Arsenal were made to fight hard for a draw last night in the North London derby against Tottenham Hotspurs. Sloppy defense in the first half enabled Harry Kane to take the lead for Spurs, but thankfully, Kieran Gibbs was lucky enough to rescue a point for the Gunners. Gibbs’ fluke shot hit the goalpost before sneaking into the net.
To be honest, I’d have much preferred a victory, somewhat like the 3-0 or 3-1 victories that Arsenal had grabbed in their previous matches. But I suppose Spurs isn’t some half-assed team that you could look down upon. They were a team that played with a purpose. If they wanted a top-four finish, they will make sure that they played that way. Arsenal had everything to lose if they didn’t get back into the game because they were level on points with Manchester City before this game and if they won, they could have very well overtaken the Premier League leaders and take first place (Manchester City had earlier drew 0-0 with Aston Villa in their game last night).
Olivier Giroud tried very hard to score last night but somehow, his chances were not granted. Mesut Ozil took his tally of assists to a whole new level, but was not brilliant enough to provide enough firepower for the Arsenal striker. Santi Cazorla and Alexis Sanchez came close to scoring, with the football pundits agreeing that the Gunners should have gone at least 2-0 up. Petr Cech was kept rather busy with Spurs attacking the Arsenal half of the field. It wasn’t until late in the second half when Kieran Gibbs came on as a substitute, when his golden touch turned into an equaliser. The Arsenal fans erupted with joy and that goal alone spurred the Gunners into a more agressive attacking stance. Although I felt they should have been playing with more purpose from the start itself.
Despite Arsenal being famous for scoring last minute goals and grabbing late victories, this game was not meant to be and they were reduced to accepting a draw and shared the points with Spurs. It was a frustrating night for both the team and the fans. Giroud was equally frustrated as he squandered chance after chance, resorting to punching the field as he missed yet another golden opportunity. The match ended 1-1 with both teams walking away with a point each.
Elsewhere in the Premier League, Manchester United won 2-0 against West Brom on Saturday night, while Chelsea was yet handed another defeat, this time from a wonder goal from Stoke City. I wonder what Jose Mourinho must be thinking now. Manchester City, as I’ve said earlier, was held also to a draw, albeit a goalless one. Liverpool played late last night against Crystal Palace and lost. Looks like this weekend, Man United emerged victorious with a win on their plate. Let’s hope for a better weekend next time Arsenal plays.