Tottenham vs Arsenal 3-3: Good news for both United and City and bad news for both Arsenal and Spurs
For the second time this season, Arsenal had a two-goal lead against Spurs, but failed to win the game. Arsenal’s title expectations have suffered another blow. Despite Wenger’s words that the title race is „completely open”, Arsenal are now in third place (behind Chelsea, due to goal difference) and have gathered only 2 points from the last two games.
First it was Liverpool, on Sunday, who denied Arsenal the win with a dramatic last-minute equalizer. Yesterday, it was Tottenham. Arsenal took a 1-0 lead in the 5th minute, when Fabregas released Walcott, who put the ball past Gomes. Spurs bounced back two minutes later, when Van der Vaart equalized.
Samir Nasri put the visitors in front again after 12 minutes and Van Persie extended the lead in the 40th minute. At 3-1 for Arsenal, Spurs woke up.
Huddlestone struck a 20-yard screamer to make it 3-2 just before half-time. Lennon replaced the injured Bale at half-time. The Welshman’s exit may have looked encouraging for Arsenal, but it was Lennon who was brought down in the penalty area, allowing Van Der Vaart to convert the penalty kick.
It was another memorable North London derby that ended in a draw which favours the Manchester-based teams. About Arsenal, there is not much to say really. Yesterday, we all witnessed Arsenal’s famous mental fragility. Once again, I might add (e.g. remember the 4-4 draw at St. James’ Park in February). Sure, Spurs played their hearts out, but Wenger’s players were to blame for slipping the victory through their fingers.
Speaking about the Frenchman, is it just me or did Wenger look exasperated by his own lads? Having already lost in the Champions league and the Carling Cup final, culminating with a draw against Liverpool on Sunday, Arsene is under constant bombardment from both the media and the fans.
Wenger’s last hope of silverware this season will be the game against United at Emirates. Fabregas and Co must win that game.
Wenger was right, the race is not over yet, but it will be, should they fail to beat United. Should they win, all eyes will be fixed on United’s game against Chelsea. One thought though: in the long run, it’s not looking good for Arsenal. Perhaps the time has come for Wenger to choose: talented youth or titles.
With Fabregas and Nasri reported to be leaving Arsenal this summer, should the team fail to win any throphies (again), Wenger knows that this could be the end of another cycle and that major changes have to be made.
Meanwhile, Spurs are 2 points behind City in the quest for the 4th place and they have a mountain to climb as they prepare to face Chelsea (away), City (away) and Liverpool (away). Almost impossible, but not utopian.
Manager Redknapp was over the moon with his lads’ display, as he confessed to tottenhamhotspur.com:
“It was a great game, a classic. Both teams were slugging it out for the win and anyone who watched it must have enjoyed it.
They had us at full stretch in the first half, some of their football was frightening and I thought we were in big trouble at 3-1, but we came back as we always do and got the goal just before half-time.
Then I thought we were excellent in the second half. We got after them better and had the best chances to win it in the end.
Their keeper has made a couple of saves that I don’t think he knew too much about. We could have easily won it.
I just felt it was a great game. It was a pleasure to be involved in it. That’s what football is about, people paying to come and see football matches like that.
To see a team come back and show the character we showed from 3-1 down tells you an awful lot about the players here and the character we have got at the club. I couldn’t have asked for much more than that. I was so proud of the players.”
Once again, Spurs showed great spirit and courage to come back in the game. As they did, so many times this season. But! Statistics never lie: in the last 5 games in the Premier League, Harry’s lads won only one game and drew in the other four. 8 points lost, could it mean the end of the road for Spurs?
From now on, every games must be treated like a Champions League Final, in order to get that last ticket to next year’s top european cruise. Regardless of the outcome, in the summer, Spurs must be active on the transfer market. They need a top class striker. Defoe, Crouch and Pav are good, but they need better. My personal choice: Hulk (Porto). He’s pure class! Let’s just see if he would join a team that has no acces to next year’s Champions League season.
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