Arsenal come out on top in the North London Derby
Arsenal continued their 100% home record with a 2-0 victory over bitter rivals Tottenham.
Shkodran Mustafi put Arsenal ahead against the run of play in the 36th minute after heading in an Ozil freekick.
Alexis Sanchez then doubled the Gunners lead as him and Lacazette ran straight through the Spurs defence
Spurs arguably should have had a penalty in the second half after Harry Kane went down after a Mustafi challenge, but referee Mike Dean waved away the England forward’s claims.
Both teams pushed hard in the second half, but the scoreline remained unchanged and Arsenal earned their first league win over Spurs in nearly four years.
A much-needed Gunners win
From the beginning, it was clear the pressure was getting to Arsenal after a sloppy start to the season. Their attacking was poor and they allowed Spurs too much of the ball, especially for a derby at home.
But around the 20th minute, they finally grew into the game. Mustafi’s header was a well taken one, rooting Hugo Lloris to his goal line. The German centre back, who made his first appearance for the Gunners after six weeks out injured, commanded a resolute back four superbly, managing to shut out the Spurs defence from the minute his goal went in.
There was a great deal of controversy behind his goal, however, as replays showed Mustafi to be just offside. However, due to it being such a close call, you feel that blaming the linesman for the result would be a little harsh
Alexis Sanchez had a brilliant game. His first goal was a well-taken one, despite a poor first touch and he continued to run rings around the Spurs defence throughout the entire second half. He managed to stretch the entire Tottenham back line, disrupting their own passing game to great effect.
But by far Arsenal’s best player on the day has to be Mesut Ozil. His freekick for the first goal was one of perfect precision and his instrumental play in the middle of the park was the key difference between the two sides.
This is exactly the kind of result Arsenal needed, especially after last week’s heavy defeat to Manchester City. They’ll be hoping they can take this good form into next week’s match against high flying Burnley to close in on the top four.
More away day woes for Spurs
Despite the scoreline, Spurs actually began the game like the home team. They bullied Arsenal for every ball and had far more possession than their rivals.
However, the first goal seemed to shock them, as their hard pressing died down very quickly after Mustafi’s header. You have to feel that the Spurs defence allowed Lacazette too much space down the side before Sanchez’ goal.
Spurs were clearly feeling the effects of Harry Kane’s lack of fitness after missing England’s friendlies against both Brazil & Germany. He wore a large leg strap throughout the game and the full 90 minutes proved too much for him.
Unlike Arsenal, who had Ozil conducting play in the centre, Spurs lacked that same threat throughout the whole game. Dele Alli, who many consider Spurs’ Ozil equivalent, failed to produce the same kind of performance today.
This marks their second loss away from home to a top six side this season after falling 1-0 to Manchester United back in October. This will need to be rectified quickly if Mauricio Pochettino’s men are to mount a serious title challenge.
Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images