Arsenal 1-1 Spurs - match in focus
Report from Emirates Stadium
06 November 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
Harry Kane marked his return to action by equalising from the penalty spot in the second half as we battled back to earn a point at Arsenal on Sunday lunchtime (November 6).
The England front man, out since injuring his ankle on September 18, came straight back into the starting XI and duly scored in his fourth consecutive Premier League North London derby after the excellent Mousa Dembele was brought down in the box by Laurent Koscielny.
His effort cancelled out Kevin Wimmer’s own goal towards the end of the first period with the Gunners very much in the ascendancy at that time, but we enjoyed the better of the second half and Christian Eriksen twice went close to a winner – first being denied by a low Petr Cech save and then seeing his wide free-kick sail through and bounce off the far post.
Jan Vertonghen marshalled our newly-formed back three heroically and made some crucial late interventions as the contest ended 1-1, extending our unbeaten start to the domestic season into an 11th game.
The result also means we’re unbeaten in five consecutive Premier League matches against Arsenal for the first time since 1996.
Mauricio Pochettino made three changes from the team that started against Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday – Danny Rose, Kane and Wimmer coming in for Ben Davies, Dele Alli and Moussa Sissoko. It was Wimmer's first appearance in the Premier League this season, the Austrian international lining up alongside Vertonghen and Eric Dier in a central defensive trio. Kane joined Heung-Min Son up front.
Chance: Kane nods inches wide – 21mins
An open start to the game saw Son’s pace cause problems for Arsenal’s defence, but our first real chance on goal came mid-way through the first period. Eriksen’s whipped cross was met by the diving Kane, who glanced a headed effort just wide of Cech’s far post.
Chances and woodwork: Arsenal opportunities go begging – 31-39mins
With no pertinent chances to their name, Arsenal could have put themselves in front on two occasions just after the half-hour mark. Mesut Ozil failed to steer Alexis Sanchez’s cut-back on target, before Alex Iwobi found himself unmarked in our area but hit a tame effort straight at Hugo Lloris. The home side seemed buoyed by their efforts and came closer still when Theo Walcott’s strike from the edge of the box cannoned off the woodwork. Ozil couldn’t convert the rebound.
Above: Hugo Lloris gathers ahead of Alexis Sanchez.
Goal: Arsenal 1-0 Spurs – Kevin Wimmer (OG) – 42mins
After a flurry of efforts, Arsenal’s persistence paid off three minutes before the break when Ozil’s dangerous free-kick flew in off the head of the unfortunate Wimmer as he tried to prevent it from going through to the prowling Arsenal attackers at the back post, two of whom appeared to have strayed into an off-side position.
Goal: Arsenal 1-1 Spurs – Harry Kane (pen) – 51mins
We started the second period on the front foot and Kane got us back in the game early on. Dembele slalomed his way into the box with a mazy run and won a penalty when Koscielny tripped him. Kane stepped up to take the spot kick and calmly side-footed the ball down the middle of the goal.
Chances: Eriksen and Kane nearly make it two – 55-60mins
Having got back into the game we pushed for a second and Eriksen forced Cech into a smart low save with a left-footed effort after a well-worked move. We were at it again shortly afterwards when Rose picked out Kane at the back post with a driven cross, but the striker fumbled his effort from close range.
Woodwork: Eriksen unexpectedly close – 84mins
We might have forged ahead six minutes from the end when Eriksen’s in-swinging free-kick from our left flank evaded everyone in the area and struck the far post. Son subsequently smelled blood when Cech slipped as he came to collect a tame back-pass but the Arsenal keeper recovered to just reach the ball as the South Korean international closed him down. Gunners substitute Olivier Giroud directed a header straight at Lloris in the closing stages, while Vertonghen produced some excellent defending on more than one occasion to keep the door shut.
Mauricio Pochettino said
"It was a strong performance. I’m very pleased and happy for the players because we worked a lot. I thought we were fantastic. We played that system at Watford last season and it’s about flexibility to try to find the right solution, to try to score goals and win games. We finished strong, it was good after a month that was difficult, some small issues happened, but we're happy now to have two weeks to try to recover all the players so we can compete better."
Kevin Wimmer said
"It was a great team performance. Their goal was very unlucky, I tried to clear the ball and it can happen sometimes. At the start of the second half we showed real character and tried to score as quickly as possible. We had some good chances after we scored the penalty and maybe with a bit of luck we could have won. It was a typical derby, lots of intensity, everyone tried their best and it was a battle from the beginning."
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Cech; Bellerin, Koscielny (c), Mustafi, Monreal; Xhaka, Coquelin (Ramsey 64); Walcott (Oxlade-Chamberlain 70), Ozil, Iwobi (Giroud 70); Sanchez. Substitutes (not used): Ospina, Gabriel, Gibbs, Elneny.
Spurs (3-5-2): Lloris (c); Dier, Wimmer, Vertonghen; Walker (Trippier 80), Wanyama, Eriksen, Dembele, Rose; Son (Winks 89), Kane (Janssen 73). Substitutes (not used): Vorm, Carter-Vickers, N’Koudou, Onomah.
Goals: Arsenal – Wimmer (OG) 42; Spurs – Kane (pen) 51.
Yellow cards: Arsenal – Koscielny; Spurs – Wimmer, Dier.
Referee: Mark Clattenburg.
We return to Premier League action after the international break on November 19 when we face West Ham United at White Hart Lane. Last season’s home fixture against the Hammers also fell in November and resulted in a 4-1 win, although we slipped to a 1-0 defeat in March’s reverse fixture.