Arsenal come from two behind to draw with Tottenham in spicy, error-filled north London derby – The Telegraph

This should have been the reboot moment for the team manager Mauricio Pochettino has labelled Tottenham Hotspur version 6.0, but, as so often has been the case at the Emirates, computer said ‘no’.

Two goals up and with the Arsenal fans ready to lynch captain Granit Xhaka, Spurs were motoring towards a first League victory in their rivals’ back-yard since 2010 and only a third in 28 games.

But Alexandre Lacazette pulled one back on the stroke of the break and Tottenham suffered a system failure, as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang levelled the scores and Arsenal finished disappointed not to complete the turnaround.

Sokratis thought he had with 11 minutes remaining, but Sead Kolasinac had been offside when he received the ball on the left before crossing for the Arsenal defender.

Already billed as a ‘best of the rest’ encounter in the race to finish behind Manchester City and Liverpool, this entertaining north London derby only really confirmed what we already knew. For all their firepower, Arsenal remain capable of defensive calamity, while Spurs have not strengthened enough to trouble the top two.

A draw at the Emirates is by no means a bad result for Tottenham, following a home defeat by Newcastle United, and there was encouragement to be taken for Pochettino.

Yet this will still feel like a missed opportunity to kick-start their season and there is little to disprove the feeling that Spurs are still relying on the same set of star names to show that, as a collective, they have not already peaked.

For all the talk of this being the latest incarnation of the Pochettino era, there were nine players involved on Sunday who also drew at Arsenal during the Argentine’s second season in charge in 2015.

Harry Kane netted for Tottenham four years ago and his 40th-minute penalty that gave this Spurs side a two goal lead was his 10th goal in 12 North London derbies.

Christian Eriksen, another veteran of Pochettino’s reign, was brought back into the team and responded with an impressive performance and his 50th Premier League goal to open the scoring in the 10th minute.

The Dane looks likely to stay at Tottenham for another campaign, with the European transfer window closing on Monday, and, on this evidence, Pochettino will lean heavily on him once again.

Arsenal had started the brighter and threatened through Nicolas Pepe and Ainsley Maitland-Niles before they were caught cold.

Kane beat Sokratis to a header too easily and Son Heung-Min pulled David Luiz out of position as he darted across the Brazilian before passing to Erik Lamela. Goalkeeper Bernd Leno should have dealt with the forward’s low shot, but he palmed tamely into the path of Eriksen, who could not miss.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scores Arsenal's equaliser 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored Arsenal’s equaliser 

Credit:
Getty images

All of a sudden this was the Tottenham team that has won Pochettino so many admirers, as they poured forward with pace, energy and menace.

The home defence could not cope with the direct running of Son, who had a curling shot well saved by Leno and almost set up Kane with a cross that was cut out by Matteo Guendouzi.

Danny Rose had produced a brilliant headed block to stop Pepe’s effort at the back post from an Aubameyang cross, but it was not a surprise to see Tottenham double their lead – even if Kane’s penalty owed to the stupidity of Xhaka.

There were plenty of bodies between Son and the goal as the South Korean tried to find space for a shot in the area and yet Xhaka took him out with a late, wild challenge.

Kane made no mistake from the spot and the Emirates exploded with anger towards Xhaka, whose moment of madness was made worse by the fact he was wearing the captain’s armband.

Had they made it to half-time, then it is hard to imagine Tottenham giving up their lead but they let the hosts back in and Arsenal seized the momentum.

Two minutes in to time added on for stoppages, Lacazette received Pepe’s pass, touched the ball past Jan Vertonghen and blasted it into the net. This was Vertonghen’s first start of the season, with Davinson Sanchez moving out to right-back, and at times it showed.

Lacazette’s goal transformed the mood among the home players and fans, and they came straight back out on the front foot with Pepe forcing Hugo Lloris to save from his header.

The Frenchman did even better to tip Guendouzi’s shot around his post, and from the corner, Kolasinac poked Lacazette’s flick agonisingly wide.

Arsenal looked certain to equalise and yet Kane almost buried them with a brilliant move on the break. He played a one-two with Eriksen before beating Leno with a shot only to see the ball bounce back off the post.

There was a blow for the Gunners, when Lacazette was forced off with an injury in the 67th minute. But Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s introduction allowed Aubamenyang to move into the middle and he was in just the right position to divert Guendouzi’s pass into the net four minutes later.

Arsenal sensed a winner and they thought they had got it when Sokratis put the ball in the net, but Kolasinac was correctly ruled offside which was also confirmed by the Video Assistant Referee.

There was still time for some late controversy, as Kane was accused of diving under a challenge from Sokratis in the dying stages and Pochettino punched the ground in frustration when Moussa Sissoko blazed the last chance of the game over the bar.

Had that gone in, then there would be more optimism that Tottenham 6.0 will be a genuine upgrade on past releases.

Full time: Arsenal 2 Tottenham 2

Spurs have another break though. It’s a good move and it finds, alas for Tottingham, Sissoko. He lets rip with a typically wild shot and that’s wide, and that’s full time.

90+ mins: Arsenal 2 Tottenham 2                

Kane into the area, Sokratis comes to tackle him. Kane cleverly/cynically leans his body in front of Sokratis and allows the Arsenal man’s weight to sort of send him to the floor. Spurs naturally want a penalty. It’s not given. I’d say that’s a dive by the England captain, effectively.

Harry Kane did not get a penalty

Harry Kane did not get a penalty

Credit:
AP

90+ mins: Arsenal 2 Tottenham 2               

Having been under the pump for a lot of this, it’s Spurs who are finishing the stronger.

90 mins: Arsenal 2 Tottenham 2              

Xhaka makes his seventh foul of the match and belatedly gets a booking. Amazed that he wasn’t booked for the penalty to be honest.

89 mins: Arsenal 2 Tottenham 2             

Mkhitaryan tries to cut inside but makes the wrong decision. He’s not on his game tonight.

88 mins: Arsenal 2 Tottenham 2            

The game has been played at a high speed but seems to slow down as Sissoko breaks, trundling up the wing. He’s down the left and tries to play in Harry Kane – who has barely figured since half time – but he cannot find the right ball.

87 mins: Arsenal 2 Tottenham 2           

Corner opportunity for Spurs but the delivery is no great shakes.

86 mins: Arsenal 2 Tottenham 2          

Which of these tiring sides can land the KO blow in the last round? Alli getting involved. 

83 mins: Arsenal 2 Tottenham 2         

Argy bargy by the touchline! There’s barely a player on either side who looks like they could knock the skin off a rice pudding but the ref feels that he probably has to do something and books Sokratis.

80 mins: Arsenal 2 Tottenham 2        

Another mistake from Sanchez, Henrik Mik cannot capitalise, it eventually drops to Pepe but he cannot make the shot count.

Ceballos and Alli have a tussle, Alli wants a penalty as he goes down but the ref says otherwise. I would say that Debbie Alli has a fair case there. Ceballos was all over him.

79 mins: Arsenal 2 Tottenham 2       

Lo Celso replaces Son Heung-min. It’s all Arsenal.

78 mins: Arsenal 2 Tottenham 2      

VAR VAR VAR must have its moment in the sun. Arsenal have the ball in the net, but the linesman has his flag in the air, and it looks very much to me that the man in the Arsenal left wing position – Kolasinac – who crosses the ball for the goal is offside… and our technological overlords agree. No goal.

77 mins: Arsenal 2 Tottenham 2     

Davinson Sanchez is booked. Ceballos his victim. Fifth yeller for Spurs.

75 mins: Arsenal 2 Tottenham 2    

Arsenal battling well to retain the ball. They force another corner. It breaks to Pepe on the edge of the box – nobody in the Spurs side bothers to go out and close him down. He rasps the shot wide. 

74 mins: Arsenal 2 Tottenham 2   

Taken short to Xhaka who lets fly with a megaslam from miles out. It swerves, the iffy-looking Lloris palms it behind and that’s a corner. Cleared.

73 mins: Arsenal 2 Tottenham 2  

Harry Winks into the book. Freekick to Arsenal.

72 mins: Arsenal 2 Tottenham 2 

The goal was coming. This is a big 20 minutes for both sides. 

GOAL! Arsenal 2 Tottenham 2 (Aubameyang 70)

Lovely finish. Guendozi allowed to roam from deep, and he chips a cute, clever, delicious ball forward. Aubameyang, like quicksilver, between the two centre-backs and he sticks out a toe to poke it home. Super movement, super finish. 

67 mins: Arsenal 1 Tottenham 2

Lacazette off for Mkhitaryan.

65 mins: Arsenal 1 Tottenham 2            

Son runs at the goal and… keeps running. A player with better decision making would have laid that off but Son, who has many excellent qualities, basically just runs until he hits a wall of defenders.

64 mins: Arsenal 1 Tottenham 2           

Ceballos soon letting rip with a shot from distance, he catches Sissoko with the follow through. Lloris saves.

62 mins: Arsenal 1 Tottenham 2          

Lacazette has been booked. Ceballos comes on for Torreira.

60 mins: Arsenal 1 Tottenham 2         

Aubameyang goes down in the box but the ref isn’t having it. Sanchez the man who stood accused.

Lamela has had the hook and Dele comes on in his place.

58 mins: Arsenal 1 Tottenham 2        

Played in by Eriksen, Kane lets rip with a thunderbolt from a tight angle that swerves viciously in the air and crashes against the post with the keeper gone for all money.

56 mins: Arsenal 1 Tottenham 2       

Eriksen, the Middelfart Mauler, halts an attack with a foul and receives a yellow card.

55 mins: Arsenal 1 Tottenham 2      

The resulting corner comes in, headed on and ooh that is a fraction away at the far post for the arriving Kolasinac and Aubameyang. I think the former impeded the latter.

Arsenal are on the charge!  Alexandre Lacazette curls one not far wide.

54 mins: Arsenal 1 Tottenham 2     

Nice move from Arsenal as Spurs stand off and give them space. Torreira lays it off to Guendozi who hits the target, decent stop from Lloris.

52 mins: Arsenal 1 Tottenham 2    

Lamela attacks the box, finds Son. Shot hits Xhaka and is stopped by Leno.

49 mins: Arsenal 1 Tottenham 2   

Lloris dithers on the ball before playing Vertonghen into trouble. Aubameyang pounces and intercepts but it cannons straight to Lloris. More clownish behaviour in North London.

To that point…

48 mins: Arsenal 1 Tottenham 2  

Tottingham have a corner. Too easy for Leno.

46 mins: Arsenal 1 Tottenham 2 

Arsenal are on the front foot straight away, Pepe can put a cross in from the right and Lacazette gets up well to head. Easy gather for Lloris though.

Players are out for 

the second half

Half time: Arsenal 1 Tottenham 2

The Arsenal defence has been a shambles, the Spurs one arguably even more so. Not sure either manager has got his tactics quite right. Davinson Sanchez is having a 3/10 game at right back for Spurs and Arsenal were able to steam through down the left time and again.

But while Arsenal have Xhaka and Luiz as their DMC and CB they will always be vulnerable. Luiz out of position for the first goal, aided and abetted by some wet-noodle -wrist keeping from Leno. And then Xhaka with an idiotic lunge to give away a pen.

This match is pretty much the third-place play-off for The Greatest League In The World™ and both outfits have massive, massive flaws. Go figure.

GOAL! Arsenal 1 Tottenham 2 (Lacazette 44)

Arsenal are back in it! It’s just awful from the Spurs back four, who look like they have hardly played football together before. Ball comes in from the left, Lacazette controls and surges into the area and wallops it past Lloris.

44 mins: Arsenal 0 Tottenham 2         

Arsenal, behind despite having been on top, continue to ask questions down the left. Sissoko, trying to help out the over-run Sanchez, makes a foul on Aubameyang and Arsenal have a free.

It’s half-cleared by Lloris and is surely close, that, to being a handball by Broadway Danny Rose.

42 mins: Arsenal 0 Tottenham 2        

Maitland-Niles twists and turns and fires a shot on target. Lloris half fumbles. I guess this is Tottenham’s day because the ball does not rebound far and he is able to pounce gratefully on the rebound.

GOAL! Arsenal 0 Tottenham 2 (Kane 40p)

Kane mullers that into the corner. No goalie ever born is touching that.

38 mins: Arsenal 0 Tottenham 1         

A penalty to Spurs! Utterly ludicrous play from Granit Xhaka. “A experienced player who never seems to learn from experience,” says Gurreh Neville, or words to that effect.

Winks plays the ball towards Son in the area, Xhaka has launched himself into a stupid two-footed lunge at Son in the box, fortunately for the Tottenham physio department, the forward gets most of his breakable bits out of the way. Just utterly brainless and a clear penalty all day long.

35 mins: Arsenal 0 Tottenham 1        

This Leno needs to work on his wrists! Another shot, another powderpuff parry – this time it is Son who gathers the rebound but Leno’s luck is in because Son has no angle to shoot. The moment passes.

34 mins: Arsenal 0 Tottenham 1       

Bright sunshine in North London, the shadow of the stand across 3/4 of the pitch.

32 mins: Arsenal 0 Tottenham 1      

Mauricio P gets Rose over to the touchline and issues some instructions.

31 mins: Arsenal 0 Tottenham 1     

Lamela the next Tottenham player harried into a foul. Spurs getting over run here, this is an odd match.  Sead Kolasinac the player he fouls.

28 mins: Arsenal 0 Tottenham 1    

That’s curled in by Pepe and Kane is the man who heads it safely behind. Corner. That is headed behind as well by Spurs’s lighthouse Toby Alder. A second corner.

27 mins: Arsenal 0 Tottenham 1   

Tottenham’s centre backs are deep and narrow. Something very odd going on with the defence. The Arsenal forward apply the press and the under-pressure Danny Rose has to commit a foul when he is give the ball in a hospital pass from a short goal kick. Lacazette the victime.

25 mins: Arsenal 0 Tottenham 1  

Arsenal have a freekick and deploy David Luiz. Dead centre about 25 yards out. No! It’s Pepe who hits it. Not a good effort, nowhere near.

23 mins: Arsenal 0 Tottenham 1 

From the ensuing corner it’s Torreira who has the effort. Nothing to write home about.

22 mins: Arsenal 0 Tottenham 1

More joy for Arsenal down that left. Surely Spurs need to help out Sanchez their right back? He’s getting bullied down there. Cross comes in and here’s Pepe rising to head at goal. The stalwart Rose manages to just get in the way

17 mins: Arsenal 0 Tottenham 1      

Spurs again come on the break! This time it is Son who carries the ball, he drives forward and he curls a really strong shot at goal. Leno has to leap a good way and tip that behind. Arsenal backed off the South Korean favourite there.

16 mins: Arsenal 0 Tottenham 1     

Game is played in a good atmosphere at a high tempo. Some class from Arsenal in those first few minutes but it is all a bit frantic now.

13 mins: Arsenal 0 Tottenham 1    

Arsenal look to hit back, Kolasinac gallops into the area and then falls over.

GOAL! Arsenal 0 Tottenham 1 (Eriksen 10)

Spurs have done them on the break! A long ball from the goalie, Harry Kane up gamely to win the header between two opponents. Son picks it up and plays in Lamela – David Luiz drawn to the ball like a moth to a flame and totally upsetting the coverage. Lamela tries a shot that Leno palms tamely right into the path of Eriksen, who cannot miss.

It’s an awful bit of goalkeeping. It was a low diagonal daisycutter of a shot, Leno should have pushed it away with a firm wrist or cushioned it into his body. Instead he just pattycaked it to the unmarked Spurs forward. Weak.

9 mins: Arsenal 0 Tottenham 0   

Vertonghen commits himself unwisely and is second to the ball, where Lacazette picks it up to shoot tamely.

8 mins: Arsenal 0 Tottenham 0  

Spurs battling hard though. Midfielders putting themselves about to disrupt the Arsenal flow.

5 mins: Arsenal 0 Tottenham 0 

Arsenal are really at it this afternoon, very impressive bright and busy start, especially down the left. Spurs right back Sanchez needs to sort his positioning out because they are getting outside him every time.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang crosses and Danny Rose has to clear behind.

From the corner, Son tries a weak clearing header, the ball drops for a shot, and Kane has to block it clear.

2 mins: Arsenal 0 Tottenham 0

Aubameyang opens the defence up with a back heel! Cross comes in for Pepe who controls and shoots on the turn but it was not on target. Nice work from Aubamers.

Erik Lamela in action with Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who played a cool backheel early on 

Erik Lamela in action with Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who played a cool backheel early on 

Credit:
Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs

1 mins: Arsenal 0 Tottenham 0

Spurs kick off but those Arsenal forwards are pressing the defenders and keeper early and a hoof goes out of play. Arsenal throw.

A 433 for Arsenal

With Luiz as the left centre half.

Tottenham with a back four and what one anticipates to be a midfield diamond.

Fans

an Arsenal supporter an a Spurs fan ahead of the match

Rivals: an Arsenal supporter an a Spurs fan ahead of the match

Credit:
Reuters

Aubameyang

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Credit:
Reuters

Nicholas Pepe

Scouting report: The multiple options Nicolas Pepe gives Arsenal for the north London derby

JJ says that Pepe can play as a right midfielder when they are defending in a 442 and then become the right-side of a 433 in attack. Nifty.

And no less a personage than Jose Mourinho is now explaining that very point on Sky TV!

Jose Mourinho is on punditry detail

Jose Mourinho is on punditry detail

Credit:
Sky Sports

Mauricio Pochettino

“Yes, I talked with Eriksen after training. He is committed with us and of course he is in the right frame of mind.”

He confirms that he will use a back four. And Dele Alli is on the bench for the first time this term.

Granit Xhaka

“Everybody knows what a derby means. Tough game. Hard game. But a football game.”

Unai Emery

“I believe in our players and we believe in the front three.” That front three, starting together for the first time, features the mouthwatering prospect of Pepe joining Aubameyang and Lacazette.

Warm up

Christian Eriksen warming up

Christian Eriksen warming up

Credit:
Getty Images

Not directly related

to this match but I really commend this article from Sam Wallace about young players and how clubs handle them.

The strange case of Liverpool’s Bobby Duncan a cautionary tale for promising young footballers

Good finish

to the Everton vs Wolves game by way of a starter this afternoon, the lad Richarlison just scored a sweet one to make it 3-2

Two great strikers

Arsenal vs Spurs teams

Arsenal: Leno, Maitland-Niles, Papastathopoulos, Luiz,  Kolasinac, Torreira, Xhaka, Guendouzi, Pepe, Lacazette,  Aubameyang. Subs: Mkhitaryan, Ceballos, Ozil, Chambers, Nelson,  Martinez, Willock.

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen,  Rose, Sissoko, Winks, Lamela, Eriksen, Son, Kane. Subs:  Lo Celso, Alli, Gazzaniga, Aurier, Lucas Moura, Skipp, Davies.

Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire) 

Good afternoon

North London Derby incoming and there is plenty to discuss before we get the teams shortly, and then a 4.30pm kick-off.

This is about a match, about bragging rights and Premier League points, but for Arsenal especially it is also about identity. What is an Arsenal team in 2019? And how should Unai Emery go about challenging the neighbours, who have become the pre-eminent side in the capital in the last year or so.

Here, JJ Bull explains how Emery has got the Arsenal side to evolve in his tenure.

During his time at PSG and Sevilla, Emery preferred a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 in teams which made use of transitions and played from the back. Having employed a 3-4-3 for most of last season – due largely to injuries to Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin – Emery has since reverted to his usual setup, using this second season in charge to put his stamp on an Arsenal in flux. 

Arsenal started in a 4-2-3-1 for the 1-0 win against Newcastle and did the same for a hard-earned 2-1 victory over Burnley at the Emirates. Both games featured several youngsters, with Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock introduced to the first team proper, the latter doing so well he started against Liverpool too.

The keys to Arsenal’s win against Burnley were Emery’s tinkeringand Dani Ceballos, both representative of change from the Wenger era.

How Unai Emery has tweaked Arsenal’s tactics, why he used a diamond vs Liverpool, and what to expect against Spurs

And Sam Dean, meanwhile, delves deep into the question of what it is that the manager does, and what he is trying to do

What is Arsenal’s “identity” under Unai Emery? It is both a question that is frequently asked of the Spaniard and the basis for much of the criticism he has received during his time in north London. There is a simple answer, though, and a single match that perfectly encapsulates what Emery is trying to do at the Emirates: last season’s 4-2 victory over Tottenham Hotspur.

Anyone wondering what “Emeryball” looks like should find the footage of that derby and settle down in front of their screen. They will note the ferocity of Arsenal’s players, the intensity of their attacking play and the flexibility of their system.

They will see how Lucas Torreira careered into tackles like a turbocharged dodgem, how substitutes Matteo Guendouzi and Stephan Lichtsteiner triggered a touchline brawl and how Emery screamed at his team for more, pumping his fists towards the sky, after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had scored a second-half equaliser.

Why Arsenal’s 2018 north London derby victory is the blueprint for Unai Emery’s vision

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