Tottenham Hotspur shipped two goals to Mathieu Flamini and fell to arch-rivals Arsenal in the third round of the Capital One Cup at White Hart Lane on Wednesday. Spurs' only goal came from a second half own goal by Calum Chambers.
As expected Tottenham started with a rotated side. Reserve CBs Federico Fazio and Kevin Wimmer anchored the back line ahead of Michel Vorm with Kieran Tripper and Danny Rose wide. Tom Carroll made his first North London Derby start beside Eric Dier, while Andros Townsend, Nacer Chadli, Christian Eriksen made up the front line behind Harry Kane.
The first half was an evenly matched affair, with both clubs battling for control of the midfield and neither content to merely sit back and defend. It was somewhat weirdly paced, with neither side getting too many chances on goal early.
But it was Arsenal who drew first blood: in the 26th minute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had a shot parried away by Michel Vorm, but both Spurs CBs failed to track Mathieu Flamini, who pounced on the rebound and put the Gunners up 1-0. Arsenal nearly doubled their lead in the 40th minute after Oxlade-Chamberlain skinned Federico Fazio but fired his shot wide.
Spurs had a few chances over the course of the first half, none better than a scrum in front of the Arsenal box a few minutes before halftime. Despite numerous opportunities, no Spurs player could get a solid foot on the ball and Arsenal was eventually able to hoof it away. Harry Kane also had a chance late, but his pass/shot went just wide of the far post. In the end Spurs didn't muster a single shot on goal in the first half as it ended 1-0 to the Arsenal.
Neither club made any changes to their sides as the second half got underway. Tottenham thought they had scored early into the second half after Christian Eriksen had a shot off the post, but Harry Kane was well offside when he put in the rebound.
Spurs got off the mark in the 56th minute in an unusual circumstance. Nacer Chadli had what looked like a shot heading straight towards David Ospina from the left side of the box that deflected off of Calum Chambers and into the net It was credited as a Chambers own goal, and was a bit fortunate, but plenty of celebration ensued as Spurs drew level.
Harry Kane thought he had the go-ahead goal in the 65th minute, but his bicycle kick was cleared off the line by Kieran Gibbs. It was another unlucky miss for Kane, who has yet to score for Spurs this season.
Both clubs brought on the heavy artillery late in the match: Heung-Min Son replaced Andros Townsend and Dele Alli came on for Nacer Chadli, while Arsenal brought on Alexis Sanchez for Joel Campbell. But ironically it was Flamini who scored again to put Arsenal up after latching onto a bad clearance from Fazio. He was wide open and blasted his shot near post past Vorm to put Arsenal ahead.
Mauricio Pochettino made a last-minute gamble to get an equalizer after substituting Eric Dier for Clinton N'Jie, but in the end even Clinton's pace wasn't enough as Arsenal escaped with a 2-1 win.
- UGH UGH UGH UGH UGH UGH UGH UGH UGH
- Tom Carroll got bagged on by supporters on Twitter, and I can't understand why. His passing was solid, he was trying things, and he didn't look at all lost in midfield. I'm trying to see where all the hate is coming from and I'm failing to see it.
- Danny Rose was excellent today. He had Debuchy in his back pocket for the majority of the first half and was a major nuisance going forward. He was probably Spurs' best player on the day.
- This was Federico Fazio's first start this season, and frankly, I hope it's his last. He's a big dude and not known for his pace, but he looked completely lost and got eviscerated by Oxlade-Chamberlain a number of times. His failure to track an open player led to Flamini's first goal (though Vorm assuredly had a role), and his poor clearance led to Flamini's second. Both of them were garbage goals that should've been prevented easily. Awful.
- How in the WORLD do you let a guy like Mathieu Flamini get so open that he scores two goals? BLEARRRGH.
- Feel so bad for Harry Kane, who had an offside goal that was disallowed and another fantastic shot cleared off the line by Gibbs.
- I'm going to go sit in a dark room for a while.