Arsenal squandered a late chance to snatch all three points against Tottenham at Wembley, although there was plenty of resilience in the 1-1 draw.
Unai Emery surprised many with his starting lineup selection, with the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Lucas Torreira preferred on the bench for Alexandre Lacazette and Matteo Guendouzi respectively. But as the game went on, one could see why Emery made those choices, as Arsenal battled hard to earn a well-deserved point against Tottenham, although they could have secured all three.
Aaron Ramsey put arsenal ahead halfway through the first half when he was in a one on one situation with Hugo Lloris, and the Welshman finished what an excellent counterattack move from the Gunners was. Since taking the lead Arsenal were more than happy to defend the lead, thus making sure Tottenham were left with nothing in their tank.
The Gunners were also unfortunate to not score some brilliant chances, infact the match produced 5 big chances for Arsenal. Lacazette was the culprit in missing two of those, the other being the goal scored by Ramsey and the remaining two were the penalty and the resulting rebound. Spurs, however, snatched theirs with the penalty but missed a glorious chance to go level, courtesy of a brilliant Bernd Leno double save.
Shkodran Mustafi’s foul around the 75th-minute mark ensured Tottenham won a penalty, although replays showed Harry Kane was clearly offside before being fouled. Kane leveled the game, and around the 90th minute, Arsenal were awarded a soft penalty for Davinson Sanchez’ foul on Aubameyang. The Gabonese frontman missed a glorious chance to snatch three points as Lloris saved rather easily.
In the end, Arsenal ended the game with 10 men as Torreira was shown a straight red deep into injury time. Both teams will be happy with the point, although it must have hurt Tottenham more. Spurs’ chances of a title are more than scarce after the draw, and they do have several big games to play for now. Let’s see how Arsenal’s players rated against Tottenham in their North London Derby clash.
Bernd Leno – 9
Leno produced one of the saves of the season as he first stopped Christian Eriksen’s effort from point-blank range and then the rebound shot from Sissoko. Other than that, the German was stable and was utterly reliable in the box.
Shkodran Mustafi – 5
Not a convincing performance from Mustafi, as he was the blip in an otherwise brilliant Arsenal defence. The German conceded the Spurs penalty after needlessly fouling Kane in the box rather than going for the ball. Otherwise, he did not look convincing at all in the right back role, often squandering some attacking moves with the wayward crossing.
Sokratis – 8.5
Man of the match performance from Sokratis. The defender did not let Harry Kane a moment of comfort and sniffed out any real danger the striker would have posed. Brilliant all through the day alongside Koscielny.
Laurent Koscielny – 8.5
If Sokratis zeroed in on Kane, then Koscielny was responsible for protecting the entire box, and he did so well. Brilliant at how he performed and fans can only wish he was a few years younger today.
Nacho Monreal – 8
Monreal’s selection too raised some eyebrows, but the Spaniard put in a solid performance to cope with the double threat of Son and Trippier. Won plenty of tackles and controlled his side of the pitch adequately. Only if Alex Iwobi had given him some support defensively, we could have seen a different game on his side of the pitch.
Granit Xhaka – 7.5
A disciplined performance from the midfielder. Although Xhaka was quiet in the first 15 minutes or so, but then he came into life, controlling proceedings in the middle. He also provided the excellent pass for Lacazette to release Ramsey from the goal. Otherwise a good performance and did not make any glaring mistakes.
Matteo Guendouzi – 7
Guendouzi was one of the best players in the first half, taking up the mantle to take the ball forward from midfield. He was also in control of the midfield, as well as took good care of Eriksen, ensuring the Dane was not at all comfortable in possession. Taken off at half time as Emery sent in Torreira to protect the slender 1-0 lead.
Alex Iwobi – 7
A good performance from Iwobi, despite being somewhat ineffective in attack. The winger struggled to hold the ball under pressure, although he did put in a right shift in tracking back and helping out Monreal in defence when needed.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 7.5
Mustafi would have been left high and dry had it not been for Mkhitaryan’s timely runs back into defence. In the second half, he was much more to his best, ensuring he took care of the ball, and showed plenty of heart and creativity with some clever touches and made sure he was a danger every time he got the ball. Mark our words, he will start the next game as well.
Aaron Ramsey – 7.5
A fantastic performance from Ramsey on his final North London Derby. Scored the goal which looked like the winner until the penalty, but his precision, energy and overall contributions were much more important than the goal. Nailed it.
Alexandre Lacazette – 6
Barring the assist for the Ramsey goal, Lacazette offered good command when he held the ball and put pressure on the opposition defence. What left him wanting was his prolificacy in front of goal, as the striker missed two good chances, one that could have put Arsenal 2-0 ahead. He will have regrets, and rightly so.
Lucas Torreira – 7
Yes, he got a late red card, but for such a challenge, Danny Rose deserved one earlier. Back to the Uruguayan, he had the highest pass completion rate of any Arsenal player and performed his role well of screening the defence. Unfortunate for him to have received the red, which means he will miss the crucial game against Manchester United next weekend.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 5
Missed the glorious chance to snatch all three points as he took a weak penalty which Lloris saved without making any real effort. He too will regret this and rightly so.
Mesut Ozil – 6
Never really got into the game, but credit to him for trying at times.