Revenge. Humiliation. Gulf in class.
For a competition that ‘Champions League’ teams rarely pay lip service to, a third-round city derby, especially one as popular as Arsenal v Tottenham, is always bound to produce memorable moments. And while the main talking points of the day were Wilshere’s growing command on the football pitch, we saw more bad decisions (and some poor performances) that really need to be dealt with sooner than later.
Tottenham’s Goal: Clear Offside
Robbie Keane is clearly offside – not by a mile but still clearly beyond the defence – when the pass is played to him. The linesman is in line too, so to have him miss that was quite surprising.
Arsenal’s Second: Soft Penalty / Dive
Samir Nasri is a talented, under-rated footballer. His intelligent movement took him past Bassong but the pass was a touch long and Nasri had no way to get it under control before the keeper / Bassong caught up. A light touch from Bassong and Nasri took the opportunity to take a tumble, look in protest at the linesman and win the penalty.
It’s not just that a lot worse happens in the penalty area without penalties being given, but that the ‘last man’ still has to foul the opposition player before a penalty can be given. There was minimal, if any, contact, and certainly no foul.
Contrast this with the third goal (second penalty), where the clumsy Tottenham player puts his arm around Chamakh to hold him back. From there on in, it’s a easy foul, easy penalty.
The Fabianski Show
Tottenham’s ‘goal’ was doubly fortunate – not only was Keane offside but his shot at goal wasn’t great and the Arsenal keeper got the ball (with both hands). Limp wrists though, took care of that little problem.
If Arsenal fans think Almunia is dodgy, the thought of Fabianski backing him must make them very very nervous.