Arsenal 2-1 Tottenham: North London is Red

Arsenal's Norwegian midfielder Martin Odegaard (Photo by DAN MULLAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal's Norwegian midfielder Martin Odegaard (Photo by DAN MULLAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Emile Smith Rowe of Arsenal (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images) /

It was a nerve-wracking but happy ending at the Emirates yesterday as Arsenal beat North London rivals Tottenham 2-1 In a game dominated by the home side.

Three changes were all Mikel Arteta needed to make following on from their triumph in their recent Europa League game in order for the Gunners to come out on top.

Arsenal dominated the majority of the game and plenty of crosses were coming into the box, especially from Arsenal left-back Kieran Tierney, but no one could capitalise on the early opportunities.

Arsenal found themselves 1-0 down towards the end of the second half when early substitute Erik Lamela scored a Rabona following a spurs counter-attack when the referee allowed play to continue from a foul.

The first half didn’t end there as just on the stroke of half time, Tierney ploughed down the left-hand side of the pitch and placed the ball in a perfect position in the box for Martin Odegaard to put away into the back of the net and level the score.

Spurs managed to get into the game more in the second half, but Mikel Arteta’s side still shone as the dominant side and still created the better chances.

Arsenal were able to take the lead in the 64th minute when Davidson Sanchez took Alexandre Lacazette down in the box and the home side were awarded a penalty.

The Frenchman confidently stepped up to the ball and converted from the 12-yard spot and the Gunners took the lead.

Spurs went down to 10 men with 15 minutes to go, when goal-scorer Lamela was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Tierney.

The end turned out to be the biggest test for Arsenal as Kane’s equalising free-kick was ruled offside and Gabriel cleared a rebound after the ball hit the post from another free-kick not long after.

There are plenty of talking points to be discussed from this action-packed North London Derby and here are my top choices…

1. Arsenal need to take their chances

Arsenal deservedly won the game and got away with not capitalising on more of their chances mostly in the first half, especially when youngster Emile Smith-Rowe’s drifted shot from the left hit the crossbar.

The home side had 13 shots on goal and created 12 chances, which when you compare it to Spurs’s six shots and four chances created, you can clearly tell who had the better game and who did more when they had the ball.

If Arsenal want to push as high up the table as possible towards the end of the season, then they need to take their chances more confidently and capitalise on chances early on.

Arsenal have the right players in order to create chances again and again as we’ve seen a lot of this season, but having players in the right positions in the boxes is so important for fullbacks such as Cedric and Tierney who continuously play crosses into the box.

One very interesting tactical change at the end of the game was when Arteta subbed off Lacazette and subbed on Mohammed Elneny, meaning that for the last approximately seven minutes of the game, there was no striker on the pitch.

I understand Arteta wanting to play defensively for the last part of the game, but having no striker really makes the team vulnerable when they have the chance to get forward.