Sanchez’s error handed the French striker the ball, he set Ramsey free from the halfway line. The Welshman made no mistake, running half the length of the field and rounding off Lloris to open the scoring.