Weekend recap: Tottenham got lucky against Arsenal, Chelsea back in top four hunt
It’s time for our weekly recap of Premier League action. Here, we’ll have a look at how Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham did over the weekend.
It’s time for our weekly recap of the weekend’s Premier League action. Here, we’ll have a look at how Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham did over the weekend.
Arsenal drew 1-1 with Tottenham in the north London derby on Saturday [watch the goals here]. The Gunners took the lead through Aaron Ramsey when he capitalised on a mistake from Davinson Sanchez. He ran through on goal, went around Hugo Lloris and scored, in what was his last north London derby before joining Juventus. The goal was scored after 16 minutes, and Arsenal sat back and defended well for long periods. Tottenham were toothless and didn’t cause huge problems for the Gunners’ defence.
But with around 15 minutes of the game remaining, Spurs drew level through a controversial Harry Kane penalty. Arsenal can feel aggrieved that the penalty was given in the first place, with Kane in an offside position, but plenty of blame can be put on Shkodran Mustafi, who once again showed that he’s not up to standard for Arsenal when he needlessly bundled Kane over in the box.
Arsenal had a chance to win it late on, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed a stoppage-time penalty. Again, Arsenal will be upset with the referee, Anthony Taylor, as Jan Vertonghen was five yards inside the box when the penalty was taken. Without this advantage, he wouldn’t have been able to make the follow-up block on Aubameyang’s second attempt. To make matters worse, Lucas Torreira was shown a straight red card for a poor challenge on Danny Rose and will now miss three games. But Rose made a poor challenge himself, colliding studs-up into Bernd Leno’s chest earlier in the game. It could be argued that Rose should have been sent off himself.
It was a very disappointing result for Arsenal as it will feel like a huge opportunity missed. They’ve now dropped to fifth: one point off Manchester United in fourth. They host Manchester United next Sunday. That game will be huge.
Chelsea got a good 2-1 win away from home against rivals Fulham on Sunday [watch the goals here]. Gonzalo Higuain opened the scoring 20 minutes in; finishing well from a Cesar Azpilicueta cross. Calum Chambers equalised eight minutes later when he poked home after being left unmarked at the back post. But just three minutes later, Jorginho scored to restore Chelsea’s lead. It was a fantastic goal by the Italian; placing the ball into the top corner from outside the box.
The Blues were put under pressure by Fulham during the second half but held out to leave Craven Cottage with all three points. They’re still sixth in the table, but trail Arsenal by just one point, while they’re two behind Man United. Maurizio Sarri’s men also have a game in hand over their top four rivals, so they’re in a good position. They’ve come through a tough period and are now playing well again.
Kepa Arrizabalaga was recalled to the team by Sarri after his antics at Wembley last week. And it was a good decision as he had a very good game and made some crucial saves.
Tottenham can count themselves as fortunate to have taken a point against their bitter rivals, Arsenal, at Wembley on Saturday. As mentioned above, they shouldn’t have been awarded a penalty as Kane was offside, and Aubameyang should have been allowed to retake his spot-kick because Vertonghen was in the box. But maybe Spurs needed a bit of luck and needed to get some points on the board. A loss could have been disastrous for them and they would have found themselves under some real pressure in the race for the top four. They still have a battle on their hands, but are in pole position with a four-point lead.
Mauricio Pochettino came in for some criticism on Saturday because he didn’t adapt his tactics during the game. With Tottenham trailing, they desperately needed another player higher up the pitch as Arsenal were outnumbering them. Pochettino had three centre-halves on: Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez. One of those should have been sacrificed as Spurs were under little pressure at the back for large parts of the game, and Arsenal played with just one striker. There was no need for three of them to mark just Aubameyang.
Spurs got away with it in the end, and looking back on the game, will feel like it was a point gained rather than two lost. They could have easily been beaten by Arsenal and can be happy that they’ve got away without a defeat. They can now get their season back on track as they’ve avoided three defeats in a row. Tottenham will still be confident of finishing in the top four.
This article was written by PremPlace. You can see their website by clicking here.
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