Back on the pitch for the first time in over a week, the North London Derby opened the month of October. Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal were not only looking for bragging rights, but momentum to build with a heavy fixture schedule ensuing.
Spurs started the game on their back foot with by giving away possession and multiple corners. Knowing Arsenal’s midfield would dictate the pressure and control of the game, Spurs looked for over-the-top balls coming from Hugo Lloris to start a counter-attack.
For the longest time, those balls failed to find a second touch by someone to open space and force Arsenal’s back four to do some defending.
After seeing Thomas Partey score an uncontested shot from outside the box, curling to the top right corner, Spurs' attack started to form.
Son Heung-min delivered a ball to Richarlison in the box, forcing Aaron Ramsdale out of his six-yard box to contest a possible play from the Brazilian. As Ricahrlison tried to lob a pass back into the middle of the penalty box for Harry Kane, the ball was disposed and Arsenal seemed likely to have caught a break. Richarlison continued his pressure and not only won the ball but won a penalty as Gabriel caught the leg of his fellow countrymen and not the ball.
Getting the penalty, Kane stepped up and went down the middle this time to tie the game at 1. Kane, loving an NLD not only broke Thierry Henry’s record for most London Derby goals at 43, but he now has scored 100 away goals.
From then on, it was all Gunners.
Coming out to start the second half, Gabriel Jesus broke the deadlock with an easy tap-in on a big mistake from Lloris in front of goal. Lloris parried the shot of Bukayo Saka to just outside the six-yard box, and failing to control the ball with Chrisitan Romero trying to shield Jesus, the ball squirted from underneath the diving Lloris, leaving Jesus with an easy tap-in.
The game became really out of hand when Emerson Royal was given a straight red card on a challenge to Gabriel Martinelli. Yes, it was a bookable offense but it didn’t warrant a red after what has swirled on social media of other challenges that Anthony Taylor didn’t give in the last month.
Granit Xhaka scored to make it 3-1 and with the game completely gone from that moment, Antonio Conte used five subs in Yves Bissouma, Ryan Sessegnon, Davinson Sanchez, Matt Doherty, and Oliver Skipp.
Yes, it was tough to watch after the red card because it felt like we were about to get another classic finish in an NLD, but Spurs struggled against an improved Arsenal side.
A few things come of note:
- Dejan Kulusevski’s absence hurts Spurs in more ways than one.
- Emerson Royal paid how much to try and become a better right-wing-back under Conte. Please continue to work on your final ball, you have some good skill sets to make you dangerous.
- Lloris had an awful game, something that comes yearly, but it's tough to see it occur against Arsenal.
- Never want to be that guy and complain about the refs but not seeing any cards until the 60th minute was a shame.
- Eight more games this month, maybe a tactical change formation-wise would be nice
It will be hard to put this game behind because of who it was against, but Spurs return to Champions League play by taking on Eintracht Frankfurt on Tuesday.