Arsenal column All Guns Blazing: Shift in power? North London is still very much red
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For the final word on the superb victory over Spurs on Saturday here’s Ella Meadwocroft’s must-read column as she hails Arsenal, saying North London is still very much red...
It’s hard to think of a North London derby more enjoyable for Arsenal fans in recent times than Saturday’s.
The passion and gritty performance of each Arsenal player was something we’ve been dreaming of all season.
From front to back, players in red dominated across the park, pressing together as a unit as well as attacking their individual battles.
Leaders arose, with Shkodran Mustafi particularly impressive in the back three and Mesut Ozil stepping up to put in a solid, disciplined performance.
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The match was wrapped up in the first half, as Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was beaten twice in five minutes, as Mustafi headed home after a set piece and Alexis Sanchez smashed the back of the net from close range.
Referee Mike Dean came under scrutiny for both goals and perhaps luck favoured the home side, but it’s hard to take anything away from the hard-fought victory.
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Spurs looked stunned and were overshadowed as they tried to press through the middle of a very compact Arsenal midfield.
Arsene Wenger gave a rare start to a front three of Ozil, Sanchez and Alexandre Lacazette who continually linked-up well, with contributing to the goals.
Lacazette so revelled in his first Tottenham test, boos rung out when he was replaced by Francis Coquelin in the 73rd minute – proving testament to his performance.
A usually dangerous Harry Kane, notorious for scoring in this fixture, struggled to find space as Laurent Koscielny marked his 300th Arsenal appearance in memorable fashion.
Christian Eriksen, coming in off the back of an international hat-trick, was also uncharacteristically quiet as boss Mauricio Pochettino lost this fixture for the first time.
The atmosphere was electric as the Gunner’s continued the longest ever successive run at the Emirates, with choruses of ‘Arsenal, Arsenal’ bellowing around the stadium – along with rapturous applause with every strong tackle and daring attack.
With such an important win secured, it’s vital Wenger’s side builds on their good work by showing consistency going into the busy December period.
Despite previous cries of a powershift, North London remains very much red.