A Weird Point: Arsenal 1 – 1 Tottenham – Report & Player Ratings

Final Score
Arsenal 1 – 1 Tottenham

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The North London Derby needs no introduction. But I’ll give it one anyway. Rivalry, sweat, pain, brawls, blood, and sometimes even a Football match.

The Gunners started off pretty well. Ozil, although being played wide left again, was pulling the strings in the midfield for the most part. Wilshere was playing his part too, whilst Welbeck was making himself a nuisance, winning balls and taking shots.

Spurs managed to have a few positive spells. They were playing on the counter, and they were doing it with some mild success. Nothing for Arsenal to worry about too much, but Spurs weren’t lying down either.

Obviously, Arsenal’s dominant spell resulted in no clear chances, and no goals. This allowed Spurs to build up their momentum.

Obviously, Arsenal’s dominant spell resulted in no clear chances, and no goals. This allowed Spurs to build up their momentum. Thankfully, they didn’t do much with it either.

The second half started off okay, but it was Tottenham who struck first.

Flamini was slow in the middle, losing possession far too easily. Lamela then picked it up and played a good ball into Chadli, who slotted home into the far corner. Typical.

Alexis was finally brought on by Wenger, and things started to change. He, Gibbs, The Ox and Ozil in particular were pushing Arsenal forwards, and Tottenham were struggling to deal with the pressure.

The breakthrough came in the seventy-fourth minute. Cazorla smacked a cross into the box, which took a slight deflection. Welbeck missed it, and Oxlade-Chamberlain smashed it home. Finally, a goal.

The rest of the game was frustrating.

…A soft centre made up of Cazorla and Flamini meant we were always weary of committing.

It was all Arsenal, but they just couldn’t find another goal. Ozil, Alexis and Ox were the driving force until the final minute, but Welbeck’s movement had slowed, and a soft centre made up of Cazorla and Flamini meant we were always weary of committing.

In the end, it was a point each. But with Alexis on the bench until late, amd Ozil swapping on and off the wing, it was a game which Wenger approached weirdly. The result, therefore, was kind of expected.

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Arsenal Player Ratings

Szczesney: [7/10]

Good distribution, solid between the stick overall. Couldn’t do much for the goal.

Chambers: [6.5/10]

I liked Calum in parts today, but he showed some immaturity at times too, especially for his Yellow card. Linked up with Chamberlain brilliantly though.

Mertesacker: [7/10] 

Very nearly got a goal, which Lloris scrambled off the line. Also nearly scored an own goal. However, he made some awesome challenges and interceptions, too.

Koscielny: [7.5/10] 

Laurent loves a big game. He battled hard, won tackles and read the game well

Giibs: [6.5/10]

I love Kieran’s energy, and I also love the way he pulls off at least one great challenge a game, including today. However, he was very wasteful going forward, and that’s an issue he can’t seem to shake off. Better passing and crosses are needed in the final third. Could have also been better positioned for Chadli’s goal.

Arteta: [6/10]

Wasn’t on the pitch for too long before being subbed off for an injury. Before that, he made one good tackle to ward off an attack, and looked comfortable.

Ramsey: [5/10] 

Aaron is in very poor form. He was giving balls away, getting dispossessd, and just wasn’t clicking well with the team like usual. Made one good move though, resulting in an Ox shot.

Wilshere: [6.5/10] 

Jack was okay in spells, running at players and winning fouls in his usual style. Couldn’t ignite any real chances though, and his passing could have been better.

Ozil: [7.5/10] – MOTM

Mesut didn’t get any assists or goals today, but he was involved in almost every attack. His touched were fantastic, and his passing was on point. Drove Arsenal forward with every move.

The Ox: [7.5/10]
It was a toss-up between Ox and Mesut for MOTM. Chamberlain was positive all game, but he wasn’t always effective. Took good shots, and linked with Chambers well, and obviously took his chance when it came to him, smashing home the equalizer.

Welbeck: [6.5/10]

Danny was great in the first half, but went missing in the second half. In the first, he harried defenders, won tackles and took some good shots. In the second, his movement wasn’t as good, and Arsenal’s attacks suffered as a result.

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Substitutes

Cazorla: [6/10]
Didn’t give the positive performance that was needed. He lost balls, passed okay, and didn’t do much else. 

Flamini: [4/10]
Came on, gave the ball away for Chadli’s goal, and walked off at full-time. I don’t think I’m missing anything there. A defensive midfielder is so badly needed, that it hurts.

Alexis: [6.5/10]
took him a few minutes to warm to the game, but he soon looked lively. However, it was too little too late. Why was he left on the bench?!

A Weird Point

Today’s game was just weird.

After Ozil’s performance against Aston Villa, I was shocked to see him starting on the left. He eventually played in the 10 role as the injuries rolled in, but why are we even having this discussion? Play your best number 10 and number bloody 10. Sacrifice Wilshere on the left-wing, if need be.

Furthermore, Alexis was once again left on the bench. Even more weirdly, Cazorla was selected over him when Ramsey got injured. Just plain weird.

We ran Tottenham ragged nonetheless, but the lack of killer chances meant we could only muster one goal. If only Alexis and Ozil were both playing where they should have been.

Weird. Really weird.

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