Tottenham v Arsenal
White Hart Lane
Kick off: Saturday February 07, 2015 – 12.45 PM BST
A really disappointing result in what could prove to be a hugely important game, with Harry Kane netting twice to ensure we left White Hart Lane with nothing.
Tottenham enjoyed the greater possession, but it was we who grabbed the early goal. Danny Welbeck showed a great turn of pace as he knocked the ball past Danny Rose, and got his head up to pick out Olivier Giroud.
The Frenchman hit it first time, and looked to have skewed a shot badly wide. His mishit shot became a sublime pass when it fell to Mesut Özil however, and the German applied a superb finish to put us 1-0 up.
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There had been concerns over David Ospina early on, with the Colombian tweaking his thigh while making a save from Harry Kane. He recovered quickly however, and made a number of decent saves in the opening half an hour.
Hector Bellerin was also a cause for concern, and the young Spaniard was constantly being exploited. The home side were getting a lot of joy down our right side, and he was regularly caught out of position.
We were allowing Tottenham to have the majority of the ball, but apart from a few half chances they weren’t really troubling us.
There were a handful of yellow cards at the end of the first half, with Nacho Monreal and Welbeck rather unfairly going into the book.
The Spaniard was cautioned for obstructing Kyle Walker, who went out of his way to dive into the left-back despite our man’s best efforts to get out of the way.
Welbeck followed suit soon after, booked for a foul on Danny Rose. It was arguably a free kick in Tottenham’s favour, but Rose’s theatrical collapse was what resulted in the card being brandished.
The deadline day signing let his compatriot know exactly what he thought, and the two players exchanged a few words.
The half time whistle went soon after, but that wasn’t the end of the animosity between the two Englishmen. Rose booted the ball at Welbeck, who consequently went over to continue their earlier conversation. The referee intervened, and it seemed like our man was the one being berated.
The bookings continued in the second half, with Laurent Koscielny seeing yellow for a mistimed, and unnecessary, slide on Moussa Dembele. It was another rather harsh one, but it was poor from the Frenchman.
We defended the free-kick that looked to be in a dangerous area, but Spurs equalised soon after.
Koscielny was involved again, deflecting a Ryan Mason shot wide of the goal for a corner. Ospina palmed the ball into a dangerous area, and Kane was there to slot it in. The 26-year-old shot-stopper really should have done better, and unfortunately Tottenham deserved the goal. 1-1.
We weren’t really threatening that much, and looked more likely to concede again rather than score. The opposition were piling on the pressure, and our defence wasn’t looking nearly as solid as it had done in the opening forty-five.
Welbeck came close to restoring our lead, but saw a curling effort pushed behind by Hugo Lloris. We threatened again from the corner, Koscielny heading straight at the Tottenham goalkeeper who clutched it gratefully.
Spurs had frequent chances to take the lead, but none of them were clear cut and they couldn’t capitalise on any of them.
Santi Cazorla was having a fairly quiet game by his standards, and was the first to be substituted for Tomas Rosicky just before 70 minutes. We really missed the Spaniard, and although it wasn’t immediately noticeable, his ball retention had been hugely important.
With the home side pressing relentlessly, we were struggling to retain possession. We were frantically clearing the ball whenever we could, but as Giroud was our only outlet, possession was just being turned over for the attack to start again.
Cazorla works well in small spaces, and really should have been left on despite not having his best game.
Theo Walcott was brought on in place of Welbeck for a late impact, but he proved totally ineffectual. We were increasingly seeing our attacking threat wither, and it looked more like a matter of holding on for the draw.
We weren’t even able to do that however, and with just minutes left on the clock Spurs once again scored an important late goal.
There didn’t look to be an immediate threat, but a simple cross into the box proved to be our undoing. Harry Kane rose highest to meet the ball, nodding a looping header over Ospina and into the far corner to make it 2-1.
Chuba Akpom replaced Francis Coquelin as we looked to salvage a point, but we looked panicky and unlikely to score. We were unable to grab that all important goal, and the final whistle condemned us to defeat at White Hart Lane.