Arsenal hosted Tottenham at the Emirates Stadium. There were just three points separating the two as they made their way into this intriguing fixture.
Arsenal welcomed Theo Walcott back in the squad, with Alexis restored to his position as a central striker. Harry Kane made his way back into the Tottenham starting XI which seemed to be a big boost for Mauricio Pochettino ahead of the match.
The match, as expected, created a lot of opportunities right from the start for both teams, with both having a chance to score before Ozil’s ball in from a free-kick found Wimmer’s head. The goal came just before half-time and Arsenal went into the break with something to cheer about. The lead, however, lasted only five minutes after the break. Moussa Dembele’s gliding run came to a halt when Koscielny made enough contact to convince Mark Clattenberg to give the visitors a penalty. It was converted by Harry Kane who recorded his first goal coming back from a knee injury.
This thrilling encounter definitely could have produced a different result, but it was honours even at the Emirates. Let’s have a look at our contenders for Arsenal’s ‘Man of the Match’.
A) Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez has had 8 goals so far in the Premier League but could not produce one in the North London Derby today. He was good at pressing Tottenham’s players up front and made good runs to try and open up the visitor’s defence. He might not have got into a significant position up front, but produced decent balls which created attacking opportunities for Arsenal. He showed good determination going forward but maybe lacked a bit of physical presence to make a significant impact.
B) Hector Bellerin
Hector Bellerin seemed a doubt until yesterday on whether he will feature or not, but he was declared fit after the tests and provided Arsenal with a huge boost. After declaring his desire to stay at Arsenal for a long time, Bellerin proved us with some wonderful football. His attacking runs were constant throughout the match and he did well to get into advanced positions to trouble Tottenham’s defence. Bellerin did well defensively, stopping attacks launched by the visitors and authoritatively making neat tackles whenever he sensed danger. Bellerin was composed on the ball and had a consistent, solid ninety minutes.
C) Francis Coquelin
Coquelin partnered up with Granit Xhaka to operate in Arsenal’s midfield and had a great impact on the game. His solid tackles are now a norm and his good distribution across the field makes him a lethal option in the Arsenal’s starting XI. Coquelin was also able to distribute balls to force Arsenal counters and also made a couple of runs to provide options for his fellow teammates. His trademark tackles were vital in winning Arsenal back possession. Coquelin’s first goal in 118 appearances for Arsenal could have come when Alexis set him up for a volley, which was struck decently but was blocked by Tottenham’s defence. Coquelin has established himself quite well in Arsenal’s midfield and continues to provide solid performances.
D) Nacho Monreal
After suffering from a muscular injury, Monreal made his way back into the first-team and put in a solid display. He provided width to Arsenal’s attacks and stayed solid at the back. He was quick to clear his lines before any danger mounted and seemed in control for most of the match. Vitally he made a clearance to stop Kane smash the ball in, while also making a superb tackle on Kane to probably stop a goal.
A tough result, at a tough time in the Premier League for Arsenal but a point has its value. Hector Bellerin came up with a solid enough display and has earned today’s ‘Man of the Match’.
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