Report: Sp*rs 2-0 Arsenal


Arsenal: Cech, Gabriel, Kosielny, Monreal, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Xhaka, Gibbs, Ozil, Alexis, Giroud

Subs: Ospina, Holding, Bellerin, Coquelin, Iwobi, Welbeck, Walcott

Arsenal were outplayed, out-thought, out-fought, and but for a string of amazing saves by Petr Cech would have lost than a bigger margin than 2-0 against Sp*rs at White Hart Lane this afternoon.

Knowing that Chelsea had won earlier didn’t seem to affect the home side in the early stages, with Harry Kane forcing Petr Cech into a save in the opening minute. That was followed a few minutes later by an Alderweireld header from a corner which flew over the bar.

At the other end Kieran Gibbs found himself through on goal but Hugo Lloris got a strong hand to the ball before taking the man. Sp*rs enjoyed more possession, particularly down our right where Oxlade-Chamberlain was often left with two men, but there was a nervousness about their play with a number of unforced errors.

That was also apparent when Dele Alli had a glorious chance to open the scoring in the 22nd minute. A Harry Kane shot deflected to the back post, Alli was there to nod it into an empty net, but he headed wide. What a miss.

That was followed two minutes later by another one, this time by Christian Eriksen. Arsenal gave the ball away high up the pitch, Son drove into the box, his shot deflected off an Arsenal man and into the path of Eriksen who volleyed over from 8 yards out.

Ramsey had a shot from the edge of the box after a corner but that led only to a Sp*rs break, before Granit Xhaka required some treatment after picking up an ankle knock making a tackle.

The Welshman came closest to finding the net for the Gunners, forcing Lloris into a good save as he touched a low curling effort around his far post. Gibbs again found space in the box but could only shoot over, and Alexis had a curling effort from a tight angle which worried the Sp*rs keeper land wide.

Cech had to be alert to push a Vertonghen effort around the post as the game went into first half injury time, and the teams went in level at the break.

Sp*rs again looked threatening early in the second period, Wanyama forcing Cech to tip a shot over the bar and from the resulting corner Alexis allowed Son to run off him and shoot into the side-netting.

Kane shot into the arms of Cech after Gabriel gave the ball away, Giroud shot over after a corner rebounded to him in a good position, and that chance was costly after the home side scored twice in two minutes.

Firstly, Sp*rs worked the ball down the right, Eriksen danced between two defenders, his shot was saved by Cech but the ball rebounded to Alli who shot from close range.

And a minute later Gabriel was adjudged to have brought down Kane in the box, and the England international stepped up and slotted home to make it 2-0.

Arsenal looked for a way back but a terrible first touch by Giroud saw him spurn a one on one chance but he managed to get a shot away, and Lloris was equal to an Alexis effort fired in low from the inside-left channel.

Arsene Wenger made his first change, bringing on Danny Welbeck for Granit Xhaka and switching to a back four with Oxlade-Chamberlain going into midfield, and Gabriel moving to right back.

Arsenal were a shambles though, and had Cech to thank for keeping the score at 2-0, palming a Vertonghen effort briliantly around the post. Kane headed into the side-netting and there were big shouts for another penalty after the ball struck Sanchez’s arms in our box but only a corner was awarded.

Hector Bellerin came on for Gabriel, but once more it was Cech who kept things respectable saving from Kane when the striker found himself one one one. From the resulting corner the former Czech international did it again, palming away a header that was heading into the top corner.

The Gunners final change came in the 81st minute when Theo Walcott replaced Olivier Giroud, and the England international had a sight of goal but could only cushion an easy shot into the arms of the Sp*rs keeper.

In the end, if it hadn’t been for Petr Cech, it would have been an absolute spanking, and that is pretty damn depressing.

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