Spurs 0-2 Arsenal (PL2)
Report from Hotspur Way
18 November 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
Two second-half goals, one from France international Mathieu Debuchy and the other a stoppage-time penalty from Stephy Mavididi, saw Arsenal condemn us to defeat in the Premier League 2 at Hotspur Way on Friday afternoon (November 18).
We'd controlled the game for large spells in the first half without managing to find a clear opening, Shayon Harrison's angled drive saved at the second attempt by Matt Macey the closest we went to finding a breakthrough.
But Arsenal set the tone in the second period and goalkeeper Pau Lopez, making his first appearance in our colours following his summer loan switch from La Liga side Espanyol, made a couple of smart saves but was powerless to keep out Debuchy's fierce drive, which went in off the bar, and Mavididi's late spot-kick to make it 2-0.
Chance: Harrison nearly breaks deadlock - 10mins
The Gunners pressed us back in our own half early on but we began to find our rhythm on 10 minutes when Tom Carroll released Harrison in the left channel and his low, angled drive was saved and then gathered at the second attempt by goalkeeper Macey. Anthony Georgiou's drilled effort from the left flank took a deflection and forced Macey to tip it around his near post later on while Pau Lopez made routine stops from Mavididi after eight minutes and Reiss Nelson shortly before the interval as we weathered another short period of pressure.
Goal: Spurs 0-1 Arsenal - Mathieu Debuchy - 66mins
The Gunners started the second half strongly, Kyle Walker-Peters forced into an early brave headed clearance on the goal-line under pressure following Nelson's ball across, and after Krystian Bielik drilled over the bar and Nelson's powerful shot was saved by Pau Lopez, they took a 66th-minute lead. Chris Willock's cross from the left found France international Debuchy in space on the far side and he crashed a shot in off the underside of the bar from just inside the box.
Red Card: centre-back Owens sent off - 68mins
Reeling from the Gunners' opener, we went down to 10 men two minutes later when Charlie Owens, once again operating in central defence, was adjudged to have held Gedion Zelalem back as he burst through on goal on the right side and was shown a straight red card. Pau Lopez was again called upon to beat away Willock's shot at his near post 11 minutes after that as the visitors pressed forward once more.
Above: Goalkeeper Pau Lopez, who impressed on his first appearance in our colours.
Goal: Spurs 0-2 Arsenal - Stephy Mavididi (pen) - 90+2mins
Despite the disadvantage in numbers we tried to play our way back into the game but it was all over in the second minute of stoppage time when Willock went to ground under the challenge of Luke Amos just as he entered the area and Mavididi netted the resulting penalty. Substitute Shilow Tracey's shot on the turn following a corner was tipped over the bar by Macey moments later, but that proved to be the last action of the game.
Coach Ugo Ehiogu said
“We were a shadow of ourselves today in a huge game in terms of the rivalry between the clubs. We didn’t do ourselves justice at all, there were a lot of players below par. In the first half we dug in, the two centre-halves were probably stand-outs but we were slow to start, we sat off them too much and it took us probably half an hour to get any kind of rhythm or make it into a real contest and actually relax on the ball.
“We didn’t play as well as we have done in the last three or four games, we said that at half-time but we were still in the game at that stage. In the second half we didn’t win many second balls and we couldn’t quite have the balance between winning the ball back quickly and being controlled enough to find a white shirt. We had some counter-attacking opportunities but unfortunately didn’t quite execute the finish or didn’t pick the right pass at the right time.
“The players don’t want to be in this position again – that feeling after a game where you’ve lost and you haven’t played well is probably the worst feeling as a player. They’re hurting, as we are as staff but we’ve got to make sure we learn at least something from this game.”
Spurs: Pau Lopez, Muscatt (Tracey 46), Ogilvie (Goddard 77), Amos (c), Maghoma (Pritchard 86), Owens, Walker-Peters, Walkes, Harrison, Carroll, Georgiou. Substitutes (not used): Stylianides, Glover (GK).
Arsenal: Macey, Debuchy (Johnson 70), M Bola, Bennacer, Sheaf, Bielik (c), Nelson, Zelalem, Mavididi, Hinds, Willock. Substitutes (not used): Dragomir, Nketiah, J Dasilva, Keto (GK).
Goals: Arsenal - Debuchy 66, Mavididi (pen) 90+2.
Yellow cards: Spurs - Ogilvie 25, Maghoma 52, Carroll 64, Amos 82; Arsenal - Bennacer 88.
Red card: Spurs - Owens 68.
Referee: Craig Hicks.
We return to action in the Premier League 2 a week on Monday (November 28) with a trip to the Eppleton Colliery Welfare Ground to face Sunderland. Prior to that, a handful of players who featured against the Gunners are eligible to play in our UEFA Youth League away match against Monaco Under-19s on Tuesday (November 22).