Arsenal 1 – 1 Tottenham

SUMMARY
Kieran Gibbs earned battling Arsenal a point as they came from behind in a frantic north London derby.
The England left back had only been on the pitch four minutes when he met Mesut Ozil’s floated cross with just enough power to beat goalkeeper Hugo Lloris at the far post.
Harry Kane appeared to have struck the decisive blow for Tottenham with a confident finish from Danny Rose’s through-ball in the first half, and only Petr Cech’s reflexes stopped Spurs adding to their lead.

In the end Arsenal were rewarded for a more direct approach in the second half. Olivier Giroud nodded a great chance just wide, crashed another header against the bar and volleyed over – all three created by the magisterial Ozil.
Ultimately, local pride was shared on and off the pitch. And Manchester City’s draw at Aston Villa means Arsenal go into the international break behind the leaders on goal difference alone.
For that they can thank Gibbs – the unlikely source of a vital goal – and the assist machine that is Ozil.

SETTING THE SCENE
Wenger made one change for his 47th north London derby. Koscielny, who sat out the defeat at Bayern Munich, was deemed fit to start so Gabriel dropped to the bench.
Back into the squad came club captain Mikel Arteta and David Ospina, while Mathieu Debuchy and Campbell continued on the right in the absence of Hector Bellerin, Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Tottenham had a more successful result in Europe in midweek and boasted the Premier League’s longest unbeaten run, stretching back 10 games. What’s more, Kane was back in form after five goals in three games.
As ever, emotions ran high before the derby but they were put in perspective before kick-off when both sets of players and fans stood to mark Remembrance Sunday and observe a poignant rendition of The Last Post.

arsenal

FIRST HALF
Local derbies rarely start sluggishly and this was no exception.
There was an early scare for Arsenal but not because of Tottenham – Santi Cazorla was hampered so Mathieu Flamini warmed up from the first whistle. Cazorla soldiered on and played his part in a frantic start.
Arsenal enjoyed the best of the opening skirmishes, Francis Coquelin biting into tackles and Campbell showing an appetite for the physical side of the derby.
The home side looked most dangerous when Ozil got on the ball in the final third, but he couldn’t conjure up a chance with Tottenham compact and disciplined.
The visitors had to soak up pressure but threatened on the counter-attack, Mousa Dembele’s shot deflecting wide and Rose forcing Cech to deal with a low cross.
Erik Dier went closer than anyone in the first half-hour, left free at the back post to steer a header wide. And Tottenham went ahead a few minutes later when Koscielny hesitated, leaving Kane to run onto Rose’s through-ball and beat Cech.
Arsenal tried to respond but, aside from an attempted backheel from Alexis, they had little to show for their efforts.
SECOND HALF
The change that had looked possible from the start came at half-time – Flamini on for Cazorla.
Arsenal hadn’t Hugo Lloris before the break but the Tottenham goalkeeper was called into action when Campbell, full of endeavour, cut inside and sent a dipping shot towards the far corner.
That was close but Spurs went closer moments later, Eriksen collecting a lay-off from Kane and watching his shot flick off Flamini and fly just wide with Cech beaten.
Back came Arsenal, Giroud getting clear of Vertonghen to power a header against the crossbar from Ozil’s free-kick.
Lacking their usual cohesion – a symptom of so many absentees – Arsenal went for a more direct approach, with plenty of joy. Koscielny looped a header just off target, then Giroud squandered a golden chance, nodding Ozil’s corner wide from six yards out.
It felt like a big moment and Arsenal’s woes were almost compounded when Eriksen forced a fine save from Cech before Kane dragged a shot just wide.
There was more to come from the visitors. Cech made a brilliant reflex stop to keep out Toby Alderweireld’s header from Erik Lamela’s corner, and Kane whistled another shot just wide.
Wenger made his second change, bringing Gibbs on for the admirable Campbell. It proved a masterstroke.
With 13 minutes left, Ozil floated yet another tempting cross into the Spurs box and Gibbs got just enough on it at the far post to beat the flailing Lloris. It was his sixth goal in Arsenal colours, and perhaps his most important.
Giroud volleyed an Ozil corner just over the bar and forced another save from Lloris as Arsenal finished strongly, but a draw was probably a fair result.

tot