Highly Anticipated North London Derby Ends in a Draw

The North London Derby, Tottenham against Arsenal, ended in a 2-2 draw on Sunday afternoon at the Emirates Stadium. This match lived up to the early expectations this season, as both teams are near the top of the table. In addition, both teams finished with nearly identical numbers with chances created. Arsenal put up 13 shots with six on target, while Tottenham also put up 13 shots but with five on target.

Arsenal created early pressure but Tottenham answered

Tottenham Hotspur got the kickoff to start the game and almost immediately, Arsenal created pressure. The first chance came around the 14th minute for Arsenal. Winger Bukayo Saka sent an inswinging ball to the back post, where Gabriel Jesus tried to hit it to the far post from a tight angle. Tottenham’s goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario made a brilliant save to stop the shot. Vicario saved another chance two minutes later, as he stopped Eddie Nketiah near post after Tottenham gave the ball away.

Arsenal got the first goal of the game in the 26th minute of the game. Saka sent in a shot, after cutting inside on the right side. Tottenham’s defender Cristian Romero tried to stick his foot out but it backfired, putting Arsenal on top 1-0. Saka did not get credit for the goal, as it was scored as an own goal.

Arsenal continued the pressure and created chances for the next ten minutes after their goal. Tottenham thought they had drawn even in the 39th minute, but Arsenal’s goalkeeper David Raya stopped Brennan Johnson from in close to keep it at a 1-0 game.

Tottenham would level in the 42nd, as James Maddison drove towards the goal line and found Son Heung-min, whose brilliant finish to the far post made it a 1-1 game. It was a much-needed equalizer by Tottenham going into the break.

Tottenham responds quickly after penalty

Arsenal started with the ball for the second half, but Tottenham put some pressure to get on the front foot. Arsenal got rewarded a penalty shot after Romero’s hand got in the way of Ben White’s shot. Saka converted the penalty shot up the middle past Vicario to make it a 2-1 Arsenal lead in the 54th minute.

Tottenham responded just a minute later after Arsenal’s Jorginho lost the ball. Maddison got his second assist of the day and Son got his second goal after slotting it past Raya. After that goal, the game slowed down from the high intensity in the first ten minutes of the second half.

Son had a chance to secure a hat-trick in the 69th minute, but he hit the side netting after a great pass by Dejan Kulusevski. Both teams made some solid defensive plays to prevent any shots from going into. In the 85th minute, Arsenal was inches away from taking the lead, as Nketiah’s flick-on just went past the post. Two minutes later, Kai Havertz struck the ball outside the box but did not hit the target.

In the early stages of the ten minutes of stoppage time, Viacario made a great diving stop to prevent Saka’s second goal. Tottenham broke for the winner at the end, and Richarlison put up a shot that got deflected for a corner. However, they could not produce anything on the corner and the game ended 2-2.

Tottenham got a big point away from home, but Arsenal is a bit disappointed they came up with just a point after leading the game twice.

Key Players in this North London Derby for both sides

Tottenham’s Romero conceded a penalty and was responsible for the own goal. It was a night to forget for him. On the flip side, Maddison and Son produced solid games in attack with two assists and two goals respectively. Vicario produced some nice saves early in the game for Tottenham. Yves Bissouma in the midfield had a steady game with his passing and defending.

Apart from Romero, the other three players of Tottenham’s backline produced solid games. Mickey van de Ven continued his terrific form with another good game. Fullbacks Pedro Porro and Destiny Udogie covered their sides well defensively, while Porro did well in attack.

Arsenal seemed to struggle in some parts of the game overall. Raya made a fantastic save to stop Johnson and was solid for most of the game. Saka scored the penalty and created that own goal with his shot. Centerbacks William Saliba and Gabriel produced good games and were not responsible for either goal from Tottenham.

Midfield seemed pedestrian at times for Arsenal. Declan Rice did not have a great first half and he came off due to a calf injury. Fabio Vieira also struggled and got replaced by Havertz at the half. Jorginho, who came on for Rice, was responsible for the second goal.

Tottenham sit fourth in the Premier League table and will host Liverpool on September 30. Arsenal are currently in fifth in and will play on the road in Bournemouth that same day. The next North London Derby in the league is scheduled for April 27, 2024, in Tottenham.

About Matt Rothmann

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