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The North London Derby between Arsenal and Tottenham gave us a lot of excitement, but both teams will feel like they could have won the game, as it ended up being a 1-1 draw.
The game at the Emirates Stadium went in waves where the teams would switch of being the more dominant side with the ball. Tottenham played their third game in a week as they played on Monday and Thursday. But there were no signs of fatigue as the young Tottenham team opened up the strongest and created a lot of problems for the Arsenal back four.
Harry Kane has been in good goal-scoring form as of late, and it was the 22-year-old English international that broke the deadlock in the 32nd minute as he got on the end of a great cross by Danny Rose and placed the ball in behind Petr Cech in the Arsenal net.
Arsenal’s defensive effort on the goal was questionable, as no one went up to press the ball handler Rose, who was given all the time in the world to pick out the cross to Kane. Arsenal’s central defensive pairing of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker didn’t communicate properly either, as Mertesacker picked up Christian Eriksen instead of trying to give support to Koscielny who was on Kane. That lead to Koscielny having to step up to try and get Kane offside, but instead it became a golden opportunity for Kane who slotted the ball into the back of the net.
Arsenal came out better in the second half. Gunners manager Arsene Wenger made a substitution at half time, bringing on Mathieu Flamini in place of Santi Cazorla, who felt dizzy according to Wenger. But it was another substitute that would end up playing a big part for Arsenal. Kieran Gibbs came on for Joel Campbell in the 73rd minute, and just three minutes later he ended up scoring the tying goal from inside the penalty area after a great cross by Mesut Ozil. Ozil now has 10 assists on the season, and he’s an integral part of Arsenal’s attacking play.
Both teams had opportunities to get a winning goal, but it ended with the teams leaving with a point each.
Arsenal will be kicking themselves a little, since Manchester City had only gotten a draw against Aston Villa earlier in the day, and a win would have put the Gunners at the top of the table, two points ahead of City. The draw keeps things the same at the top, with Arsenal level with City on points and City leading the league on goal difference.
Tottenham are showing a lot of positive signs, and Mauricio Pochettino’s side hasn’t lost in the Premier League since Opening Day. The youthful exuberance of the Spurs and their willingness to work their butts off is very exciting if you’re a Spurs fan, as Pochettino is bringing out a lot of skilled young players like Kane, Dele Alli and Eric Dier. The central defensive pairing with Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld have played a lot together going back to their time in Ajax and the Belgian national team, and they are evolving into one of the better pairings in the league.
Arsenal have been hit by a lot of injuries, but they are still able to compete at a very high level. The big loss against Bayern Munich could still have been fresh in the back of the minds of the players, but they now get some time during the international break to get that out of their system. Neither fan base got the bragging rights on Sunday, but we got to see a very interesting and entertaining game between two quality sides.