Monday, May 20, 2024

Arsenal 4-2 Tottenham: Emery gets substitutes just right in thrilling derby victory

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Arsenal earned a brilliant 4-2 victory as they came from behind against North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

The Gunners enjoyed a perfect start as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang netted from the penalty spot in the only the tenth minute. In truth, they were dominant throughout the first-half but a headed equaliser from Eric Dier and a spot-kick from Harry Kane saw an impressive Tottenham comeback come to fruition before the break.

Aubameyang’s afternoon was not over though as a fantastic Arsenal move saw him sweep the ball home from outside of the area. Unai Emery introduced Alexandre Lacazette and Aaron Ramsey and both played their parts as the Frenchman edged Arsenal ahead with a deflected strike. Lucas Torreira then got his first Arsenal goal as he struck a clinical finish from inside the area only three minutes later to secure the win.

Any hopes of another Tottenham comeback were effectively wiped out late in the game as Vertonghen was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Aubameyang gets Arsenal off to perfect start

Spurs did n0t know how to cope with their hosts in the opening few minutes. That impressive Arsenal start bore fruit early on as Aubameyang converted from the spot. Vertonghen was the guilty party as he raised his arm from a free-kick, leading to the awarding of the penalty. Aubameyang stepped up and coolly converted to score his first North London derby goal.

The chances continued to flow for Unai Emery’s troops as Alex Iwobi, Hector Bellerin and Lucas Torreira all had efforts towards goal but a combination of wayward shooting and clever interventions from Hugo Lloris kept the advantage down to one.

Tottenham complete turnaround in crazy four minutes

Despite really struggling throughout the majority of the opening period, Tottenham were level on the stroke of the half an hour mark. Dier leapt highest from a Christian Eriksen free-kick to power a header beyond Bernd Leno.

The turnaround was complete only a matter of minutes later as Spurs were awarded their own penalty after Rob Holding scythed down Heung-Min Son in the area. Naturally, it was Kane who took responsibility and he powered the ball into the net to notch his eighth goal against Arsenal in only nine games.

Emery rings the changes

Gunners boss Emery made significant changes at half-time as his team aimed to get back into the clash. Aaron Ramsey and Alexandre Lacazette replaced Iwobi and Mkhitaryan. However, it was Tottenham who started the second-period better as Kane forced the best out of Leno from a testing free-kick.

The alterations paid dividends almost instantly however, with Ramsey playing a key role in a spectacular Arsenal equaliser. The Welshman made a great run behind the Tottenham defence and managed to squeeze the ball to Aubameyang. With one swoop of his right-foot, the ex-Borussia Dortmund man bent the ball into Lloris’ near post with a great strike from distance.

Continuing to probe, chances continued to be carved out by the hosts. Mustafi had a great chance cleared off the line just before Torreira sent a fizzing shot just wide.

Lacazette and Torreira polish Tottenham off

Emery’s substitutes then had another brilliant impact as Arsenal edged ahead. Ramsey played through Lacazette but the ball did not quite have enough momentum to carry him into the box. Instead, the Frenchman set the ball back and set his sights from outside the box. His low effort took a slight deflection off of Dier to nestle into the bottom corner, sending the Emirates into pandemonium.

The scoreline then got even better as Torreira latched onto Aubemayeng’s pass. The Uruguayan wriggled away from Dier before firing low past Lloris.

Tottenham’s day then even worse as defender Jan Vertonghen was sent off for a second bookable offence by crunching into Lacazette. That effectively ended the clash as Arsenal celebrated a memorable victory.

Final Thoughts

This was a game that really did have everything. There was brilliant goals, penalties, red cards, drama. comebacks and much more. Arsenal really did play some thrilling football and deserved their three points. Aubameyang and Torreira in particular were excellent. However, Emery deserves a lot of credit for making the perfect substitutions that allowed the Gunners to get back into the game.

Match Report

Arsenal: Leno (7); Mustafi (6) (Guendouzi (6), 71′), Sokratis (7), Holding (6); Bellerin (7), Torreira (8), Xhaka (7), Kolasinac (6); Mkhitaryan (5) (Ramsey (8), 45′), Aubameyang (8), Iwobi (6) (Lacazette (8), 45′).

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris (5); Davies (6) (Rose (N/A), 82′), Vertonghen (4), Foyth (5), Aurier (5); Dier (6), Eriksen (5), Sissoko (6); Alli (6) (Winks (N/A), 79′), Son (6) (Moura (N/A), 79′), Kane (6).

Goals: Aubameyang PEN (10′), Dier (30′), Kane PEN (34′), Aubameyang (56′), Lacazette (74′), Torreira (77′)

Referee: Mike Dean

Yellow Cards: Vertonghen (9′, 85′), Dier (32′), Mustafi (37′), Xhaka (49′), Alli (65′), Aurier (90′)

Red Cards: Vertonghen (85′)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Orme


Daniel is a football journalism graduate from the University of Derby. He has been freelance writing for approximately six years now and brings considerable experience. A season ticket holder at local club Leicester City, he witnessed the Foxes miraculously lifting the Premier League trophy in the 2015/16 campaign.

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