In the morning hours this past Sunday saw an opportunity for Arsenal to take over the top of the table as Manchester City had just only managed to gain 1 point against last place Aston Villa in a 0-0 draw. The stage was set for the Gunners to not only beat their North London rivals, gain 3 points and be 2 points clear of Manchester City 90 minuets later. This was the first League meeting between the two clubs this season aside from the 2-1 victory Arsenal came away with at White Hart Lane during League Cup competition.
I’ve heard most folks say that the Spurs dominated the game and Arsenal have yet to play a solid two halves this season. When you look at the statistics it shows a pretty even match. Posession 55 to 45 in Arsenals favor. Tackle success and passing accuracy were basically even. Each had 4 shots on goal and corners were 7 to 6 in Arsenals favor. Cech played a very solid game except for when he was left exposed by Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny who left Harry Kane unmarked for a pick your spot goal. This gave the Spurs a sliver of hope that they were going to pull a victory out in the 32′ at the Emirates.
As we’ve basically seen all season Arsenal are a second half team. Due to injuries to key contributors Theo Walcott, Alex Olade-Chamberlin, Aaron Ramsey and Hector Belerin Arsenal were forced to use familiar faces from the bench. These players weren’t new to first team action but have been passed up due to age or play of regular first team members. So when the names like Famini, Gibbs, Arteta and Debuchy get significant minutes you’d think this was a early round FA Cup match against a 3rd division team.
With the injury to Walcott, Giroud was playing up front for his 3 consecutive match. For whatever reason he must have screwed his head on backwards because he had 2 perfect opportunities with well placed crosses to head the ball into the net. They went just over the bar or just left of the goal post. Thankfully the super sub of Gibbs and his speed caught the eye of Ozil as he crossed the ball three quarters of the was across the pitch for Gibbs to sneak the ball past Lloris.
Thankfully for most clubs the upcoming two week international break will give their players ample time to rest and recuperate from their injuries as long as their national team coaches allow them to due such. Arsenals next match isn’t until November 21, 2015 when they take on West Bromwich Albion at the The Hawthorns. Game time is set for 9:00am CST.