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Arsenal 3 Spurs 0

By James Southby

A good old-fashioned match review for you

From my perch at the quieter end of The Gunners on Blackstock Road, I witnessed quite possibly the most complete and satisfying North London Derby of recent years. Well, for a Gooner, anyway…

Bentley: Why was he allowed to stay on the pitch?

Billed as one of the closest contests between the two sides, on form and league positions, I personally expected a tense and nervy, mostly even affair. The end result was anything but, and demonstrated perfectly Arsenal’s powerful attacking abilities, albeit against a surprisingly subdued opponent.

After Song needlessly gave away a corner with two minutes gone, the temptation was to think that this would be ‘one of those days’. However, it turned out that for this game, I believe Arsenal were better defensively than in the final third. Vermaelen and Gallas were immense with the sheer number of chances thwarted, tackles put in and crosses intercepted, and Song showed more of that pit-bull tenacity that is really beginning to win over the fans.

While the passing and movement was as crisp and precise as ever, fluent and pleasing to watch (if not as smooth as the Carling Cup display against Liverpool in midweek) our finishing was not up to par today. Which is a strange thing to say after a 3-0 win, but we could and really should have put at least six past Gomes. Although being in the right place at the right time to bag two, Van Persie was otherwise wasteful in front of goal, and for me Arshavin did not have the best of games. Although still regaining fitness, the less said about Eduardo’s one-on-ones the better…

I am not in the habit of disparaging Tottenham just for the sake of it, but they were hopeless today. They never looked like scoring, whether because of our robust defence or their lack of creativity and precision. David Bentley, for example, should have been sent off within eight minutes for two clear offences, yet this point was rendered moot as a great game he did not have. Spurs’ defence were caught out completely with the third goal through the advantage given, and that they were so completely done in by Fabregas single-handedly following the restart after RvP’s first must surely go down as unforgivable.

Maybe this game will go down in history as the ‘One Minute Match’. I had just begun to text a friend the 1-0 score when we upped and scored again. That was definitely a new one on me…

2nd November 2009

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