So yet another installment of the fiery North London derby has passed. Tottenham, missing Jermaine Defoe through a suspension and Aaron Lennon through injury, looked a shadow of the side which threatened to take over one of the top 4 spots earlier in the season. Arsenal, on the other hand, were magnificent. Their movement was splendid, passing was superb, and unlike last week at Upton Park, they managed to keep their heads straight and maintain a clean sheet. People will be talking about this one. Were Arsenal too good? Or did Tottenham self destruct?
Both Ledley King and Heurelho Gomes were at fault for the first goal. They should have handled Sagna’s crossed better; it was a rather tame one. King managed to allow Van Persie to sneak in and put a foot on the ball and Gomes just did what he did best. Not save the ball. Credit to Van Persie though. He has looked so sharp this season; always chasing down balls, getting into good positions, fighting to win the ball. There is an intent that wasn’t present last season.
I hardly had time to start singing “One Nil to the Arsenal” when Fabregas practically took the ball past the entire Spurs midfield and drilled one into the corner. Again, could Spurs have done better? Definitely. Upon closer inspection, it seemed like none of the Spurs players thought Fabregas’ run would amount to anything. Quite an unwise bit of underestimation, considering the form Cesc has been on. Gomes, again, like the rest of his team, could have done much much better.
At the other end, Bentley had a decent free kick tipped over the bar. However, at one point of the game i caught a glimpse of the shots on goal by each team. Arsenal had 15 at the time, Tottenham a measly three.
Finally, the last goal, which really was due to abit of confusion between the players and the referee. Mr Clattenburg had played the advantage but everybody was expecting play to be pulled back. Sagna reacted first, launching a low cross in for Van Persie to slot in off Ledley King.
Being a Gunner myself, I can’t say how delighted i am with this result. It is afterall, the North London Derby. However, the performance left me wondering, what if Defoe and Lennon had been eligible to play? With Lennon adding width and Defoe adding a sting to the side, would the early pressure have been enough to shake up Arsenal’s young hearts. At the start of the second half, Spurs did enjoy a short spell of pressure after ‘Arry switched things up abit.
Just like it was too early for Robbie Keane to count his chickens before they hatch, it would be too early for me to call Arsenal genuine title contenders. They always seem to do well at the beginning before either complacency or a lack of concentration sets in. For our sakes, i hope they maintain this run of form. With them providing such a wonderful quality of football, I hate to imagine what we would have to turn to for entertainment come Premiership Weekend.