Welcome to the video blog by Jules for Arsenalinsider.com. Jules takes us through the weekend victory over Tottenham.
Tottenham came into this match with a 10-point lead over Arsenal and it is clearly their best start to a domestic season in 50 years. Arsenal on the other hands, are experiencing their worst domestic campaign of the past fifteen years but they were determined to prove that class is permanent and form is temporary.
Defensive duo of Kieran Gibbs and Thomas Vermaelen have both recovered from their respective injuries and so they were drafted straight back into the starting line-up. Also among the starting eleven were Tomas Rosicky and Yossi Benayoun, who normally don’t get picked up from the beginning very often.
Spurs were the brighter of the two sides in early exchanges and they needed only four minutes to score the opening goal of the match. Laurent Koscielny lost his footing, which allowed Louis Saha to run through the middle and his deflected shot off Vermaelen looped over goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny into the back of the net.
That early goal woke Arsenal players up and they instantly responded with some attacking moves of their own. However, the equalising goal wasn’t going to come just yet. First Robin van Persie’s seemingly goal-bound shot was blocked, and then another great effort of his crashed against the goalpost. After that, Rosicky tried a fantastic header but Brad Friedel tipped it over the bar for a goal kick.
In the next half an hour, Arsenal had two penalty appeals turned down by the referee. First, Gibbs was brought down inside the penalty area and then Scott Parker seemed to have handled the ball, but both the decisions went in Spurs’ favour.
Spurs then doubled their lead in the 34th minute against the run of play. Luka Modric’s pass was a bit too heavy for Gareth Bale, who chose to dive upon realising that he won’t be able to reach it. Szczesny made no contact with the Welsh winger but still the referee awarded the penalty to Spurs. The linesman, who had a better view of the incident, might have been against the decision because there was no booking whatsoever. But for some strange reason, the referee still decided to do Spurs a favour.
But Arsenal stayed true to their forward pressing game and they cut the deficit in half after just six minutes, when Bacary Sagna headed in a Mikel Arteta cross. It was nice to see the French full-back score after he was spat on when he broke his leg earlier in the season against the same Spurs side.
Just three minutes later, Arsenal were back on level terms through a trademark van Persie strike. The Dutch striker shifted the ball on his favourite left side and curled in an unstoppable shot, which resulted in his 29th goal of the season.
At that juncture, Arsenal were well and truly back in the game.
Spurs made two changes during the half-time interval but the Gunners kept faith with the same bunch of players.
Yossi Benayoun started the second-half proceedings with a nice firm shot, which was tipped round the post by Friedel.
In the 50th minute, Sagna’s cross was knocked in by Rosicky and Arsenal were in the lead for the first time in the match. The Czech midfielder then delivered a through ball for Theo Walcott but his shot went just wide of the target.
Fifteen minutes later, van Persie drew two Spurs players and then cleverly passed the ball to the unmarked Walcott, who chipped the keeper for Arsenal’s fourth of the night. It was the English international’s first goal at the Emirates since December 2010.
Walcott then quickly doubled his tally by finishing a stunning Alex Song pass and the Gunners fans just went mental.
Right-back Carl Jenkinson then replaced left-back Gibbs. It was good to see the Finnish under 21 international make his comeback from injury for Arsenal.
In the dying stages of the normal time, Parker picked up his second booking of the night for a foul on Vermaelen and so he was off. If the ref hadn’t blown the full-time whistle, Arsenal could have further embellished the 5-2 scoreline.
The day clearly belonged to AFC, who sent Spurs back home with their tail firmly between the legs.
The man of the match was van Persie for his incredible goal, although Rosicky was not too far behind him.
Walcott was crap in the opening period but fabulous in the second half.
Sagna not only took his goal beautifully, but he also dominated Bale on the defensive end.
Overall, it was a good solid game, which the Gunners started a little slower and paid the price through early goals. They lost silly balls due to their lack of concentration and their vulnerability against the counter attack was also exploited several times by Tottenham in the opening stages of the match.
However, as the match went on, Arsenal started dominating their opponents and it was good to see the passion and desire to win among the players.
So Adebayor……….What’s the score?
The win over Tottenham means that Arsenal are back on fourth again and we’re hoping that the same winning attitude can be carried over to their next Saturday’s away fixture against Liverpool. If coach Arsene Wenger’s men can play like they did today, then nothing is beyond us and three points will surely be ours at Anfield.