Spurs Kane and Able over Arsenal
Written By: Robert Halter
Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal contested the 175th North London derby at White Hart Lane, early February. In the fourth minute, Spurs were on the front foot, after Mousa Dembele put the ball out to the left, and a curling strike by Harry Kane, was pushed behind off a finger tips save from Gunners goalkeeper, David Ospina, who required brief treatment after bending down to make the save. Five minutes later, Dembele spearheaded the Lilywhites forward movement again, and as Danny Rose cut the ball over from the left flank, Ospina collected comfortably. But it was the Gunners that took the lead on eleven minutes, after a burst down the right by Danny Welbeck which left Rose stranded and from Olivier Giroud’s low touch, an unmarked Mesut Ozil, volleyed the ball into the net past Hugo Lloris in the Spurs goal. Two minutes later, Tottenham pressed again and Rose’s low drive from the left side was palmed away by Ospina, as he dived to his left. On twenty minutes, after Erik Lamela won the challenge on Santi Cazorla, a low drive was fired in by Nabil Bentaleb, which drifted past the right post. Then within a minute, Dembele created space for Rose on the left, who forced his shot past the far post. On twenty nine minutes, from a ball across by Lamela, a soaring long range smash by Mason, required Ospina to spring into action and leap into the air, to turn the ball away from the top corner. Spurs couldn’t find their shooting boots, as Kane dragged an effort wide, from a Christian Eriksen nod down, in the thirty ninth minute. The Lilywhites were the quickest out of the traps for the second half, when from Kyle Walker’s cross on the right, Bentaleb blazed the ball over. But on forty nine minutes, as Bellerin’s strike deflected off Mason, from the loose ball, Cazorla’s well struck effort from the edge of the box, had to be plucked away by Lloris, from the foot of his left post. However, Spurs got back in the game on the fifty fifth minute, when Lamela’s corner drifted across off Dembele and Kane lurked at the far post to tuck the ball away from close range, after Ospina’s touch had only aided the goal. Spurs tails were up, as they built on the equaliser, first when Rose tested Ospina on the left side, and the Arsenal shot stopper was forced into a full length save, and then as the ball was driven across from the opposite side by Dembele to draw another save by Ospina, the flag then went up for offside on Kane. But on the hour mark, the Gunners responded, as Lloris produced a theatrical stop, to turn away a speculative curling strike by Welbeck and then Lloris had to stop on the line, a Koscielny header from Cazorla’s corner. But Spurs reacted as Ospina caught hold of Mason’s blast, after he latched onto Francis Coquelin’s goal line clearance from an Eric Dier header. Then on sixty four minutes, Ospina was at full stretch to claw away Bentaleb’s low drive, before Kane was caught offside again. Arsenal made the first change as Tomas Rosicky replaced Cazorla. On seventy one minutes, Eriksen sent a free kick dipping over the top, after a foul on him by Giroud. When Giroud spurned a header off target from Ozil’s left wing cross, Spurs changed Dembele with Nacer Chadli, for the final quarter of the hour in normal time. The Gunners soon replaced Welbeck with Theo Walcott. From a Rose thrown in and Eriksen cross, Lamela sliced the ball wide, as Spurs looked for more cut and thrust in sight of the target. But the game dramatically turned around in the eighty sixth minute, from a Rose throw in when Bentaleb’s delivery was met by a perfectly timed cushioned header by Kane, that beat Ospina and left Arsenal stranded as the ball landed in the far side of the goal. Changes were made at the end, as the Gunners brought on Chuba Akpom for Coquelin and Spurs replaced Lamela with Benjamin Stambouli. After Rosciky’s snap shot was pushed upwards by Lloris, Spurs made a final change of Paulinho for Mason, just before the whistle blew as the Lilywhites 2-1 win over Arsenal moved Spurs a point above the Gunners to fifth place in the table.