• Analysis

Arsenal and Tottenham play out an entertaining draw

Alexandre Lacazette
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The London Derby was as always a feisty affair as both Arsenal and Tottenham showcased that unhinged yet beautiful side of the game.

When it comes to games between Arsenal and Tottenham, previous form just doesn’t count for much. Both teams have no love lost for each other and the first London Derby of the season showcased just why this is the most eagerly anticipated encounter of the season.

The two teams played an entertaining draw with Arsenal showing true grit to come back from a two-goal deficit.

The game had everything in it and there are a few pointers worth mentioning.

Arsenal not a lost cause anymore

They might have their fair share of critics who have come up with some excellent points but the Gunners are slowly changing under the guidance of Unai Emery. While the Arsenal of recent years would have been blown away had a team taken a 2-0 lead on their turf, this team has that something different about it.

The start of the first half wasn’t good. An error by Leno allowed Christian Eriksen to score one of the most easiest goals he would ever score before a moment of madness from Granit Xhaka allowed Harry Kane to convert from the spot.

However, Arsenal showed a lot of determination to go back to the dressing room with the deficit cut in half, thanks to an Alexandre Lacazette goal. The second half saw Arsenal play more expansively and dominate proceedings so a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang goal was not a surprising turn of events.

Davison Sanchez is a liability

We really don’t know what has gone wrong with Davison Sanchez. While the second goal was conceded because of Jan Vertonghen caught napping, it was Sanchez who proved to be rather erratic. The Colombian international’s positioning against Arsenal was questionable and he nearly gifted the Gunners another goal after his header failed to find Hugo Lloris in goal.

Mauricio Pochettino may have invested well in the summer transfer window but you have to feel that the defense is a sector that has been ignored. If the defenders keep performing the way they did, Tottenham will have to score a bucket load of goals in order to consistently gain three points.

The importance of Eriksen

He may have wanted to leave Tottenham this summer but the Dane has not been able to see his wish granted. Eriksen is still at the club but the way he celebrated his first goal of the season clearly shows that he is committed to the cause.

Throughout the game, the Denmark international was as good as he usually is and if he keeps at it, Tottenham might not be worrying too much about losing him eventually.

Xhaka a liability

While no one can question his passing ability, it is clear that Granit Xhaka isn’t the player Arsenal need when they play against teams built to play a high-pressing game. The Switzerland international slows down moves which makes it difficult for the likes of Aubameyang and Pepe to influence games through their pace.

Moreover, his tackling is pretty shocking. It was his tackle on Son that resulted in the second goal. Unai Emery would eventually relegate him to the bench in favor of Dani Ceballos who showed a lot of passion for the club the moment he entered the field.