Arsene Wenger’s side gave an emphatic response to the critics that were lining up to call time on his Arsenal career when they roared back against bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
Harry Redknapp’s side looked to be cruising when a deflected Louis Saha effort and Emmanuel Adebayor penalty put then two goals ahead after 35 minutes, but five goals in just under half an hour for the home side turned the game on its head.
Wojciech Szczesny – 6/10
Even when two down the Gunners ‘keeper had not had a great deal to do other than collect a Gareth Bale shot. Was kept reasonably trouble free.
Bacary Sagna – 9
The French full-back broke his leg in the same fixture at White Hart Lane and he capped his return to fitness with the first goal, as well as an assist. A tireless performance.
Kieran Gibbs – 6
With Niko Kranjcar not being a dribbling wide player, Gibbs was able to tuck in mostly and supported the attack well. Slightly culpable for the penalty but he would not be the first to succumb to a marauding Gareth Bale.
After being too easily pulled out of position early in the first half, he dealt with the physical presence of Adebayor well and put in a solid display.
Thomas Vermaelen – 7
Won his fair share of headers against Adebayor and Saha, while also advancing into midfield at times. Was unlucky to have deflected the ball for the opener.
Alex Song – 8
Got an assist for the fifth goal and was composed in the middle of the pitch in a strong and disciplined performance.
Mikel Arteta – 8
His importance to Arsenal was displayed in the passing stats, where he made far more passes than any other player. Switched the play well and got an assist.
Tomas Rosicky – 9 - Man of the Match
One of his best performances in an Arsenal shirt. Showed desire and drive for his goal, while probing with his forward passing – a match-winning performance.
Yossi Benayoun – 7
A surprise selection at the beginning but justified it with great discipline, incisive passing and managing to subdue Kyle Walker for much of the game.
Theo Walcott – 8
An awful first half brought criticism from the crowd but he won them over with two brilliantly taken goals. Was a constant danger in the second half as Spurs pushed to get back in the game.
Robin van Persie – 9
Where would Arsenal be without their captain? Scored a delightful equaliser, set up Walcott for a goal and occupied Ledley King well for much of the game.
Carl Jenkinson for Gibbs (75’) – 6
Was solid in making his comeback form long-term injury but had little to do.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for Walcott (81’) – 6
A brief cameo for Walcott’s proposed usurper. Saw out the time competently.
Gervinho for Benayoun (88’) – 6.
Had time for one good run at the tired Spurs defence.
Brad Friedel – 7
Made a fantastic save from a Rosicky header in the first half and got down well to deny Benayoun early in the second half. Could not do a lot about any of the goals.
Kyle Walker – 6
Got forward well early on but could not build on a positive start – was kept well occupied by Benayoun’s tactical discipline and use of the ball.
Benoit Assou-Ekotto – 5
Disappointing throughout in both attack and defence. Was culpable for Walcott’s first and failed to cut out Sagna’s centre for Rosicky’s goal.
Ledley King – 6
Had a tough day dealing with the movement of Robin van Persie and was bypassed for most of the goals. Unable to assert any dominance on the game.
Younes Kaboul – 6
Was energetic in the tackle and won a number of headers but was exposed by Spurs tactics and them allowing Arsenal’s wide players in behind.
Scott Parker – 6
Was chasing shadows for much of the game and was deployed too deep in the first half to be able to affect the game. Picked up a second yellow for a late challenge on Vermaelen.
Luka Modric – 6
A perfect pass for Bale led to the penalty but the Croatian was uncharacteristically subdued throughout. Was forced very deep by Arsenal’s superior midfield movement.
Niko Kranjcar – 4
Was anonymous for most of the first half and was substituted at half time.
Gareth Bale – 7
Showed spirit and vigour running at Arsenal, while winning a dubious penalty. Did not track back well and contributed to his midfield team-mates being overrun by doing so.
Louis Saha – 7
Scored the first with a deflected effort and was asked to sit deeper than he usually would. Did not have great affect on the play but will feel unlucky to have been withdrawn.
Emmanuel Adebayor – 6
Slotted away the penalty well but was kept quiet most of the game by a solid physical showing from Arsenal’s centre-back pairing.
Van der Vaart for Saha (46’) – 4
Looked short of fitness and failed to make any impact in the game in his 45 minutes.
Sandro for Kranjcar (46’) – 5
Added a touch of steel but was fighting a losing battle against a rampant arsenal midfield.
Dawson for King (82’) – 6
Not enough time to make any impact.
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