Lloris preserves point with Arsenal penalty save
Spurs 1-1 Arsenal
Sat 02 March 2019, 14:31|Tottenham Hotspur
It was penalty drama all the way at Wembley Stadium on Saturday afternoon as Harry Kane drilled home a second-half spot-kick to earn us a draw against Arsenal, but not until Hugo Lloris had saved a stoppage time penalty from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to preserve the 1-1 scoreline.
We trailed to an Aaron Ramsey goal in the 16th minute and were finding it hard to plot a path to the Arsenal goal before Shkodran Mustafi pushed Kane in the box and our England marksman fired home from 12 yards with 16 minutes remaining.
But there was late drama when Davinson Sanchez was adjudged to have fouled Arsenal substitute Aubameyang in the 89th minute, but Lloris was the hero again, saving the penalty before Jan Vertonghen made an equally stunning block to prevent the Arsenal striker from converting Alex Iwobi’s cross on the rebound. The visitors finished with 10 men after Lucas Torreira was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Danny Rose who was, by that stage, operating in central midfield.
It means we maintain a four-point advantage over our north London rivals and stay in third place in the Premier League with nine matches remaining.
There were only two minutes on the clock when the visitors should have perhaps taken the lead, Iwobi’s deflected cross finding Alexandre Lacazette eight yards out but he dragged wide with only Lloris to beat. It was a relatively controlled game, both sides enjoying spells of possession as they looked for the opening to break the deadlock. But it was Arsenal who found the breakthrough on 16 minutes, although it was a goal all of our own making. Kane was snuffed out in the Arsenal box and a clearance was played out which Sanchez failed to deal with, allowing Lacazette to play in Ramsey, who had the entire length of our half to run at Lloris, rounding the goalkeeper and sliding home despite Victor Wanyama’s attempts to block at the end.
Unai Emery’s side dropped off a bit after the goal, allowing us to start to dominate, almost drawing level when Kane’s thumping header from a Kieran Trippier free-kick was ruled out for offside. But despite all of our possession, we weren’t forcing Bernd Leno into any saves and it was at the other end where the goalkeeper was called upon, Iwobi cutting inside Trippier in the area, but Lloris was equal to his attempted right-foot curler. The equaliser so nearly came on the stroke of half-time. Kane’s clever pass found Christian Eriksen eight yards out but his shot on the turn was blocked by Leno with the rebound falling perfectly for the excellent Moussa Sissoko, only for his first-time shot to be superbly tipped over the bar by the Arsenal goalkeeper.
After the break, it was a similar tale to the early moments of the first half as the visitors had another great chance to score, Nacho Monreal’s cut-back sliced horribly wide by Lacazette, while we had a sight of goal on 54 minutes when a deep free-kick found Toby Alderweireld but he volleyed into the side-netting.
Both sides made attacking substitutions, Aubameyang and Mesut Ozil replacing Lacazette and Ramsey for the visitors as we swapped Erik Lamela for Wanyama, while the game ebbed and flowed as we pushed for an equaliser and Arsenal looked to hit us on the break. To be fair, chances were at a premium but we were given the opportunity to level on 74 minutes when Mustafi pushed Kane in the area on a free-kick and referee Anthony Taylor pointed to the spot. Our England striker made no mistake, drilling into the corner to the delight of most inside Wembley.
We’d worked so hard to get back into the contest, but when Mkhitaryan played a ball through and Aubameyang got goal side of Sanchez, our Colombian defender was penalised when trying to win the ball back and the referee awarded another spot-kick. Aubameyang took the penalty as the game entered additional time, but Lloris dived to his right to push it away. Iwobi was quick to send the rebound back into the six-yard box, but Vertonghen threw himself in front of the Arsenal striker and somehow his close-range effort bounced over the bar for a corner and we escaped what would have been a crushing late blow.
There were five minutes of added time in total, but no real chances for either side, the only incident being Torreira’s challenge on Rose which prompted referee Anthony Taylor to brandish the red card.
Honours even then, our first draw in 33 league matches.
Having benefitted from a penalty decision, it looked like we were going to lose out to one when referee Taylor pointed to the spot after Sanchez had fouled Aubameyang in the dying moments.
The Arsenal striker stepped up but couldn’t beat Lloris from 12 yards – with Vertonghen’s heroic block equally as good as the goalkeeper’s save as we preserved a point.
"We showed great character," said Mauricio Pochettino who, like Alderweireld, was celebrating his birthday. "We deserved a victory but the circumstances at the end make this point even more important to build our confidence to be sure to arrive in a good condition against Borussia Dortmund.
"Not only the performance, the point always helps us to keep our belief and build our confidence for the future."
Skipper Lloris was asked about his emotions after saving the late spot-kick and replied: "I have both feelings - a bit of disappointment because we expected a win but if you see the context, in the week we lost two games and today we went 1-0 down after 15 minutes, so it's a good result now to stop the bad run.
"Most important is that we got the result and we could have won because we had a big chance from the free-kick after (the penalty save). The end was a bit crazy but we didn't lose, we've stopped the bad run and now we are looking forward."
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Spurs 1-1 Arsenal
Spurs (3-4-2-1): Lloris (c), Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Trippier, Sissoko, Wanyama (Lamela 59), Rose, Eriksen, Son (Llorente 79), Kane. Substitutes (not used): Gazzaniga, Aurier, Davies, Skipp, Lucas.
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Leno, Mustafi, Sokratis, Koscielny (c), Monreal, Guendouzi (Torreira 46), Xhaka, Mkhitaryan, Ramsey (Ozil 72), Iwobi, Lacazette (Aubameyang 56). Substitutes (not used): Cech, Maitland-Niles, Kolasinac, Suarez.
Goals: Spurs – Kane 74 (pen); Arsenal – Ramsey 16.
Yellow cards: Spurs – Lamela, Rose, Llorente; Arsenal – Mkhitaryan, Mustafi.
Red card: Arsenal - Torreira.
Referee: Anthony Taylor.
Venue: Wembley Stadium, London.
Weather: Light cloud, moderate breeze, 14 degrees.