Arsenal fought back to hold Tottenham to a 2-2 draw, with Matteo Guendouzi putting in a solid performance, while Granit Xhaka shows his vulnerable side yet again.
The North London Derby proved its mettle with another entertaining clash between Arsenal and Tottenham. The Gunners came from two goals down to draw 2-2 after defensive errors gifted Tottenham two first-half goals.
Alexandre Lacazette pulled one back before the break, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the equaliser in the second half. A third Arsenal goal was disallowed for offside. Matteo Guendouzi, in particular, was impressive as he put in a coming of age performance.
The young Frenchman was heavily involved in both Arsenal goals and put in a masterful display in such a big game. Granit Xhaka, on the other hand, flopped when handed with the responsibility to lead the team.
Just how has Matteo seen that pass? 🤭
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) September 2, 2019
The Gunners looked balanced for most parts, but the defence still looks leaky. The consistency required wasn’t found despite Liverpool teaching them a valuable lesson last time out. As for the derby, Unai Emery will be somewhat pleased with the outcome, considering his team were two goals behind their bitter rivals. Let’s take a look at how Arsenal’s players fared against Tottenham.
Bernd Leno: 6/10
A mixed bag performance from the German keeper. In the first half, he did not look at ease as he spilled Erik Lamela’s tame effort to gift Christian Eriksen the first goal. He did spill the ball again; luckily, no damage was done. However, Leno made some crucial saves during the game to deny Spurs some wonderful opportunities to seal the game.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles: 7/10
Solid performances from Maitland-Niles, who was not too adventurous or even a liability. Defended well and provided excellent support for Nicolas Pepe on his side of the pitch. Overall, he was always present to receive the ball and make the play forward as Arsenal, for most parts of the game, looked to respond after going behind.
Another poor performance from Sokratis. Failed to win the header that eventually led to the first Spurs goal. Additionally, he should have done better to track Eriksen’s run or at least provide the defensive cover in case Leno spilled the ball. Leno did fumble, and Sokratis was nowhere near him to protect the loose ball.
David Luiz: 5.5/10
Not as bad as Sokratis, but he was at fault for the first goal as well. However, he made seven recoveries during the game and won all his tackles. His passing range is admirable and Luiz made some nice ones too. Defending still needs massive improvements if he is to stay on as the first-choice.
Sead Kolasinac: 6/10
Kolasinac should be thankful for the fact that he wasn’t tested much defensively on his side. However, his box-to-box display was beautiful and he made some darting runs into the box. The problem, however, is the Bosnian’s delivery, as he failed to make the most of his runs into the final third.
Matteo Guendouzi: 9/10
A coming of age performance from Guendouzi on such a big ocassion. Passed the ball well, won everything that came in his path, and dictated play for Arsenal in both halves.
Made a significant contribution on both flanks leading to the first goal, but that assist for Aubameyang’s strike could be one of the best we have seen so far this season. Guandouzi could be the midfield general Arsenal need.
Lucas Torreira: 6/10
Torreira did well on his first start of the season. His athleticism and mobility were helping Arsenal’s cause, although he needs to work hard on the ball. Did much of the hard work required from a midfielder in his position, but faded in the second half. No problems if he starts the next game and builds fitness during the international break.
Granit Xhaka: 3/10
Xhaka’s place is under severe threat, and it will not come as a surprise if he is dropped altogether for the next game. Starting with the scissor tackle to concede the penalty and then his lack of mobility exposed as Spurs led many attacks in the first half.
Xhaka did recover by playing a decent part in the second half, but that was because Spurs sat deeper anticipating Arsenal’s flow of attack.
Nicolas Pepe: 7/10
An exciting performance from Pepe, who was solid on the ball and made his presence felt whenever the opportunity arose. Provided a significant threat in the attack by either getting into the right positions or beating his man.
Got the assist for Lacazette’s goal, but he could have scored some from attractive opportunities. Improved finishing could have bagged three points for Arsenal, but he couldn’t.
Alexandre Lacazette: 7/10
Not at his best in the first half. He was sloppy with the ball and failed to control the forward position. Bad passes and an inability to hold off defenders got forgotten after a brilliant goal.
His control of Pepe’s ball and the lashed finish redeemed everything terrible about his night. Improved massively in the second period, although he went out with a suspected injury.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 8/10
Another hard-working performance from Arsenal’s top scorer. Starting the game on the left, he was a nightmare for Davinson Sanchez. His overall contribution got rewarded with a well-taken goal off a brilliant Guendouzi pass. The goal also helped Arsenal collect a point rather than lose all three.
Dani Ceballos: 7.5/10
A brilliant introduction from Emery as Ceballos proved his sharpness on the pitch. Hugo Lloris denied the Spaniard a stinging effort on goal, and overall, he provided the spark that eventually led to Arsenal equalising.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan: 4/10
The news of Mkhitaryan’s switch to Roma is of no surprise. Another below-par performance, failing to hold the ball enough and wasting good moments in the attacking third. We might have seen Mkhitaryan play for the final time in an Arsenal shirt.