Adebayor Arsenal FC

Gunners Give Reasons to Hope

3:18 PMAleks Vee

This season's North London Derby was full of surprises, some pleasant and others bearing quite the opposite character. Interestingly enough, the Spurs started off quite well, scoring a goal that was disallowed for an offside, and another that was counted. Emmanuel Adebayor scored against his former club on the rebound after Szczesny saved a tough shot from Defoe. Tottenham continued to dominate, leading with 4 attempts in just 13 minutes. A brilliant combination that ended in a shot by Spurs midfielder Aaron Lennon somehow evaded the Gunners' far post. Anyone watching would have thought the match would continue as a one-sided effort in favor of Villas-Boas's side. With 73% of goals conceded by the Gunners in the first half, things weren't looking well. As always, however, the Gunners came back in style. Not only did they make use of their home field advantage, but they also decimated the 10-man Spurs after Adebayor got sent off by Howard Webb for a high tackle on Cazorla. Adebayor has been sent off 4 times in his career, 3 times by Webb. Without one of their best players, Spurs were like an Arsenal side without Olivier Giroud. "From that point onward," said the commentator, "Arsenal grew and grew". Walcott got a cross in from the right, giving Mertesacker the chance to craft a brilliant header from the center of the box for the equalizer and his first goal for Arsenal. The guests failed to make use of their set pieces and couldn't turn the game back to what it started out to be. Andre Villas-Boas could only stand and watch as Arsenal netted in two more goals before halftime. Sagna provided the chances for both Giroud and Podolski, the latter of which scored a deflected shot past an unsteady Hugo Lloris. Perhaps Spurs could have not conceded that goal - Lloris had saved plenty of other attempts. Ricochets always make it difficult for keepers, however, so it's difficult to blame him. Giroud squeezed in Arsenal's 3rd goal after Cazorla's delivery into the box.

Per Mertesacker celebrates with Theo Walcott. Source: lovingaaronramsey

As any good derby goes, the game moved from one end of the pitch to the other. If it hadn't been for the Spurs' non-existent defense, the match would have likely continued in such a fashion. The fire in their boots seemed to have died down as well - AVB's team could maintain possession, but were unable to create any chances, leaving their net at the mercy of the home team. The Gunners created some beautiful combinations, and Villas-Boas didn't seem to know how to get his team around in the maze of red. Playing with 10 men didn't help the guests, either. Giroud got a perfect cross from Cazorla from the right and easily sent the ball flying past Lloris. The Frenchman scored his fifth goal in all competitions this season. Cazorla picked up a swift pass from Podolski and scored his first goal at the Emirates in a one-touch finish. The Spurs' skipper Gallas was barely able to stop Podolski from scoring himself soon after. Walcott and Giroud wasted great opportunities leading up to the Spurs' second goal. If anyone could shine a light on the guests, it was Gareth Bale, who sped past Wilshere and Walcott to net in a long ball. But it was too little too late for Tottenham, and it may as well be for their manager. Nevertheless, the Welsh midfielder was intent on making a more significant contribution, taking up the ball after a terrific combo by his teammates, but his delivery found no receiver. Wenger brought on Oxlade-Chamberlain for Giroud, who received a standing ovation for his game. An Arsenal counter was intercepted, but not for long. The Ox himself had an absolutely beautiful run on the right, passing to Walcott, who nabbed it in the far post. The youngster failed to score himself, though he did manage to get a last-minute corner.

The match was Wenger's 39th North London derby; he's only lost 5, and he wasn't about to add to that record. The experienced manager has shown that despite his mistakes, he can put on a good show. He knows his players well - all of today's goalscorers, except for Walcott, are new signings. Tottenham, meanwhile, have a "chicken and egg situation", according to the commentators, in which "they have to try and get the right balance". Nevertheless, the derby was enjoyable and refereed very well. Arsenal showed they are very much capable of coming back, but the time will come when they will need to come back as a team in how they play, rather than from goal deficits. Then again, it could have been the atmosphere surrounding the match that influenced the Gunners. "It's derby day," the commentator pointed out. "You just never know."


Barclays Premier League - 12th Match Week
Saturday, November 17, 2012, 7:45AM ET

Arsenal FC vs. Tottenham Hotspur - 5:2 (3:1)
Venue: Emirates Stadium (London)
Referee: Howard Webb (Yorkshire)
Goals:
0:1 Emmanuel Adebayor (10')
1:1 Per Mertesacker (Asst. Theo Walcott) (24')
2:1 Lukas Podolski (Asst. Bacari Sagna) (43')
3:1 Olivier Giroud (Asst. Santi Cazorla) (46')
4:1 Santi Cazorla (Asst. Lukas Podolski) (60')
4:2 Gareth Bale (Asst. Sandro) (70')
5:2 Theo Walcott (Asst. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain) (90')

Half Time Stats:
7(6) : 4(3) shots (on target)
7:9 fouls committed
0:1 yellow cards
0:1 red cards
2:1 corners
1:2 offsides
60:40% possession

Full Time Stats:
13(10) : 6(4) shots (on target)
13:12 fouls committed
1:2 yellow cards
0:1 red cards
6:6 corners
3:2 offsides
58:42% possession

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