It was an extremely disappointing match for us. We weren’t good enough by a long shot, and we were found lacking both in attack and defence. The loss sees us drop to sixth, with the Spuds leap-frogging us and moving up into fourth.
Here are the key points from the game:
1.We failed to keep the lead for the umpteenth time this season.
At the end of the weekend we’ll probably be 14 points behind the league champions Chelsea. What looking at the table won’t tell you though, is just how many points we’ve thrown away from leading positions this season.
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Leicester – 2, Manchester City – 2, Hull City – 2, Swansea – 3, Liverpool – 2, Spuds – 3.
So, that’s 14 points lost from the winning positions. Why is that happening?
Far too often we look content to sit back and soak up the pressure, while not applying any of our own. In order to effectively pull off the defensive tactic that worked so well against Manchester City, we need to be able to hit teams on the counter and leave them fearful of over-committing.
2.Alexis Sánchez was missed after all.
The Chilean’s presence was heavily missed, as he would have given a lot more width to our attack. Mesut Özil had a decent game, and even got himself on the scoresheet. It’s not just the goals that were missed from the wing though, it was the pressure on the defence that opens up space for Giroud.
We can discuss whether or not Arsene Wenger is to blame for Sanchez’s injury, but it won’t be of much help to us now. As soon as the Chilean returns, we should look a much stronger side.
3.Laurent Koscielny couldn’t cope with Harry Kane.
Koscielny was not at his best today, and struggled to keep up with an impressive Harry Kane. The winning goal for the Spuds came after Nabil Bentaleb’s cross went unchallenged, with Koscielny opting not to jump with Kane; giving him a free header.
4.Mesut Özil scores goals.
If there is one positive thing about this game, it’s Özil’s third goal in his third start since returning from injury. It was a well taken goal, but it turned out to be the first time Özil scored and we didn’t go on to win the game. Hopefully he is finding some semblance of his Real Madrid form, and continues this fine goalscoring run.
5.David Ospina made a number of difficult saves.
David Ospina hadn’t conceded a goal from an open play since the game against Southampton, but he couldn’t do much against Kane. He made a number of great stops though – his point blank save against an offside Kane was particularly impressive – and he shouldn’t be blamed for our defeat.
6.Aaron Ramsey might get a break.
Things just aren’t going right for the Welshman at the moment, and we might not be able to afford the luxury of playing him back into form. He couldn’t find the right pass in the final third today, and perhaps he should sit out our next game in favour of Tomas Rosicky.
7.Danny Welbeck is lightning quick.
The English striker was instrumental in our first goal, and the pace he showed to beat Danny Rose was phenomenal. His compatriot is no slouch, yet Welbeck left him for dead before picking out Olivier Giroud.
We always knew he was fast, but that run just highlighted how much pace he really possesses.
8.Theo Walcott can’t find his feet against tired legs.
Our other speed merchant made a late substitute appearance, and the game seemed set up for him to shine. He offered next to nothing going forward however, and really needed to do more.
You would expect him to thrive against tired legs late on, but he proved totally ineffectual against a stubborn Spurs side.
Nothing is lost yet. There are a lot of points to play for. We just need to regroup and get back to winning ways.