Arsenal came from a goal down to beat Tottenham 5-2 in the north London derby at the Emirates on Saturday afternoon.
Tottenham got off to a great start when Adebayor gave them an early lead by the striker turned villain when he was sent off for a lunge on Cazorla shortly after. Arsenal made 10-man Spurs pay and went 4-1 up through goals from Mertesacker, Podolski, Giroud and Cazorla before Bale pulled one back to give the visitors hope. However, Walcott wrapped the game up with a late fifth. Here are player ratings from the game.
Szczesny – 6 – Decent stop from Defoe’s shot that fell for Adebayor to tap in and could little about Bale’s well hit strike. Had little else to do and swept up well behind his defenders and calm in possession.
Sagna – 8 – A true warrior. Put his head on everything and gave his all for the Gunners. Together with Walcott he ran riot down the right, particularly in the first half when they targeted Naughton.
Mertesacker – 6 - At fault for the opener but made up for it with a superb headed goal. However, was dragged out of position for Spurs second and didn’t recover his position in time to cut out Bale’s shot.
Koscielny – 7 – Steady next to the big German but was sloppy for Tottenham’s second.
Vermaelen – 6.5 - Looked a little shaky early on when Lennon gave him some problems but settled once Arsenal took control of the game.
Wilshere – 7 – Ran the midfield, especially when Spurs were down to 10 and he had more space to work with.
Arteta – 6 - Dictated play and again his influence was felt more after the dismissal of Ade. Looked a little tired later on.
Cazorla – 9 – Superb. Almost unplayable at times. Set up the important second goal, scored the fourth and was the creative heartbeat of the home side. Back to his best.
Podolski – 7 - Huge improvement on recent performances. Worked his socks off, supported Vermaelen, ran down the ball and contributed with a goal and a great assist.
Walcott – 8.5 – Excellent display as the ‘contract rebel’ gave Arsene Wenger another reason to pay him what he wants. Ripped Naughton apart in the first half, setting up Arsenal’s equaliser with a great cross and capped off a fine performance with a deserved late goal.
Giroud – 7 - Continued is excellent recent goal-scoring run making it 4 goals in 3 games. Looks to be settling in at the Emirates and always puts a shift in up front.
Santos – 6 – Came on for Podolski to shore up the left side late on. Didn’t put a foot wrong and kept possession well.
Ramsey – 5 – Gave away possession cheaply on a couple of occasions and wasted a good chance on the break when he went for the ‘Hollywood’ ball.
Chamberlain – 7 - Made a real impact in his 10 minutes on the pitch. A couple of excellent runs, one of which set up Walcott for the fifth.
Lloris – 5 – Thrown in to a north London derby for his first league start, you had to feel for him. Some will argue he could have done better with at least three of Arsenal’s goals and didn’t look confident throughout.
Walker – 5 - Looked short of fitness and was at fault for Arsenal’s third as he allowed Cazorla to waltz past him. Replaced at half time.
Gallas – 5 - Tough day for the former Arsenal captain. Struggled to contain the home sides attack all afternoon.
Vertonghen – 6 – Like his defensive partner, the Belgian struggled at times especially when pitted against Walcott in the first half.
Naughton – 4 - Out his depth at left back. Couldn’t get near Walcott and Sagna and was put out his misery at half time.
Sandro – 6 - Gave away several cheap fouls early on and eventually earned himself a booking. Tried his best to hold the Spurs midfield together after they went down to 10-men.
Huddlestone – 5 – Completely over-run in the middle and couldn’t get near Cazorla and Wilshere.
Bale – 6.5 - Tottenham’s only real outlet but dealt with well by Sagna. Gave the away side hope with a fine long-range strike for 4-2 and went close to grabbing a third shortly after, although he should have squared for Defoe instead of taking the shot on.
Lennon – 6 – Looked lively in the early stages and went close to putting Spurs 2-up but was very quiet when Arsenal took control.
Adebayor – 3 – Was on hand to tap home to put the visitors ahead but reckless tackle got himself sent off and gave Spurs a mountain to climb.
Defoe – 5 – Superb run and shot set up the opener and continued to make runs throughout the game, but was starved of supply as Spurs lost control of midfield.
Dawson – 6.5 – Came on at half time and gave a calming influence to the newly shaped back three. Made two excellent blocks at the near post. Should start ahead of Gallas on todays display.
Dempsey – 5 – Made little impact after his half time introduction.
Carroll – 6 - Looked lively after coming on for final 20 minutes and showed some excellent touches on the ball.
If you didn’t catch the game, you can see highlights and the goals from Arsenal 5-2 Tottenham here.
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