North London Stands Red

Arsenal and Local Opponent Tottenham Face Off in Emirates Stadium


Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira celebrates after scoring his first Arsenal goal ending the match 4-2. Leno, Bernd. Interview. Max Jones. Arsenal, Arsenal Football Club plc., 2 Dec. 2018.

Adam Yang, Writer

Amidst the chants and tunes, the North London giants Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspurs will face off on the carpet-soft grass of the Emirates Stadium. The first Sunday of December marked the first of two league games between the rivals. The local feud is a half-century old battle for bragging rights, dominance, and a serious competition for league placement.

The opening goal was at the fault of Tottenham centre back Jan Vertonghen, after he made a questionable reach for the ball with his arm in a corner kick, which concluded in a clear and obvious handball.

Sophomore Henry Sharon, a Tottenham supporter, made comments on the call: “The penalty call against Son was a bad call; although, there was contact so the referee could’ve called it either way.”

Arsenal forward Aubameyang scored his first goal off of the penalty conceded by Vertonghen. However, Tottenham quickly equalised with a header by Eric Dier, and took advantage of a positioning mistake by keeper Bernd Leno. They then quickly took the lead from a penalty on Son Heung-Min.

The recent and masterful signing of Lucas Torreira from Italian club Sampdoria, has encapsulated the birth of a new Arsenal midfield. He has an unstoppable defense ethic and pairs well with the piercing and accurate long passes of Swiss defensive midfielder Granit Xhaka. Torreira has brought grit into the Arsenal midfield not seen since the undefeated season of ‘03-’04.

Leno gave insight on his teammate after the fixture. He explained, “Torreira is incredible. He’s a fighter and he’s so important for our game, for the whole defense. He produced another perfect game today.”

Sharon analyzed, “[Tottenham] couldn’t get the ball through the midfield and often when attacking, would find all options closed down.

The Arsenal has undoubtedly been much better since the last few seasons. With a raw display of direct play with explosive attacking might, Arsenal excels in overpowering and out maneuvering defenses.

Arsenal’s attacking sequences showcase the positive changes in Unai Emery’s new and effective era of efficient soccer. With the pace of the attacking players, Arsenal was able to have dangerous and piercing counter attacks. Wing-backs Sead Klosinach, who offers strength, and Hector Bellerin, who offers pace, caused consistent troubles for the Tottenham defense.

Sharon added, “Arsenal did well with closing Spurs down and moved the ball well throughout the wings [and] in behind the weak defense.”

After the second half, Arsenal’s play had not lost momentum and quickly scored on a magnificent counter attack; from Hector Bellerin’s pinpoint pass to Aaron Ramsey, to Ramsey’s decisive touch to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s curler, rendering Hugo Lloris frozen in space, unable to save the shot. The Emirates Stadium roared to life. A fault by Juan Foyth, a Tottenham defender, allowed Alexandre Lacazette, Arsenal’s second-striker, to find the net with the help of a lucky deflection.

The classic feud was finished with a 4-2 win for Arsenal, home at the Emirates stadium, fulfilling the weary hearts of Arsenal who have seen too much defeat in the recent seasons. Their failure to qualify for the UEFA Champions league for the last few seasons are only part of the heartbreak experienced by the reds.

However, this season has been a sign for the return of North London and Premier League dominance. Tottenham was just an example of what Arsenal is capable of even against big clubs.