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Arsenal 1 - 0 Tottenham Hotspur: North London Derby Instant Reaction

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Arsenal scored early and then held on to take all three points.

Clive Mason

The first half was mostly Spurs for the opening twenty minutes, as the visitors did a fine job of preventing Arsenal from playing out of their own area, and Arsenal's midfield had trouble taking control under pressing from Moussa Dembele, Etienne Capoue, and Nacer Chadli. Chadli, in particular, was giving Carl Jenkinson a hard time during this period.

But it didn't take much time for Arsenal to find a way out and score the opener. Tomas Rosicky, Santi Cazorla, and Theo Walcott did good work, aided by the wayward positioning of Spurs left back Danny Rose, who found himself in No Man's Land, and Walcott was able to slide the ball across to Olivier Giroud, who beat Dawson and turned home a lovely finish at the near post (click to animate):

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via i.minus.com

The rest of the first half was stretched quite a lot, with a number of chances for both sides. Arsenal looked to play more directly, while Spurs built up slowly. Andros Townsend was able to cut inside once or twice, but Wojciech Szczesny was up to it, and Aaron Ramsey put a shot over the bar.

43 minutes in, new signing Mathieu Flamini had to replace an injured Jack Wilshere. The extent of the injury isn't clear, but Jack was walking around under his own power.

The second half was basically a sloppy mess from both sides. Spurs couldn't find much threat at first, and Arsenal had the best chance as Hugo Lloris had to save well from a Giroud chance on the counter 64 minutes in. He would do the same six minutes later, taking it off of Walcott's toes.

Jermain Defoe replaced Dembele as Spurs went 4-4-2 with 20 minutes left. There was some bad news for Spurs as Capoue looked badly hurt on 74 minutes.Spurs had a massive chance, a Defoe shot nearly going in from a Laurent Koscielny deflection, but Szczesny was up to it. Arsenal had a huge chance as Monreal nearly scored with his first touch.

Spurs would keep pressing for an equalizer. Chadli skied a shot over, as did Kyle Walker. Spurs had all of the ball for injury time, but Sandro was called for a foul, and that was it.

We'll have a full match report for you shortly.