Tottenham came into the game with two successive draws in all competitions. One of them, a good point against Chelsea, but the other was a disappointing defensive performance against LASK in the Europa League. A win would see Spurs go at the top of the Premier League.
For Arsenal, this was a game with a huge motivation to get back on track along with a statement win against their local rivals. However, with the discouraging form of the away side, it was always going to be a tricky outing.
Both the teams looked up for the derby as the game got to an energetic start. Of course, the return of fans had a massive part behind it. Arsenal were moving the ball around, but there was a lack of penetration in their passing. Spurs were sitting back and absorbing the pressure as Jose’s teams usually do.
It didn’t take long before the goal came, and it was another classic counter-attacking goal from the home side. Tottenham played the ball into Harry Kane, who dropped deep and played a picture book pass to Son, who then came inside and curled a glorious derby goal. Sergio Reguilón’s overlapping run was crucial in taking Rob Holding away, which created space for the South-Korean to unleash a brilliant strike.
The game kept going in the same way as Arsenal had all the ball but struggled to open up the Tottenham low block. They had a few moments, but it was too little, and Spurs looked comfortable in their shape. Just before half-time, Tottenham won the ball back deep in their half and played it to Lo Celso, who found Son with a nicely weighted pass. Son then came inside, and Harry Kane went outside of the Korean who rolled the ball to Kane, and Spurs were two goals to the good.
The first half stats were astonishing as Arsenal had 62% of the ball but had no shots on target. Meanwhile, Spurs had 5 shots, with 3 of them being on target and 2 out of them in the net. Defensively sound, Jose’s team also registered 5 interceptions to Arsenal’s 1. Mikel Arteta had work to do to improve his side’s ball recovery and final third penetration.
Dani Ceballos replaced an injured Thomas Partey just before half-time. Arsenal looked better after the restart, with Ceballos playing some progressive passes that Arsenal lacked in the first half. The Gunners had some positive attacks and lacked a finishing touch in a few attacks. Still, it wasn’t convincing, and Tottenham weren’t looking troubled by Arsenal passing and movement.
The second half statistics show Arsenal’s little improvement on the ball as they had 7 shots with 2 on target. Arsenal had an astounding 77% of the ball to Spurs’s 23%, but Tottenham’s game plan worked perfectly.
At times, Tottenham could have kept the ball slightly better. Still, on the whole, it was a characteristic and professional performance from Jose Mourinho’s Spurs.
Fixture Details: [fixture 16924702]
The world cup winning goalkeeper had an inspiring performance in goal as he made a couple of outstanding saves. The veteran also completed 4 long balls and a single clearance along with 1 important punch. The 33-year-old is exceptionally consistent, and his calmness makes his side’s defending better.
The new signing from Southampton had another solid game in the middle of the park. Lacazette and Aubameyang were constantly dropping deep to link up the game but Højbjerg’s brilliant game reading ability stopped it from happening. Not so pretty, but effective performance by Højbjerg as he won 8 duels and made 5 clearances. He also registered 3 interceptions along with 1 tackle. The Denish international also completed 35 passes against Arsenal.
One of Jose Mourinho’s most trusted individuals, Eric Dier, had an imposing game at the back. He was solid without the ball and composed with it. The 26-year-old made 8 clearances, blocked 1 shot, and won aerial duels. Dier also completed an impressive 5 long balls tonight.