The North London Derby has been and gone, and sadly so has the undrawables. The points were shared at Wembley yesterday afternoon, and all things considered, I think it was a good point.
I was happy with the lineup, we decided to go with a back 3 and wingbacks, similar to our team against Dortmund a couple of weeks back. Wanyama was introduced to the starting XI in place of the injured Harry Winks, who hopefully won’t be out for too long. Their lineup missed some big players, to my surprise, and both teams went into the game with everything to play for.
We definitely started the game the better of the two teams, playing some good football, with Arsenal having a chance or two to show that they were still Arsenal and could catch us on the break at any given time, to which they did. Literally out of nothing, the ball was cleared to Sanchez who mis-headed it right into Lacazette who played a long through ball to Ramsey, who actually would’ve been offside provided he wasn’t in his own half. No one seemed to be back defending and one mistake lead to their opening goal, and a silly one to give away early on. Nevertheless we didn’t let our heads drop and continued to play well. Especially towards the end of the half, in which Leno began to play like prime Manuel Neuer. Making some incredible saves, particularly one double save denying both Eriksen before Sissoko. Similarly to the Chelsea game, we went into the end of the half the better side, yet failed to be leading in either. With even more work to do in this game.
Second half began, and was just as exciting as the first. End to end stuff, chances missed for both teams. Kane put the ball in but it was offside, and you’d think a goal was coming. But it didn’t happen until the 74th minute, in which Kane slotted away a penalty, after he was fouled previously. I will go into details of offsides and things shortly. The game remained fiery, and neither side wanted to walk away with a point. Aubameyang went down in the 90th minute and received a penalty. It looked like we were losing our third in a row and losing to our rivals twice in the premier league this season.. And we would’ve if it wasn’t for Hugo Lloris! Similar to Leicester, our keeper made a good save to prevent their number 14 from scoring the winner, and the points were shared in a game that arguably should’ve gone to our opponents.
So, my thoughts. First things first, what a North London Derby. Year on year it continues to prove why in my opinion it is by far the best derby the premier league has to offer. In terms of quality, matches, goals scored, and fans involved. And I cannot wait to play them at the new stadium. Now onto the decisions. It was a game of poor decisions, whether it be linesman or refereeing. I will try to remain as unbiased as possible as I try to keep these reviews as professional as possible. Even though I will always be reviewing Tottenham. First half, not many wrongdoings. But, Xhaka had a very poor tackle on Kane go unnoticed, studs up to the back of the leg. Now I’m not saying it was a definite red card, but a yellow at least, and a reckless studs up challenge to Harry, which was missed by the ref.
Second half, and this is where the controversy comes. Our penalty was given on an offside chance, in which Kane was fouled. Now there is some law apparently in which is a player is fouled in the build up in an offside position whilst or before attempting to play the ball, he’s not considered offside. I am not really sure what this is, but he was offside. But, and as Arsenal fans are always bringing up now, there were two Arsenal players in the box when Kane took his penalty so it technically shouldn’t have stood and retaken, not that he wouldn’t have just buried it again anyway. More on players running in too soon in a second. The next bad decision was Aubameyang’s penalty. I think it’s incredibly soft, and had it been Kane that had gone down, Arsenal fans along with every other fan would be screaming dive. Nevertheless he missed. Which brings me onto Vertonghen, who was way in the box when Auba took his penalty, as he then blocked the ball of the line quickly just after, after his head start. Leading to Arsenal fans wanting the penalty to have been retaken. But, Iwobi, the person who played the cross was also in the box, but I bet if it would’ve gone in and we wanted it to be retaken they’d laugh at us. Similarly, if Auba scored, I don’t think any Arsenal fans would want a redo. It’s all about disagreeing if it doesn’t go your way I think. And lastly, Rose and Torreira. Danny Rose, in my opinion, should’ve probably been sent off, after a flying tackle into the chest of Leno. It remains unseen, and then he gets fouled by Torreira who gets sent off. Which was a red card. It’s not always about getting the ball anymore, it is about reckless play. And with his studs up to Rose’s shin almost during the follow through, it was just that, and a rightful red in my opinion.
Anyway, it’s all swings and roundabouts. And there’s nothing any fan or player can do now its over. We just have to move onto our next two games. It’s Dortmund in the week, to which we go to Germany with a 3-0 lead. Thank god for that otherwise I would not be confident going into the game, not to say I am. You’re not Spurs if you doubt the possibility of losing 4-0. But I think we score once in Dortmund and it’s quarter finals for us. Next weekend we travel to Southampton, in another must win game in the league. We remained 4 points clear of Arsenal following the result, and now must continue this, especially with United and Arsenal playing each other next weekend as well. All to play for, and every match is massive for us now, particularly the games at Anfield and the Ethihad soon. But until then, just take each game as it comes, and hopefully we can now start regaining some momentum after this rough patch.
As always thanks for reading.