Sturdy defensive performance sees Arsenal FC through to all three points against Tottenham Hotspur at the North London Derby.
This win has kept Arsenal well in hunt for the title as Chelsea dropped points against Aston Villa on Saturday, while it is realistically ended Tottenham’s hope of getting into the top four. Spurs came into this game under a lot of pressure after suffering heavy defeats against Chelsea and Benfica in their previous two matches, but despite a solid second half performance they failed to break down the Arsenal defence and suffered their fifth defeat in their last seven matches in all competitions.
Arsenal started the match on the front foot and Tomas Rosicky provided them with a dream start as he scored with thunderous strike in the opening minutes of the game. It was a goal to remember and certainly worthy of being the winner, as it turned out to be. Tottenham looked ragged at the back with Arsenal easily breaching their highline time and again on the counter-attacks. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain wasted a glorious opportunity to double the lead when he went through on goal before trying an audacious chip, which went all wrong.
Tottenham looked the a much better side in the second half though as they shored up at the back, dominated possession and pressed hard when Arsenal had the ball. The home side put Arsenal under a lot of pressure, but were let down by their finishing or final ball. The Gunners managed to hold on to the lead at the end as they showed tremendous defensive resolve.
Arsene Wenger was pleased with the result and praised his side’s defensive grit in the game.
“We absorbed a lot of pressure from Tottenham today.
“We scored an early goal, so we were protecting our lead and we didn’t take advantage enough of our counter-attacks, especially in the first half.
“As long as you don’t score the second goal you are under pressure. Tottenham played well, they had a very good game, and defensively we needed to be special.
“If you look at the clear-cut chances, we had better chances. They had a lot of possession today, a lot of domination. I agree we didn’t have our usual possession, and that’s down to their effort and commitment.
“But, as well, you have to give credit to our defensive quality.” – The Arsenal manager said.
The Frenchman insisted that at times it is important to show that a team can win games even when they are not at their best, and the fact that this win comes after a tough trip to Munich and the FA Cup win over Everton, makes it all the more important.
“To go to Bayern, to come here, to beat Everton in the cup, it demands a lot of focus and a special spirit and that is what we have shown again today.
“It makes the next game very interesting. The win for Liverpool at Man Utd, and the fact that Man City won yesterday, it makes it very interesting.
“From time to time, it’s important to know you cannot always be super-dominant in a season. And to win games when you’re not is important.” – Wenger added.