Your older brother’s Arsenal is dead, as Spurs increase their lead to seven points in a game that was defined by two minutes of atrocious defending late in the first half.
- 25 minutes of dominance on the ball went for naught when Arsenal’s frail back line was exposed for the umpteenth time this season. Employing a high defensive line relies on two things. Attacking players cannot be given eons of time on the ball and your center halves must be quick and play with cohesion. Arsenal failed on both fronts, several times.
- Gareth Bale, who had a Banana thrown at him because some people are a complete waste of oxygen, scored again, adding to a price tag that is now valued at infinity. Gylfi Sigurdsson strolled into Arsenal’s midfield with far too much time and space as Thomas Vermaelen and Per Mertesacker got their signals crossed, allowing Bale to streak in behind and collect an excellent Sigurdsson pass. Wojciech Szczesny has to read that play better.
- Great passes, plays and the like can expose even the most formidable defenses. Aaron Lennon’s goal two minutes after Bale’s confirmed what we all know. Defensively, Arsenal is exceptionally poor. This time it was Scott Parker who was given acres of space. Credit to Lennon for making a fantastic run, but once again confusion and poor positioning on Arsenal’s part won the day. The difference in this game was the final ball. Arsenal began the game with purpose, controlling possession and dictating play. The quality in the final third wasn’t there.
- Mertesacker drew one back for the visitors in the 51st minute, losing Emmanuel Adebayor and connecting on a Theo Walcott free kick. The Big Friendly German’s header glanced of Bale’s head before beating Hugo Lloris. The guy cannot stop scoring.
- From then on it seemed as though an equalizer was coming, but much like in the first half, the Gunners couldn’t find that extra gear when they got in tight. Jack Wilshere did not have his best game, displaying a clumsy first touch all over the field. Conversely, Santi Cazorla was Arsenal’s best player. After starting out left, the Spaniard moved to a more central role and created the vast majority of Arsenal’s attacks.
- Jan Vertonghen is proving to be one of the best buys from the summer. The Belgian defender, paired with Michael Dawson, was fantastic. His tackle on Walcott from a losing position was outstanding, even more so considering the wave of momentum Arsenal was riding. The partnership of Kompany and Vertonghen is going to be a force in Brazil.
- Sticking with Belgian defenders, Vermaelen is a shadow of his former self. What a precipitous fall.
- The news wasn’t all good for Spurs. Mousa Dembélé, suffered an injury late and limped off. With a daunting slate of upcoming fixtures, including games versus Inter, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City, his absence could be a killer.
- Wonder what Roman Abramovich is thinking as he watches André Villas-Boas assert himself as one of the best in the business.
- Simply put, Arsene Wenger has made some awful personnel decisions in recent years, including Per Mertesacker, Park Chu-Young, Andre Santos, Johan Djourou and Sébastien Squillaci. Couple those plugs with players who are good but not great (your Arteta’s, Podolski’s and Giroud’s) and here we are.
- Seven points with 10 games left. It’s not insurmountable, especially considering Spurs’ upcoming schedule. But while Tottenham might dip, the chances Arsenal drop points are just as likely.
1. Jan Vertonghen
2. Gareth Bale
3. Santi Cazorla