Five things we learned from Arsenal 2-0 win over Tottenham - FCNaija

EPL By: Ikponmwosa Umweni | 18/11/2017

Arsenal beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in the 194th North London derby on Saturday to move just one point behind their bitter local rivals in the league.

Gunners open the scoring from Shkodran Mustafi and Alexis Sanchez did the business for Arsenal who have now won 11-straight games at the Emirates, their best-ever run at the stadium.

Here are five things we learned from the match.

1, Big three deliver for Wenger

Arsenal fans had been calling for all three of their top attacking talents to start and Arsene Wenger listened. Maybe he should listen to them more often…

From the start, Arsenal looked the more adventurous, dangerous and incisive and both Alexandre Lacazette‘s runs in-behind opened up space for Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez to have space in front of Tottenham’s back three.

After causing Manchester City problems before the break when Lacazette, Sanchez, and Ozil were on the pitch, Wenger got the message loud and clear, Gunners went for it and they were rewarded.

The Gunners’ rampant start was in danger of being in vein but Shkodran Mustafi’s wonderful header, from an Ozil free kick, gave Arsenal the lead their positive start deserved and Sanchez’s clever finish from Lacazette’s pullback gave the scoreline 2-0 before half time.

2, Mustafi makes big Impact on his return

Mustafi has almost left Arsenal in the summer as he was put up for sale and expected to leave with a deal all but agreed for the World Cup winner to join Inter Milan.

But September saw him return to the first team and, after an injury absence, the German is now back for the first time in six weeks.

Mustafi’s return helps make Arsenal a more solid team. He is excellent in possession and aids the transition through the phases, but his major impact on this game was the opening goal with a sensational header that left Hugo Lloris with no chance.

After coming so close to giving up on his Arsenal career, Mustafi could quite easily find himself a key player in Wenger’s plans once again. He is paid for his defensive capabilities but there is more to his game than that and it was at the other end that the German had his most telling impact

3, Ozil goes off to a standing ovation

The German was outstanding for Arsenal against Tottenham today.

He ran the show for the home team and his ball into the box for Arsenal’s opening goal was sublime.

He departed to a standing ovation, with Arsenal fans signing his name as he lapped up the applause.

Will he extend his contract at the club or was this a performance to remind potential suitors of his match-winning quality? Either way, he fully deserved his Man of the Match award.

4, Spurs miss Toby Alderweireld at central defense

Pochettino’s success at Tottenham has been built on keeping things tight at the back. For the last two seasons now they have had the best defensive record in the Premier League, with the recent acquisition of Davinson Sanchez for a club-record £42m beefing up their defence even further.

But with Alderweireld out with a hamstring injury against Arsenal, Spurs were a mess at the back. Mustafi was completely unmarked for Arsenal’s opener. And Sanchez was shown far too much space by Eric Dier and Kieran Trippier for their second goal they allow.

5, Kane, Alli, and Lloris rush back to early and didn’t pay off!

Hugo Lloris, Harry Kane and Dele Alli had recovered from injury in time for the North London derby. It showed.

All three looked sluggish with Lloris already in the back of the net by the time Sanchez could smash home Arsenal’s second, Dele spending must of his time on the floor looking for free kicks and Kane (who had his right thigh heavily bandaged) well off the pace as he dragged efforts wide, was booked for a late challenge on Granit Xhaka and had an off day at the worst possible time.

Both Dele and Kane were hauled off 15 minutes from time looking jaded and frustrated. The gamble to rush them back to full fitness didn’t pay off.