Arsenal blew away the chance to close the gap between themselves and other top four rivals after a crucial loss against Tottenham at Wembley; Harry Kane proves decisive again.
All the pre-match talk of Arsenal closing the gap on Tottenham on the table and the much focus on the Gunners’ new signings performing against Tottenham was put to bed by a Harry Kane goal at Wembley. Kane scored the only goal of the game, which means now Tottenham are 8-points ahead of Arsenal in the table.
Arsenal’s fantastic run at Wembley is now over as a Tottenham team took charge of proceedings in the North London Derby and piled up more pressure on Arsene Wenger to deliver a top-four finish. With that, Arsenal’s dismal away form this season continued as they have been beaten seven times on the road.
The suspects were not only the defenders but as well the attackers, who failed to create much. Alexandre Lacazette, coming off the bench could have earned Arsenal a point late on in the game, but a failure to convert his chances meant, Tottenham took three points and thoroughly deserved it.
Here’s how Arsenal players rated against Tottenham in the North London Derby.
Petr Cech – 8/10
Arsenal’s best player tonight. Made some good saves to keep the match competitive and alive. If not for him, Arsenal’s defence, the way they played, could have shipped in many goals. Cech’s decisiveness between the sticks avoided a possible Arsenal humiliation at the hands of their bitter rivals. Could do nothing about the Harry Kane goal, as the striker headed the ball away from Cech.
Hector Bellerin – 7/10
Bellerin was Arsenal’s best outfield player. Displayed high energy in running up and down the right side of the pitch, dominating it. Arsenal’s other players offered no support offensively or defensively, thus ensuring his hard work went in vain. Created an excellent chance for Lacazette right at the end, but the Frenchman wasted the opportunity to score.
Laurent Koscielny – 5.5/10
Koscielny’s display in the first half was a total contrast to the second. In the first he was decisive and firm in holding the defence together, and in the second, abysmal. In the second half, he allowed space and time to Tottenham attackers, and such was the case in allowing Harry Kane to score the winner.
Shkodran Mustafi – 5.5/10
Like Koscielny, Mustafi too had a game of two halves. Made some excellent interceptions and vital blocks, putting in an industrial shift. Tottenham attackers did find a way past him in the second half, which allowed too much space and opportunities to create chances for scoring in the centre.
Nacho Monreal – 5.5/10
Failed to emulate some of his recent displays, but he showed good energy on the field. Not his usual self, Monreal was always on the back foot for majority of the game. Always available on the ball or for his teammates, but could neither provide decisive moments neither convinced too much with his defending.
Granit Xhaka – 5/10
Did good with his passing game and completed 94% of his passes against Tottenham. Despite that number, Xhaka failed to control the midfield, as he has often been susceptible this season. The display against Spurs further cements opinion about the Swiss on his inconsistent performances.
Mohammed Elneny – 6/10
In recent matches, Arsenal’s defensive game has looked better when Elneny is on the pitch. Against Spurs too he was in the thick of things, winning possession back as well screening the midfield area well. Despite his tidiness on the ball, he failed to contribute anything to Arsenal’s attack.
Jack Wilshere – 7/10
Since his return to the first team, Wilshere has been a different player due to his solid performances. Against Tottenham he had a similar performance, working hard and battling his way through the Spurs’ midfield and defence. In the end was responsible like his fellow midfielders in losing the battle in the middle of the park.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 4.5/10
A total contrast to his Everton performance. He provided no spark to Arsenal’s attack. Defensively was involved a bit, but all the focus was on what he could create to attack spurs, in which case he disappointed. Taken off in the second half to be replaced by Lacazette.
Mesut Ozil – 5/10
Like Mkhitaryan, Ozil too had a really poor game. At times tried to create chances for team-mates but nothing came to fruition. Remained central to most Arsenal attacks, but the Spurs’ defence were alert to sniff out the danger he could bring.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 5/10
Aubameyang, like Mkhitaryan, had a match to forget. A poor display from Arsenal’s record signing against their bitter rivals. The main reason for his lousy performance was that he practically got no service from his midfielders to score. After Lacazette came on, was pushed out wide on the left, which made him even less involved in the game.
Alex Iwobi – 5/10
Could not settle himself in the game. Tried his ways to get past players and create chances, but like his fellow teammates, had a bad evening.
Alexandre Lacazette – 4/10
Missed two glorious opportunities to get Arsenal back in the game, including Arsenal’s chance of the match in second-half stoppage time, which could have earned Arsenal a draw. The wasted opportunities will do more damage to his already torrid drought in front of goal, which has seen him score only once in 13-games.
Danny Welbeck – N/A
Hard to rate a player who was just returning from injury and put into the mix at a crucial stage of the game. Had very less time to settle in and provide decisive moments. Did earn a crucial free kick only for Ozil to hit the wall, which was ultimately the final kick of the game.