The final whistle blows after a frenzied last fifteen minutes and Arsenal are 1-0 to the good.
A weight has been lifted off Arsene Wenger's shoulders after a big win in this season's first north London derby. With all the media craze over the transfer window, which rivals Tottenham Hotspur have been very active in, the lack of spending at the Emirates has Arsenal in a 'crisis'. Fans are begging for big name players, while it seems like no one wants to come play at the Emirates if given the choice.
Wenger, over the last few weeks has shown a calm confidence, claiming his squad can challenge at the highest level with the players they already have.
Many disagree and Sunday's derby would be the last domino if Arsenal were to lose at home to big spending rivals. Yet the Professor avoided putting his foot in his mouth, scraping out a win and holding another valuable clean sheet. A win which could restore a lot of faith from the frustrated supporters indeed.
With big names like Lukas Podolski and Mikel Arteta on the injury sheet, the Arsenal team looked a little light. But it was the usual suspects who managed to take all three points from the heated derby.
Spurs came out hot, holding the ball well and racking up a lot of early possession.
The Arsenal defence looked like it was going to have to work, Carl Jenkinson being given the run around by recent England call up Andros Townsend. A quarter of an hour in and Arsenal finally looked ready to play.
The Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey midfield partnership was once again solid in the middle of the park. Wilshere's energy and storming runs helping move the ball into the attacking third, while Ramsey looked like he's been playing the holding role for a decade, using his body to hold off the bigger and stronger Spurs midfielders. Moussa Dembele and Etienne Capoue were helpless against the British youngsters, beaten easily to the punch on multiple occasions.
It was Ramsey who would start the most important play of the first half. He found an open Tomas Rosicky at the top of the box who was able to slot a nice through ball to streaking Theo Walcott. Danny Rose was caught out of position, Walcott using his pace to take advantage of the bags of space behind the young left-back
A beautifully weighted pass saw in form Olivier Giroud poke in the only goal of the match with the outside of his foot. It was a an intelligent finish and perfect timing to round Michael Dawson and score his third goal in three games.
Arsenal looked a lot more alive after the goal, but so did Spurs. The game was fairly back and forth until Walcott broke free for a second goal, had it not been for a last ditch challenge from goal keeper Hugo Lloris. Both keepers looked on point, making big saves when it counted and commanding their box well on set pieces.
The Spurs midfield was outplayed for most of the match, With Capoue having some poor give aways before he got hauled off with a leg injury. Wilshere was also pulled off after coming up with a limp, with familiar face Mathieu Flamini coming on. Flamini looked good in his debut, often playing right in front of the back four while showing a bit of leadership.
The back four would soon become a back six in the dying moments, Wenger making it clear he was looking to hold what they had. It was a frenzied final fifteen, with most of the Arsenal team crowding out their own twenty yard box. Spurs had a couple chances, but nothing that was terribly threatening.
It was another heart racing north London derby, meaning almost everything for Wenger and the Gunners. The 'In Wenger We Trust' banners could have easily read 'Sack Wenger' after extra time.
With one of the biggest games for Arsenal out of the way, Wenger's mind will surely turn to reinforcements. However, it's the confidence the squad and the fans can take from this game which would have been irreplaceable. It's been a good weekend for the gunners, and a couple of deadline day deals could make it exceptional.
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