The Emirates Stadium hosted the first and eagerly-awaited north London derby of the season.
Both the red and white sides of north London headed into this fixture in fine form, with both teams stringing together victories prior to this match. Many journalists, fans and pundits saw this fixture as the turning point in the ruling of the north of London, with Spurs strengthening their squad with more than adequate replacements for Gareth Bale, bringing in a total of seven players for a total fee of £109m through the negotiations skills of chairman Daniel Levy and newly-appointed Director of Football Franco Baldini.
Even though my hatred for Spurs is strong, I do have to admit that some of the business that took place at the Lane this summer was superb, with them recuperating almost the same sum of money through player sales than what they spent.
Even though Spurs' transfer dealings this summer was up there right with the best, I still felt, going into this fueled derby, that Arsenal would have the upper hand on them due to the fact that it would take a while for all these new signings to gel in and understand what the derby actually means.
Arsenal started the game with the strongest possible line up they could put out; it featured Szczesny, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Wilshere, Ramsey, Rosicky, Cazorla, Walcott and Giroud.
Arsene Wenger handed the returning Mathieu Flamini a place on the bench for his return to Arsenal. Spurs handed starting spots to four of their summer signings, with one other on the bench.
The Arsenal fans were in cracking voice and the game kicked off. I had a great view of it - right next to Wenger and the Arsenal dugout.
Hugo Lloris was tested early on from a dipping Santi Carzola free kick from 25 yards out which seemed to be heading for the top left corner of the net if it wasn't for the athletic French number 1.
A short while later, Arsenal then had another free-kick opportunity from 25 yards out, Santi Cazorla took a cheeky effort which went under the jumping Spurs wall and was whiskers away from going in the bottom left of Lloris' gaping goal.
Chances were then few and far between until an a bit of patient play between the midfield players where the ball was knocked about through Ramsey, Cazorla and Rosicky paid off. Rosicky played a direct ball behind the high Tottenham line which allowed Theo Walcott to pounce on it in tons of space to play a delightful ball along the corridor of uncertainty, where Olivier Giroud capitalised on it after a fantastic run which then gave him his fourth goal in five appearances this season, causing a volcanic eruption of noise which filled the Emirates and Wenger with great joy and delight.
Many Arsenal fans have been deeply impressed by Giroud this season; he seems to be a lot fitter and stronger and looks like a confident player now who is really enjoying his football.
The Spurs fans continued to be quiet with their team struggling to cause Arsenal any worries as they failed to create any real clear cut chances. Even more injury worries then seemed to hit Arsenal, as Jack Wilshere signalled to the bench that he would no longer be able to continue, giving Mathieu Flamini his first appearance in an Arsenal shirt since 2008.
Thankfully, after the game Wenger confirmed to the media that Wilshere's injury was not serious and it was just a stomach bug that Jack had prior to the game. Flamini played a crucial part when he came on; the man looked fit, strong and a leader on the pitch as he commanded each and every Arsenal player around, organising our troops and making sure they were switched on 100% of the time, throwing himself into strong challenges and winning the ball back. From what we had seen of Flamini so far, he could be an absolute bargain for the club.
The second half came and Arsenal sat back a little, allowing Spurs to apply pressure on the midfield and defence whilst Arsenal looked to capitalise on the counter attack.
This could have the been the case if it wasn't for another fine save from Hugo Lloris. The ball was won and played out by Tomas Rosicky after a loose ball forward from Andros Townsend, it fell to Santi Cazorla and Arsenal started their counter attack with Walcott, Ramsey and Giroud bombing forward to try and press for that second goal which would put the game to bed. Cazorla ran at the Spurs defence and played a delightful through ball to Olivier Giroud on the right, the big centre forward controlled it and took a half volley just outside the box which then hit Danny Rose and was palmed away by Lloris to fizz past the post. Brilliant direct play from our attacking and box to box players.
Somehow Lloris kept Spurs still in the game, after there were good opportunities for Walcott and Monreal to put the game beyond Tottenham. At times in the final moments of the game, those missed opportunities looked to be devastating as Spurs piled on the pressure. Arsenal converted to a 10-0-0 formation, with every man fighting for this win. Giroud especially, the man looked like he was born in Islington. Shots were fired in by Soldado and Walker but they came to nothing as Szczesny and his men stood tall denying everything.
The full-time whistle came with a huge roar from the Emirates faithful alongside a wave of relief around the ground. Arsene had done it again. The man's record against Spurs is just incredible. Arsenal again rightly took their crown as pride of north London.
That win was just the warm up for something special. A day some Gooners thought they would never see. On Sunday evening after Arsenal's victorious result against Spurs reports emerged from various sources that German international Mesut Özil was close to joining the club from Spanish superstars Real Madrid. These reports emerged after Bale completed his move to the Spanish giants in a world-record deal.
It is believed that Florentino Perez decided that one of Benzema, Özil or Di Maria had to go and manager Ancelotti chose Özil out of the trio, allowing Arsenal to swoop in and get the star man.
It is said that Özil chose Arsenal over PSG after Arsene Wenger spoke to him in fluent German to convince the German playmaker to make his next move to London and Arsenal.
I've described this as a transformational deal. It is very similar to the one of Dennis Bergkamp. Could this be the return of The Arsenal and the glory days? I hope so. This is a change in Wenger and the board, and a great one at that.
As well as Özil, Arsenal brought in another keeper, Emiliano Viviano, on loan to compete with Szczesny. I would have liked us to have tried to bring in another striker as back up for Giroud, but nevertheless I am thrilled to bits with Özil, the guys only 24 and we've tied him down for the best years of his career. A sensational bit of business done by the club.
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