In the first north London derby of the new campaign, an Olivier Giroud inspired Arsenal triumphed over Tottenham to silence their critics.
The match at the Emirates Stadium was a close affair and it was Spurs that started the brighter. Spurs began with their new record signing Erik Lamela on the bench and started with on form Andros Townsend on the right flank, with Roberto Soldado and Nacer Chadli operating the other front two positions.
Spurs started well, moving the ball around well and keeping it in their midfield successfully overpowering Arsenal at the start of the match.
Tottenham’s midfield consisting of Paulinho, Etienne Capoue and Mousa Dembele started to look sluggish making some defensive errors, towards the 25 minute mark.
It was this tired looking play that allowed for the first goal to be created. Arsenal were on a counter attack, when the ball was played through to Theo Walcott who was being played onside by Michael Dawson, who did not seem to be communicating with the rest of his back line.
Walcott played the ball in, when Giroud peeled off Dawson’s shoulder and hit a sublime
first time placed shot past his French international teammate, Hugo Lloris, and made the score 1-0.
Tottenham made a few other defensive errors during the game, and that surely would have cost them, if it weren’t for their goalkeeper Lloris, who managed to keep out the Gunners on several occasions.
In the second half, Tottenham eventually settled back on the ball, and were trying to create chances, however they seemed to lack a cutting edge with their lone striker Roberto Soldado looking isolated, and not able to create too much.
Late in the second half, Andre Villas Boas gave a debut to record signing Lamela, in a hope that the promising Argentine might add that cutting edge.
Spurs right at the last seemed to be getting chance after chance to level the game but the stubborn Arsenal defence just could not be breached, and a miss kicked shot by Kyle Walker in added time summed up Tottenham’s afternoon.
Tottenham just missed the cutting edge today, and Arsenal went on to a well-deserved victory, and Olivier Giroud went on to receive the man of the match award. Arsene Wenger may have silenced many of his critics, showing that signings don’t always equal success.
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