Match Report: The Gooners 2 Spurs 1 (crap!).
After the second goal went in and Lamela was sent off, I then started writing this. It was all over bar the shouting. In the first half, we didn’t look like we were in it, even though we scored first, as for the second… God help us! If we had won, it would have been a glorious result, as we would have got closer to the top four, instead, we drop our heads.
The Gooners came from behind to secure a north London derby win and inflict damage on our hopes of a place in the Premier League’s top four.
On for the injured Son, Erik Lamela curved a magnificent rabona finish beyond the Ur-anus keeper Bernd Leno in the 33rd minute. When that goal went in, we, or at least I, thought the game was going to go in our favour. I was so wrong!
The Gooners had seen Emile Smith Rowe’s long-range shot smack against the bar, then suffered more ill-luck when Cedric Soares hit the post, but were level on the stroke of half-time when Martin Odegaard’s effort was deflected out of the reach of Hugo Lloris.
We were dreadful in the second half, and then they got a penalty after 64 minutes when Alexandre Lacazette missed his kick but was fouled by Davinson Sanchez. Lacazette recovered to send Lloris the wrong way for his 12th goal of the season. But it didn’t end there, our day got worse when Lamela was sent off for a second yellow card, shown by referee Michael Oliver for a hand-off into the face of Kieran Tierney with 14 minutes left.
The team from Ur-anus (not yours, their’s!) had dropped captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the game for disciplinary reasons, stayed in 10th place, but we are now six points adrift of Chelski in fourth, although with a game in hand.
Missed opportunities. My thoughts
We paid the price for a depressing approach
As we all know, Jose Mourinho has been subjected to criticism this season for perceived negativity in big games and this game was one of them. This was a miserable day all round for us all; first, we lost Sony early because of a hamstring injury, hapless Lamela was sent off, and we wasted the opportunity to make up ground on the top four with a performance that was abject and negative.
Lamela’s moment of genius, his rabona shot, left it far too late to raise our game. In fact, it was only after Lamela was sent off and we were at a numerical handicap that we applied any serious pressure, although that almost got us a point as Kane hit the post and Sanchez’s shot was cleared off the line by Gabriel.
God knows why we waited until our backs were against the wall, and our cause desperate to show urgency is a mystery to me. This was a bloody and disappointing missed opportunity. If only I had some wine on hand, I might have been less forgiving, then again, I might have shot myself—the fickle finger of fate.
As for Gareth Bale, he didn’t show much, other than a long cross in the build-up to Lamela’s goal, which was his only profound contribution before he was substituted in the second half as he failed to get any meaningful service to Kane.
We have now lost six and drawn four of our past 10 Premier League games at the Gooners ground and have now been beaten in nine league games this season, a joint-most Mourinho has lost in a campaign in his managerial career.
Arsenal are unbeaten in their past 10 Premier League home games against us (W6 D4).
We have dropped 45 points from winning positions against Arsenal in the Premier League – the most of any team against a specific opponent in the competition.
Alexandre Lacazette is the first Gooner to score in three consecutive home league games against us since Emmanuel Adebayor in October 2008.
Martin Odegaard is the fourth player to score his first Premier League goal in a north London derby for Arsenal, after Nicklas Bendtner (2007), Per Mertesacker (2012) and Lucas Torreira (2018).
Erik Lamela became just the fifth substitute in Premier League history to score and be sent off in the same game, after David Lee (1993), Bobby Zamora (2007), Ivan Klasnic (2010) and Hal Robson-Kanu (2017).
This has been a shit day all around. It is mother’s day today, my mum is 4 hours away from me, and I was told that she might not last the week (she is in a care home and is 93). Of course, my mum’s situation is a lot worse than Spurs, at least the club can recover. And of course, compared to my mum, there is no comparison.
What next for us?
On Thursday (18th), we’ve got our return leg to deal with in the Europa League (5.55 pm), then two days later (20th), we face Southampton (H) in the League. Time: 3 pm.
It seems we are playing cat and mouse games with the rest of the league. We win, they lose, they win, we lose. Nobody will know what is what until the final whistle, probably!
Take care and be safe,