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Arsenal 1 - 1 Tottenham Hotspur: Disappointing Draw

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain cancels Nacer Chadli's opener, but Arsenal can't do enough to find all three points at home.

Paul Gilham


0 - 1 Nacer Chadli 56'
1 - 1 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 74'

Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur played to a 1-1 draw today in a match that was fairly open and at times a bit terrifying; the home side will be disappointed that they didn't do more with their possession, while the visitors should have probably scored more than one given the number of promising counterattacks they had, particularly in the first half.

Arsenal started with Mesut Özil once again moved out left, and Alexis Sanchez started on the bench, possibly due to fitness (it's the only thing that makes sense!) Rather predictably, perhaps, Aresnal looked vulnerable on the counter early, with four midfielders and both fullbacks pushing up, and but for some wayward Spurs final balls, could have easily been in the hole within the first half hour by one or two goals. Ryan Mason didn't spot an Emmanuel Adebayor run soon enough, and later, Nacer Chadli scuffed a shot badly when through on goal beyond Laurent Koscielny.

The bigger story for Arsenal, however, will be first half injuries to Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey, both of whom had to leave the match (Mathieu Flamini and Santi Cazorla replacing them). Ramsey in particular looked to have done something to his hamstring, and depending on the length of that injury and Arteta's, Arsenal could be going into big, big matches (Chelsea, for one) with a weird, makeshift makefield.

The second half began well for Arsenal, but 53 minutes in, Wojciech Szczesny threw out under pressure, and the ball came, agonizingly, to Flamini, whose first touch was awful under pressure from Christian Eriksen. Spurs quickly generated a chance for Chadli on the right, and he made no mistake, slotting his shot underneath Szczesny.

Arsenal looked to have a huge goal shout 58 minutes in, Per Mertesacker heading down from a free kick. Hugo Lloris saved very well low to his left on the line, and the ball appeared to cross the line after his initial save. The goal replay system denied the German, however, but no replay was forthcoming showing anything after the initial save until after the match--and indeed, Lloris had poked away the ball a second time before it crossed the line.

Arsenal struggled to generate more chances until Wenger brought Alexis on, finally, for Jack Wilshere 60 minutes in. The Chilean immediately starting combining well with Kieran Gibbs and Özil, who had moved to the center. Finally the breakthrough came when Cazorla lashed a low cross into the penalty area; Danny Welbeck whiffed completely on his shot, but The Ox was on hand behind him to lash a strike into the roof of the net to equalize.

After the goal, Arsenal had the bulk of the chances and possession, but despite approximately 50 corners and free kicks, the home side couldn't find a winner. It is a disappointing result on the day, but more worryingly, the injuries to Arteta and Ramsey may foreshadow darker days ahead for the Gunners.

The struggle is real.