Arsenal FC were held by Tottenham Hotspur in the North London derby at the Emirates on Sunday, and an out-of-sorts Santi Cazorla was substituted after a first half that saw Mauricio Pochettino’s men dominate proceedings
Tottenham Hotspur will probably feel a draw was a worse result for them than it was for Arsenal FC, after the White Hart Lane outfit dominated the first half, going ahead through Harry Kane’s well-taken effort in the 32nd minute.
The Spurs midfield took control of the centre of the park with the likes of Eric Dier and Dele Alli impressing, and Gunners’ midfielder Santi Cazorla’s tired performance was part of the reason for that. Manager ArsA?ne Wenger later explained the Spaniard felt ‘dizzy’ and ‘could not move’.
Wenger explains Cazorla substitution
Speaking after the 1-1 draw at the Emirates, Wenger explained why Spain international Santi Cazorla was hauled off at half time. The Frenchman is quoted by the Guardian as saying:
“We suffered in the first half, as Cazorla was at only 30% of his potential. He was dizzy and so many times, I didna t know whether to take him off or not. He was not sick, just dizzy and he could not move.
a I didna t know what he had so at half-time I took him off. I hope it is nothing bad. He says he is all right now. He has not gone to hospital. Cazorla is usually the guide in our game and he didna t get the ball. Tottenham is a good side and, when you play with one guy less and you have to make the game, ita s difficult.”
With the injury list getting bigger over the past couple of weeks, the lack of depth in the Gunners’ midfield was apparent as Wenger was forced to bring on Mathieu Flamini to partner Francis Coquelin in midfield. That central midfield role could otherwise have been occupied by the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere or even Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
‘Angry’ Giroud wanted to score, explains Wenger
Olivier Giroud had several gilt-edged opportunities to equalise for Arsenal FC before Kieran Gibbs’ 77th minute leveller, and Wenger revealed that the France international was ‘angry’ at having failed to take those opportunities. The Gunners’ boss also acknowledged that the 1-1 draw was a fair outcome considering how the match had played out.
“Giroud is very angry,a Wenger said (via the Guardian). a When you see a player who is happy to miss chances, you can worry. He wanted too much to score, especially the opportunity he had in the six-yard box. But a miss like that can happen. I accept that.
“We showed great mental resources and we refused to give up. Tottenham had a good moment in the second half at 1-0 when they had one or two good chances and Cech kept us in the game. When you are 1-0 down ita s a mixture of relief and regret because, if we were really clinical, we would have won it in the last 15 minutes.
a Giroud had the chances but, if I try to be fair, I must say that the point is maybe a fair result.”