New-look Spurs fail to inspire in derby-day loss at Emirates (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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New-look Tottenham Hotspur fail to inspire in derby-day loss to Arsenal at Emirates stadium
Arsenal secured the early-season bragging rights in north London with a convincing 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates stadium.
Olivier Giroud’s first half strike was enough to see the Gunners overpower Spurs and their £110million worth of summer signings.
Villas-Boas’ team produced a lethargic and uninspiring performance despite starting with four of their new recruits and later bringing on latest capture Eric Lamela.
All of the talk has been about Spurs this summer and their big investment ahead of Gareth Bale’s impending world-record switch to Real Madrid.
But it was Arsenal who produced the best football in an intense encounter between the bitter rivals.
Giroud’s goal in the 23rd minute was well deserved and came on the back of some fast-flowing and high-tempo football from the home side.
Prior to the goal, Carzola went close with two free-kicks from the edge of the area, first forcing a sprawling save from Lloris at his right-hand post before going inches wide with a clever low shot under the wall.
Spurs failed to find any rhythm and unsurprisingly it was Arsenal who went ahead on 23 minutes when Giroud finished off a rapid counter attack.
Rosicky found Walcott unmarked on the right hand side and the England winger slid the ball across the edge of the six-yard box for Giroud to tap in at the near post.
It was a devastating finish to a slick counter-attack started when Arsenal nicked the ball off Chadli on the edge of their own box.
Walcott forced a low save moments after the re-start and Ramsey blazed over after a clever one-two inside the box when he should have put his side 2-0 up.
Lloris produced a last-ditch tackle on Walcott when he came flying out of his area to prevent the winger who was played in behind.
The home fans were screaming for a red card as Walcott tumbled over the keeper’s desperately outstretched leg but replayed showed Lloris got a clear foot on the ball.
Spurs struggled to get a foot in the game in the first half but went closest when the lively Townsend twice cut inside but on both occasions fired straight at Szczesny.
Spurs came out looking brighter in the second half but it was Arsenal that created the first chance when Giroud’s deflected shot from the edge of the area forced another fingertip save from Lloris at the conclusion of another fluid Gunners counter-attack.
Lloris spared Dawson’s blushes when he again flew off his line to snatch the ball ahead of the on-rushing Walcott who was played in when Dawson sloppily lost the ball on the edge of the centre circle.
Villas-Boas looked to his bench for inspiration, bringing on Defoe for Dembele, before a double change of new-signing Lamela for Townsend and Sandro for the injured Capoue who was stretchered off with a nasty looking ankle injury sustained in a challenge with Rosicky.
Defoe’s introduction brought almost instant reward when his deflected volley from the edge of the area was brilliantly palmed out by Szczesny before Arsenal survived a bit of ping pong in their own box in the follow up.
Spurs somehow survived again with 11 minutes left when Giroud found the by-line before squaring back to Walcott. The winger saw his shot palmed in the air by Lloris and substitute Monreal failed to bundle the ball home at the far post under pressure from Walker.
Spurs, now desperate for the equaliser, threw men forward but failed to carve out any clear chances.
Arsenal survived a late Spurs onslaught and five minutes of extra time to secure a win that will leave Spurs with something to ponder before they take on Norwich at home next weekend.
Arsenal: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Wilshere (Flamini, 42), Ramsey, Walcott, Rosicky (Monreal, 79), Cazorla, Giroud. Subs: Sagna, Fabianski, Sanogo, Gnabry, Zelalem.
Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Rose, Capoue (Sandro, 75), Paulinho, Townsend (Lamela, 75), Dembele (Defoe, 68), Chadli, Soldado. Subs: Holtby, Naughton, Sigurdsson, Friedel.
Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland).
Bookings: Rosicky, 33, Flamini, 55.
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