Arsenal handed big-spending Tottenham a 1-0 defeat at the Emirates on Sunday thanks to a superb goal by French striker Olivier Giroud. The North London derby was lively and fast-paced with the only thing lacking being the avalanche of goals this fixture usually produces. Tottenham has been one of the busiest clubs during the summer transfer window, but they’ve been struggling for goals in the Premier League with just two in three games now and both of those came on penalty kicks. However, they’ve only allowed one goal against this season, which came today, and that includes two Europa League contests.
Giroud, who has three league goals on the season by himself and four overall, scored the game’s only marker in the 23rd minute after midfielder Tomas Rosicky found an open Theo Walcott on the right wing and the England international then delivered a low cross into the box. Giroud neatly tapped it into the net past keeper Hugo Lloris and that was all she wrote as far as goal scoring went in the match. Lloris was forced to make a few fine saves over the rest of the match
The Gunners went into the game with basically the same squad as last season. They hadn’t spent a penny on transfers during the window up to game time as manager Arsene Wenger managed to add Frenchmen Yaya Sanogo and Mathieu Flamini to the squad on free transfers. Tottenham however have spent about 100 million pounds on new players, but it didn’t help them today. Of course, they were able to shell out boat loads of cash on players due to the 100 million euros they received from Real Madrid for Gareth Bale.
Wenger said he might add a player or two to the team before the transfer window closes n Monday. “I am not against spending. I am ready to pay what we can afford, even if it is a bit over the market value and as long as it is not crazy. I want to add super quality to our squad or not buy. Tottenham got a lot of money for Bale, they have to invest it. I understand that. The need is different for us. We need one or two super players and we will try to add that. We have 24 more hours, so maybe we can surprise you.”
Spurs put the pressure on Arsenal in the second half, but they only managed to create a couple of decent chances. And when they did, keeper Wojciech Szczesny was there to foil them. If there was a down side to the match it was the fact that English international midfielder Jack Wilshere was substituted after 43 minutes and replaced by newcomer Flamini. Reports said Wilshere left the match because he wasn’t feeling well. It was Flamini’s first appearance for the Gunners since leaving the club for AC Milan in 2008.
England supporters and manager Roy Hodgson are crossing their fingers that he’ll be feeling fine by Friday when England takes on Moldova in a World Cup qualifying game at Wembley. The squad then travels to Ukraine to face their national team four days later. Wilshere is a key component to the English squad and hopefully he’ll be in the lineup on the weekend.
Arsenal now faces a two-week break due to the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. The timing isn’t the greatest since the team is on a bit of a roll now with four successive wins, including a pair over Fenerbahce in Champions League qualifying matches. However, if Wenger does pull off a move before the transfer window closes it’ll give the newcomer (s) a chance to get used to their new teammates after the international break.
Arsenal Player Ratings-Sun. Sept. 1
Arsenal 1-0 Tottenham –Premier League Match 3
Wojciech Szczesny: 7.5
Wasn’t overworked even though Spurs poured the pressure on in the second half. When he was called upon, he came up with the big save the Gunners needed to take all three points.
Jenkinson played well and improved as the match went on
Mertesacker was solid in the back four and never seemed to be caught out of position.
A steady game by the Frenchman after returning from a one-match ban. Didn’t have much of a problem with Roberto Soldado.
Gibbs did well to keep Andros Townsend in check and also chipped well offensively.
Wilshere was his energetic self, but unfortunately came off after 43 minutes and was replaced by Mathieu Flamini. The good news is he wasn’t injured, but had an illness.
Another solid showing by Ramsey. He’s been one of the Gunners most consistent performers this season and has given a great effort again today.
Cazorla was on his game right from the opening kickoff. He set up his teammates with some fine passes and had a couple of decent cracks at goal himself.
Rosicky helped set up Giroud’s goal and ran his legs off. The only downside was his yellow card. Came off after 79 minutes and was replaced by Nacho Monreal.
Walcott was all over the pitch setting up teammates and creating his own chances. His cross led to Giroud’s goal and he was a handful for Spurs all game long. Came off after 92 minutes for Bacary Sagna.
An excellent finish for the goal and a great game overall. He did everything that was asked and expected of him.
Came on after 43 minutes for Wilshere and didn’t look out of place at all after five years in Italy.
Came on after 79 minutes for Rosicky. Monreal played only about 15 minutes in total, but they may have been his best 15 minutes at the club.
Replaced Walcott after 92 minutes.