Tottenham Hotspur are at a crossroads following a 2-0 defeat at the hands of league leaders Arsenal on Sunday at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Going into this match, it was being billed as a crucial matchup for both sides with different implications. Arsenal were handed a gift yesterday in the form of Manchester City suffering a 2-1 defeat. A victory today meant going possibly eight points clear of the current champions. For Spurs, they’re in danger of falling too far back in the race for Champions League football. A loss today means facing Manchester City twice in the span of a couple of weeks with a London derby against a revitalized Fulham sandwiched in between.
3’ - Spurs are controlling the early moments of the match, though we’ve seen that before. Let’s see if they can maintain it as each club settles in.
8’ - Not great by Hugo as he gets rushed at the back on what should be a simple clearance. He at least stops the attack with a save on Nketiah, but lets not do that again please.
10’ - Cuti gives up a free kick thirty yards from net. Odegaard’s free kick finds a head, but it’s well over the net.
13’ - Blatant hand ball to stop a possible attack for Spurs by Thomas Partey. It’s whistled, but Craig Pawson decides it’s not worthy of a card. I don’t know how.
15’ - Goal Arsenal (Lloris OG, 0-1) - Good god. Saka takes it to the touchline and just tries to blast it across the net. A slight deflection by Sess redirects it and Hugo blocks it, but he deflects it into the net. Nightmare.
18’ - Spurs respond to the mistake on a solid attack. Kane finds Son six yards from net but Ramsdale makes the desperate save to deny the Korean International.
19’ - Aaaaaaaaand Peacock has frozen. Apparently the worldwide feed is down?
23’ - Feed is back just after a big diving save by Hugo.
25’ - Almost 2-0 for Arsenal as Thomas Partey blasts one from distance off the post.
26’ - Sessegnon whistled for a foul on Saka. He’s lucky this one doesn’t land him in the book.
31’ - The last several minutes have been played exclusively in Tottenham’s end of the pitch. Romero hands Arsenal another chance with a foul thirty yards out.
35’ - Romero goes into the book for a clumsy challenge. Pretty dumb way to get a card but here we are.
36’ - Goal Arsenal (Odegaard, 0-2) - Acres of space for Saka allows him to feed Odegaard in the middle of the pitch, who has nobody around him. A long shot from twenty yards out finds the corner of the net. Hugo could have done better there as well but right now, Arsenal are just kicking Spurs ass and it isn’t close.
41’ - Another foul in a dangerous position given away, this one twenty yards out.
42’ - No harm no foul at least. Odegaard blasts it right into the wall.
45’+1’ - Sessegnon earns a booking for a terrible challenge on Saka.
45’+2’ - Great chance for Spurs right before the break as Pierre finds Harry on a run. The headed effort is saved. Pierre tries to earn a penalty but VAR says no.
HALF-TIME: Tottenham Hotspur 0-2 Arsenal
46’ - No changes for either side at the half, and Dier starts us off with a long ball out of bounds.
47’ - Deki finally gets loose and tries to curl one into the corner, but it’s over the crossbar. Better from Spurs.
50’ - Big chance for Spurs as Deki does a great job boxing out and feeding Kane for a chance. Ramsdale makes another diving save, parrying it out for a corner.
52’ - Come ooooooooon. Another save from Ramsdale, this time on Sessegnon. One of thes HAS to go in, right?
54’ - Sarr commits a foul that puts him into the book. The ensuing free kick is deflected out for a throw in.
56’ - Kane finds Deki again, who tries to bend it far corner again. He’s closer this time but it’s wide of the post.
57’ - Perisic and Richarlison are both warming up. Expect some changes shortly. Maybe. Possibly.
61’ - Another chance for Spurs, though Sessegnon’s attempt isn’t a great one as he tries a side volley that’s wild at best.
69’ - Arsenal get free on the break as they find Nketiah running free. Hugo makes the save with his chest to keep it out of the net.
70’ - Martinelli goes into the book for his foul on Sarr.
71’ - Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur - Finally, Richarlison comes on. Matt Doherty heads to the bench.
72’ - Arsenal earn a free kick after a rather dubious foul call on what looked like a 50/50 ball. Good chance Dier got that card for dissent because he let Pawson know what he thought of that call.
74’ - Correction: Lenglet picked up the card for the challenge after that.
75’ - Double Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur - Yves Bissouma and Ivan Perisic come on for Pape Matar Sarr and Ryan Sessegnon.
78’ - Arsenal spend a fair chunk of time debating on how to do a free kick before Xhaka sends it into the crowd.
79’ - Substitution, Arsenal - Kieran Tierney comes on for Gabriel Martinelli.
82’ - A flurry of movement and half-chances after a Spurs free kick finishes with Richarlison’s shot being saved by Ramsdale.
85’ - Substitution, Arsenal - Tomiyasu coming on for Zinchenko, who has opted to take the long way off the pitch and Pawson decides not to book him. Premier League officiating, everyone.
88’ - Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur - Gil and Davies come on for Deki and Lenglet.
90’ - There will be five added minutes. If Spurs are going to get anything out of this, they have to do it now.
90’+1’ - Gabriel goes into the book for some dead ball antics with Richarlison.
Full Time: Arsenal go eight points clear of City with a 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur.
Thoughts on the Match
- Bad, especially the first half. The first twenty minutes of the second half were fine and Spurs had some chances, but from about 65’ on, Spurs seemed done.
- It’s time to move on from Hugo. He’s been here for a decade and has had some amazing moments, but that own goal kind of sums up the feeling around him for a bit: He might be past it, and it’s time to find his replacement. Hell, it was time to find it a couple of seasons ago so when this happened, it was a quick transition.
- I thought Sarr did well in his full league debut, especially since he was thrown into the mixer of a North London Derby. He was partially at fault for the second goal, but he was quite good otherwise.
- Son was invisible today for almost the entire match, and that’s very worrisome.
- On the flip side, Deki was bright in attack and on a different day, one of those curlers finds the net and changes this game with over half an hour to play.
- I really don’t know who to point my frustration at the most. Is it the players? Conte? Levy? Lewis? I might have to spend an entire article about it because I have a lot of it to vent.
- God...Arsenal are going to win the league, aren’t they?
- We’re going to find out a lot about this club in the next month, because Spurs have to head to Manchester City on Thursday, return home for a Monday night matchup with Fulham, an FA Cup fourth round tie with Preston North End, then host Manchester City the following week. There’s also a looming Round of 16 matchup with AC Milan in the Champions League. By then, Spurs best chance to get back into the biggest club competition may be to win the competition....but that seems extremely far-fetched right now.
- Watch the film. Burn the film. Move on.