Erik Lamela went from hero to villain while Martin Odegaard and Emile Smith Rowe impressed as Arsenal beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 in the North London derby.
It was Arsenal who made the brighter start to the game, keeping Tottenham pinned back in their own half in the early exchanges. And their pressure almost paid off but Emile Smith Rowe’s brilliant hit from outside the box struck the crossbar. But, it was Tottenham that broke the deadlock through substitute Erik Lamela’s brilliant Rabona finish in the 32nd minute.
Arsenal almost managed to equalise not long after but were once again denied by the woodwork as Cedric’s powerful hit bounced off the post. On the cusp of half-time though, parity was restored as Martin Odegaard found the back of the net via a deflection off of Toby Alderweireld.
A little after the hour mark, Arsenal were able to pull ahead of their rivals as Alexandre Lacazette converted from the penalty spot after he was brought down by Davinson Sanchez. Things got harder for Tottenham when they were reduced to ten men after Erik Lamela was shown a second yellow card in the 76th minute.
But, Jose Mourinho’s men rallied and pushed hard for an equaliser, with Harry Kane having a goal ruled out for offside, then striking the post from a free-kick while Sanchez had a goal-bound effort cleared as Arsenal held on to their lead and bagged a much-needed win as well as the bragging rights in north London. Here’s how we rated the performances of both sets of players.
Bernd Leno: 6/10
Hardly tested on the evening with Tottenham very quiet in the attacking third. Not a lot he could have done to keep out Lamela’s outrageous Rabona kick for the opener.
Cedric Soares: 7/10
Came in for Hector Bellerin at right-back. Offered a constant outlet down the right flank and posed problems each time he pushed forward. Came very close to scoring in the first half with his fierce effort striking the post.
David Luiz: 6.5/10
Solid and reliable at the back, the Brazilian kept things in check and cut out mistakes from his game. Was helped by the fact that Kane wasn’t able to get going but organised the defence well.
Gabriel Magalhaes: 7/10
Preferred over the likes of Pablo Mari and Rob Holding again, the Brazilian had another solid outing for Arsenal. Swept up things without much trouble but his most valuable contribution came late in the game when he cleared a goal-bound effort by Sanchez.
Kieran Tierney: 8/10
Kieran Tierney's game by numbers vs. Spurs:
10 passes into the final ⅓
9 duels won
6 tackles made (most)
6 passes into the box
3 ball recoveries
2 take-ons completed
2 chances created
0 fouls conceded
This guy never stops. 😤 pic.twitter.com/flFKrA0zrd
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 14, 2021
A constant menace for the Tottenham defence with his endless energy and purposeful attacking ability on the left. Had the beating of Matt Doherty each time he took on him and set up the equaliser for Odegaard from one such move. Steady in his defensive duties as well, ensuring Gareth Bale had little joy in the wide areas.
Thomas Partey: 6.5/10
Strong in the tackle, sharp and precise in his distribution, the Ghanaian international did what was needed of him in the midfield for Arsenal. Although could have reacted faster and tried to close down Lamela for the opening goal.
Granit Xhaka: 6.5/10
Steady in the middle, the Switzerland international did the dirty work and did it effectively to ensure Tottenham weren’t able to get a foothold into the game. Dropped in deep to cover for the marauding Tierney .
Bukayo Saka: 6/10
Had a few bright moments in and around the box but was largely ineffective and was taken off at half-time after he was on the receiving end of some rough tackles by the visiting team.
Martin Odegaard: 7/10
Fresh after scoring his first Arsenal goal on Thursday, the Real Madrid loanee looked confident from the off as he showed some neat link-up play with those around him. Good run into the box to score the equalising goal, although he was helped by the deflection. Another step in the right direction.
Emile Smith Rowe: 8/10
Emile Smith Rowe’s first half vs. Spurs by numbers:
96% pass accuracy
4 chances created
3 attempted take-ons
2 successful take-ons
1 big chance created
1 shot [woodwork hit]
Heavily involved in the final third. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/s3Apd9veiY
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) March 14, 2021
Making his first start after returning from injury, the youngster came the closest to scoring in the first half with a thumping effort that bounced off the woodwork. Caused all sorts of problems to Doherty on his flank with his constant interplay with Tierney and played the most number of key passes in the game (4).
Alexandre Lacazette: 7/10
Got the nod ahead of captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Had a decent chance halfway through the first half but failed to convert. Did draw a save from Hugo Lloris in the second period before winning a dubious penalty which he converted to win it for his team. Stepped up when the team needed him to.
Nicolas Pepe: 7/10
On for Saka at half-time. Lively. Started the move that led to the penalty with a sensational pass to find Lacazette in space.
Replaced Smith Rowe with less than fifteen minutes left.
Mohamed Elneny: N/A
On for Lacazette in the 88th minute.
Hugo Lloris: 5/10
Unlucky for the equaliser as the deflection took the ball away from him. Made a straightforward stop to keep Lacazette out early in the second half but was sent the wrong way by his compatriot from the penalty spot for the winning goal.
Matt Doherty: 4/10
🇮🇪 Tottenham Hotspur right-back Matt Doherty has made the most individual errors out of all of Spurs’ defenders in all competitions, leading to goals being conceded in open play.#THFC #COYS #ARSTOT #DerbyDay pic.twitter.com/DStiI8sgJB
— Last Word On Spurs🎙 (@LastWordOnSpurs) March 14, 2021
Preferred over Serge Aurier at right-back, the Irishman looked at sea throughout the first half as Tierney and Smith Rowe ran rings around him, although he wasn’t helped by the lack of support from Gareth Bale. The former eased past him to set Odegaard up for the equaliser with little trouble. A tad better after the break though.
Davinson Sanchez: 6/10
Started in a solid manner, continuing in the same vein of form that he has built up in recent weeks. Gave away the penalty that ended up costing Tottenham the game although the call from the referee shouldn’t have stood. Good shot on goal which was cleared by Gabriel late on.
Toby Alderweireld: 6.5/10
Steady and assured at the back apart from a moment in the first half when he failed to deal with a dangerous cross which almost led to a chance for Saka.
Sergio Reguilon: 6/10
Played a part in the buildup to the opening goal. Booked soon after for a challenge on Saka, which somewhat tied him down. Not as effective as he can be flying forward on the left.
Tanguy Ndombele: 5/10
One of the Frenchman’s most off-colour displays this season as he struggled to offer any sort of attacking impetus from the centre, while was also guilty of not offering protection to his defenders.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg: 5/10
Much like his midfield partner, Hojbjerg too endured an evening to forget. Should have done better to track Odegaard’s run for the goal and was sloppy with the ball at his feet on occasions. One of his worst performances since joining Tottenham in the summer.
Gareth Bale: 4/10
Gareth Bale's game by numbers vs. Arsenal:
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 14, 2021
Started te move for the opening goal with a lovely cross-field pass to Reguilon. But that was as good as it got for the Welshman as he hardly offered any threat in attack while did not track back at all, allowing Tierney and Smith Rowe to double up on Doherty. Hooked off for Moussa Sissoko before the hour mark.
Lucas Moura: 7/10
Started in the No. 10 role but moved out to the left flank after Son’s injury. Got the assist for Lamela’s opening goal. Lively and energetic, the Brazilian worked hard off the ball and tried to make things happen when in possession.
Lucas Moura for Tottenham against Arsenal:
◉ Most duels won (16)
◉ Most ball recoveries (7)
◉ Most aerial duels won (5)
◉ Most take-ons (4)
◉ Most chances created (2)
◉ Most interceptions (2)
One of the only Spurs players that can hold their head high. pic.twitter.com/335XVhaBU5
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 14, 2021
Son Heung-min: N/A
Lasted just a little over 15 minutes before being subbed off with an injury. Tottenham will be hoping it is nothing major.
Harry Kane: 5.5/10
A quiet outing from the in-form Tottenham man who hardly got into the game up until the final quarter as he created a chance for Dele Alli, had a goal ruled out for offside and then struck the woodwork. The Lilywhites needed more from him.
Erik Lamela: 6/10
Replaced the injured Son to make his 250th appearance for Tottenham. Slotted in as the No. 10 with Moura shifting to the left-wing. Looked lively from the get-go and opened the scoring with an audacious Rabona finish from inside the box. Two fouls in quick succession in the second half saw him get sent off, leaving his team at a disadvantage for the final 15 minutes.
19': Subbed on for injured Son
33': Scores unreal rabona goal
69': Picks up first yellow card
76': Sent off after receiving a second yellow
Erik Lamela’s derby was a journey 😬 pic.twitter.com/blKix52phv
— B/R Football (@brfootball) March 14, 2021
Moussa Sissoko: 6/10
On for Bale in the 57th minute. Offered more in the defensive sense, helping Doherty out at the back, which limited Arsenal’s impact on the flank.
Dele Alli: 5/10
Came on for Ndombele a little after the hour mark. Failed to convert a chance Kane created for him. Not involved much.