There are 35 games remaining in the Premier League season, but Tottenham Hotspur won't be encouraged by the setback they suffered on Sunday. They never really looked much like scoring at the Emirates Stadium, as Arsenal won the season's first North London Derby 1-0 in a fairly comfortable fashion.
Arsenal were on top early and won a couple of dangerous free kicks inside the first five minutes of the game. The first one, from Santi Cazorla in the 3rd minute, was brilliantly taken and required a save from Hugo Lloris.
Unfortunately for Spurs, there was very little Lloris could do about the game-winning goal in the 23rd minute. Olivier Giroud was the scorer, but he was just the man on the end of a nice move, aided by a couple of Tottenham defensive errors. Danny Rose completely lost sight of Theo Walcott, who was easily slipped in behind defense. He crossed low and to the near post for Giroud, who scored with his first touch after he lost Michael Dawson.
Lloris -- who was probably Spurs' best player on the night -- was called into action again in the 32nd minute. He made up for some more poor defending by coming off his line early and making an incredible sliding tackle on Cazorla 25 yards from the goal.
Spurs came out of the locker room up for the second half early and created a couple of corners, but nothing came of them, and it didn't take long for Arsenal to regain control of the game. Lloris made another great save in the 64th minute, getting a touch to a deflected shot by Giroud after a giveaway led to an Arsenal break. Not long after that, Jermain Defoe entered the game for Mousa Dembele and Tottenham switched to a 4-4-2 formation.
Etienne Capoue was on the wrong end of a completely accidental step on his ankle in the 72nd minute, and it looked ugly on replay. He required a stretcher and appeared to be in quite a bit of pain as he came off the pitch. He was replaced by Sandro, while Erik Lamela came on for his Tottenham debut at the same time, replacing Andros Townsend.
Just around a minute after he came on as a substitute, Nacho Monreal had a massive miss for Arsenal, failing to make the most of a chance that would have sealed the result for his team in the 79th minute. Giroud got away from Rose and cut back for Walcott, who had his shot saved by Lloris. Monreal was in perfect position to tap in the rebound, but mishit his shot.
The finish was a frenzied one, but Spurs never looked too much like scoring as Arsenal held on for all three points.