The North London Derby turned out to be yet another exciting affair, and this time Tottenham got their revenge by picking up a much needed win and going above their hated rivals. 2 goals from the ever impressive Harry Kane sealed the comeback win for Spurs while Arsenal were left ruing a missed opportunity to go 3rd. Here are a few talking points from the game.
The 21 year old youngster is fast becoming an indispensable player for Tottenham having crossed the 20 goals barrier for the season. Kane was in an excellent position to take the first goal for Spurs, after Arsenal’s David Ospina palmed the ball away from a corner. He was once again ready as he rose the highest to head in the winner, bringing Arsenal’s run of 5 wins on the trot to an end, and going above their neighbours in the process. England manager Roy Hodgson was at the game, and he will surely have made note of the impact the Englishman has had on the Spurs team. It will be a big surprise if Kane is not included in the England squad for their next game.
Danny Welbeck vs Theo Walcott
When it was announced that Danny Welbeck would be starting ahead of Theo Walcott, it was met with surprise, considering Welbeck was coming back from an injury while Walcott had scored in his 2 previous appearances. However, the decision was vindicated in the sense that Welbeck created the chance for Arsenal’s goal and almost scored one himself, if it wasn’t for Hugo Lloris making an excellent save. While Walcott may be a better sprinter, Welbeck offers a more rounded game, and is a lot better defensively too. This showed in his constant battle throughout the game with Danny Rose, and was also back helping a Hector Bellerin that wasn’t having the best of games. While Walcott does come back to defend, he isn’t that aware positionally while Welbeck is better at that.
For all the flak he has received last season, Mesut Ozil is showing what he can bring to the team and why Arsene Wenger persists with the German despite claims that he does not do enough. Ozil, since his return from injury, has scored 3 goals in 3 games and has shown an efficiency in front of goal that is helping his team more than ever. There have always been accusations that Ozil does not do enough during the entire game, but the people who matter and the people whose job it is to analyse every small bit of the game agree that Ozil is always creating space for his teammates, albeit in a very subtle way that is not always evident to fans in the stadium and those watching on tv. Maybe his goals will finally convince them of his worth.
What was surprising in this derby was the domination the Spurs midfield had in the game. For most parts of the match, it was Tottenham that was setting the tempo of the game. Arsenal, for some reason, went into their shell and got stuck defending at the back. There were many a times when Arsenal could not get out of their own half, while all the Spurs players, except the goalkeeper were in the Gunners’ half. It was troubling to see that Arsenal were not able to clear the lines and always seemed to find a Spurs player rather than their own. Tottenham certainly deserved to win the game, and Arsenal, even though they were favourites on paper, decided to go the City way to try and win the game, which might have been their undoing in the end.
Battle for Top 4
While Spurs may be above Arsenal at this point, if history has shown anything it is the ability of the gunners to somehow manage to finish above Tottenham and also qualify for the Champions League. Spurs have a League Cup final to look forward to and the Europa League, while Arsenal are still in the FA Cup and have a reasonably comfortable draw in the Champions League. This will be an interesting battle to see who will finish on top this season, but if league fixtures are looked at, Arsenal seem to have the easier run-in.