SUNDAY 30th APRIL, 2017
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2(0) ARSENAL 0(0)
Kane (pen), 58
Referee:- Michael Oliver
Assistants:- Simon Bennett & Jake Collin
Fourth official:- Andre Marriner
Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Lloris (Capt.); Trippier (sub Walker, 88), Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies; Dier, Wanyama; Eriksen, Alli (sub Sissoko, 90+ 1), Son (sub Dembele, 79); Kane
Subs not used:- Vorm; Wimmer; Nkoudou; Janssen
Booked:- Kane (foul on Gabriel)
Arsenal (3-4-1-2):- Cech; Gabriel (sub Bellerin, 75), Koscielny (Capt.), Monreal; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Xhaka (sub Welbeck, 65), Gibbs; Ozil; Sanchez, Giroud (sub Walcott, 81)
Subs not used:- Ospina; Holding; Iwobi, Coquelin
Booked:- Gabriel (foul on Eriksen), Giroud (foul on Trippier), Monreal (foul on Kane)
Quick fire Tottenham conquer Arsenal
Spurs scored two goals in three second half minutes to send Arsenal and their fans back down the Seven Sisters Road with their tails between their legs, and also to ensure that Spurs would finish above Arsene Wenger for the first time. It is also the first time in 22 years that we have finished above Arsenal in the Premier League, and the first time since January 1995 that we have beaten them without conceding a goal.
The records certainly keep tumbling this season at White Hart Lane, and you need to be a mathematician to keep up with the number of consecutive Premier League wins (9), home league wins (13), consecutive wins at White Hart Lane (16), and games unbeaten at White Hart Lane in the league (18).
Spurs have all but ensured that they will qualify for the group stage of the Champions League next season. Manchester United could catch us, but they have a far inferior goal difference. Both Liverpool and Man City need to win all their games (and we need to lose all four of our games) to overtake us. We are, of course, still in the title race, although Chelsea's 3-0 win today at Goodison Park was a poor result for us. We are four points behind, and have a chance to put them under a little pressure by winning at The London Stadium next Friday night, with Antonio Conte's side having to wait till the Monday night before they play a home game against Middlesbrough, who today got a draw against Man City. The title race is not over yet!
After that Chelsea win today's game was really all about beating Arsenal, and to ensure there would be no "St. Totteringham Day" this season. On the whole, Spurs fans are not bothered about coming up with an equivalent name for their superiority. It was enough to win today. Ultimately, Arsenal fans, most of whom left early, had their tails between their legs, after early chants of "61 - never again" and "Have you ever seen Tottenham win the league".
Mauricio Pochettino's team selection bore one surprise, with Kieran Trippier getting the nod over Kyle Walker. I am starting to get a bit concerned about the press stories that have been circulating about a possible Walker departure . Mind you, when he did replace Trippier very late in the game, the two shared a sincere hug.
Mousa Dembele was on the bench, but clearly not fit enough to start today, so it was a 4-2-3-1 for Spurs today, with Dier left of Wanyama in front of the back four. Arsene Wenger once again went with three at the back, but this time, captain Koscielny was back in place of Holding. Giroud got a start, perhaps just in front of Sanchez, with Arsenal playing a midfield four.
The atmosphere was of course very hot. Spurs kicked off, towards Park Lane, and within the first minute Harry Kane was with the ball in the left side of the box, trying a shot across Cech, but the goalkeeper held. Spurs won two corners around the five minute mark, both taken by Eriksen, and the second was met in front of the near post by Toby Alderweireld.
Sanchez and Ramsey looked lively all day for Arsenal, and they combined after 12 minutes, with Ramsey crossing and Lloris out to beat Giroud to the ball.
Ben Davies and Son Heung-min were working well together for Spurs down the left flank, and after Davies collected a long clearance, exchanging with Son, he hit a decent shot which was deflected for a corner. After the corner, Jan Vertonghen picked out Trippier on the right, but his cross failed.
Harry Kane picked up a ball down the right channel, and his attempted cross/shot was deflected, looping up to Dele Alli, who headed wide at the back post. A foul on Dele Alli by Gabriel seemed cynical enough for a card, but referee Michael Oliver was showing lenience at this stage.
Victor Wanyama was on top of his game and really dominant for Spurs today, and he sent a great clearance down the line which Son collected, crossing to Eriksen beyond the back post. Eriksen's shot skimmed the top of Cech's bar.
Sanchez responded and had a shot deflected to win a corner for Arsenal. Spurs came back winning three corners in succession, creating a truly great atmosphere from the home fans. Another Arsenal foul (this one by Xhaka on Vertonghen) brought only "words" from the referee.
Ramsey had a shot on goal after Spurs struggled to clear their lines, and Lloris had to make probably his hardest save of the game diving to his left, and conceding a corner.
Ramsey had another shot deflected for a corner, following Sanchez's pass, and the Arsenal striker had a chance himself after Xhaka's ball. Sanchez put this one wide.
In first half added time, Wanyama sent a ball to Trippier, whose cross went out for a corner. After that, Jan Vertonghen had a terrific effort on goal, saved well by Cech, diving to his left.
The star at half-time was Jurgen Klinsmann, who demonstrated his whole-hearted affection for White Hart Lane, and was naturally well received by the home fans. Arsenal fans could not even show the class to appreciate a genuinely world class player.
Sanchez gave Spurs concern early in the second half, but Cech was required after a break by Son; a cross by Trippier, and a great shot by Wanyama, which Cech tipped over. Following the corner, Son had a chance go wide.
Harry Kane picked up a ball after it fell to him despite a Dier error. Harry took it on and Cech saved. Giroud had a chance go wide after an Arsenal corner, before Spurs took the lead. Harry Kane had battled for and won the ball in the middle, feeding it to Dele Alli, who passed it on to Eriksen. Eriksen got close to goal, hitting a shot which Cech could not hold, and Dele swept home the rebound.
In no time, it was 2-0 as Harry Kane was fouled by Gabriel, with the referee pointing unerringly to the spot. Harry Kane was also unerring in firing home confidently to the right of Cech's dive. Harry hasn't given up the chase for the golden boot just yet!
It was 2-0 but there was a full half-hour to go. Alderweireld rescued Eric Dier in the Spurs box, but Giroud still got a shot in, which Lloris saved. Hugo then held another effort by Sanchez, despite being under close pressure from advancing red shirted opponents.
Now Wenger took off Xhaka and put on Welbeck, switching to a two man midfield behind Welbeck, Ozil, and Sanchez, with Giroud up front.
After a Spurs corner, Jan Vertonghen crossed from the left, and Toby Alderweireld's header won another corner. After the corner, Vertonghen had another belter of a shot, again saved by Cech. Son won a third corner, and Spurs wanted handball, but the referee no doubt felt that the defender had been too close to the shot.
A sequence followed where yellow cards were shown to players on both sides, as a little bit of niggle came into the game, no doubt caused by the frustration of the visiting team. Mr. Oliver had words with Alderweireld and Welbeck following one episode in the Spurs box.
Another Wanyama break gave Harry Kane a chance for the right side, but Cech saved again. Cech then had to save another Alderweireld header from Eriksen's corner.
Son was replaced by Dembele, and by now I got the impression that Spurs were happy to get men behind the ball to further frustrate Arsenal. Vertonghen showed truly great skill and composure in the box,against Welbeck, winning the ball, and clearing well. Dele Alli hit a cross which Trippier handed into the path of Kane, whose shot was deflected and held by Cech.
Walcott replaced Giroud and was greeted with derision by the home crowd, who chanted "Theo, Theo, what's the score?", clearly remembering his signal to Spurs fans when being stretchered off a couple of years ago at The Emirates when Arsenal were 2-0 up. He got a shot on goal, after work by Sanchez and Ramsey, but Lloris saved comfortably.
Even Dele Alli was defending stoutly in his own area, and clearing well to Harry Kane as we entered added time, before he was replaced by Sissoko. Most Arsenal fans had left by this time.
This was a truly great and deserved win by Spurs, whose fans celebrated long into the evening relishing having Premier League superiority over their near rivals for the first time in 22 years. Here's to many repeats in the years to come!
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