League Cup : Arsenal 1 – Tottenham 1

Posted: January 10, 2008 in Arsenal, Draw, League Cup, Match Review

Jenas (37)
Walcott (78)

Match Gunner: Sagna (even if he only came on at halftime. He was as solid as ever)

We came in with major changes as expected in the League Cup. Only four changes from the previous FA Cup game against Burnley with Van Perise, Walcott, Hoyte and Djourou coming in. It was quite a surprise that Robin started instead of Eduardo. What with him just back from injury and Eduardo’s goalscoring form.

Goal: Fabianski

Defense: Hoyte, Traore, Djourou, Senderos

Midfield: Diaby, Denilson, Gilberto, Walcott

Forward: Van Persie, Bendtner

We started the game well enough. Walcott had a decent run before being crowded out by the committed Spurs defense. Ramos and King’s return has bolstered this side of tehir squad. Even had a decent shot on goal via Bendtner’s header but it fell too close to the Spurs keeper. From then on, it was practically all Spurs. They had one or two decent chances before their goal. Malbranque miscued with the net wide open and was the culprit again wide a header wide.

Their goal was scored after a great Berbatov pass. Slight suspicions of offside but the recipient of the pass; Keane rolled the ball to Jenas who just guided it into the net. Things were not looking good for us. As the half went on, we were pressed more and more by Spurs. We were clearly rattled with no answer.

Halftime and Robin as well as Djourou were replaced by Eduardo and Sagna. Hoyte slotted into the centreback position. He did an excellent job there. Sagna was also a welcome change as his clearances at least amounted to something. His forward runs are wonderful as well. We began to gel a bit in the second half but Spurs were still running the show. Fabianski failed to hang on to a shot and was assisted on the line by Denilson. Keane miscontrolled a takedown as he was clear on goal and Fabianski recovered.

We began to get some chances. Diaby made amends for his poor first half with a much better showing and created a chance which was blocked. Then Traore inexplicably wasted a good freekick with a shot that went to the farthest corners of the Emirates. Our 20 derbies with Spurs without a loss seemed as good as gone. Up popped up Eduardo with a through pass which nearly found Walcott. Lee Young Pyo timed the tackle to a tee just as Walcott was shooting but the ball rebounded off Walcott’s chest into the goal. What a lucky goal and I’m as pleased as can be.

Walcott was brought out later on. It looked like he twisted his ankle trying to chase down O’Hara on the defense. Hope it’s not too serious. Late on and Defoe missed a great chance after being set up by Lennon. Haha. Our North London derby record is now 21 games and counting. Congratulations to the lads who never stopped working hard even as the result seemed to have eluded us. Second leg will be held in White Hart Lane on the 22nd(23rd morning for Asians) of January.

* It seems like we lost more than we bargained for with Senderos, Djourou and Van Persie all casualties of this tie.

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