A resilient line-up started and a very good start to the game punctuated with a beautiful ESR’s strike on the cross bar…A few minutes later and on their first incursion in our half after 30 minutes of play, Lamela scored a screamer with a Rabona! What a goal! But being by far the best team at the Emirates, we came back through our Norwegian playmaker who converted another good cross from Tierney. Overall, we came back right before half-time and it was the least we deserved after hitting the cross-bar by ESR and the post through Cedric!
Second half, we started oddly with Tottenham playing better but we were not to be outdone and in the end, Lacazette managed to get a PK after being played through beautifully by Pepe. Lacazette then scored a good PK, through a nicely taken penalty.
After that, we created some chances but truth be told, Tottenham started to threaten us but Lamela went from Spurs hero to Spurs villain by getting himself sent off for a blatant foul on Tierney. But AFC being AFC, we still remained fragile and Kane scored a header but was off-side and then hit the post on a free-kick.
But the North London Derby was to be ours in 2021 and we saw the game through to Arteta’s relief and joy!
Here are the ratings:
Leno – 5, no saves and no big mistakes. Just average.
Cedric – 7, a good game for him.
Luiz – 6, nothing bad nor good.
Gabs – 6, nothing bad nor good.
Tierney – 7.5, an assist and a good defensive game.
Partey – 5.5. Seems to be struggling with the physicality and pace of the EPL still. Had some random shots but overall, an average outing
Xhaka – 6.5. A solid performance in the middle.
Saka – 5. Looked jaded from the on-set. Pepe – 6. Looked lively, a great pass to Laca for the PK but could have done more.
Odegaard – 8 – What a game for him. At the heart of our passing and a good goal for him in the end. Played well.
ESR – 7 – An excellent first half, a great strike and unlikely not to score.
Laca – 8 – A goal, a very good performance up front. A constant nuisance. MOTM
Arteta – 8. Great team selection and set-up