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Arsenal 2-0 Tottenham: Instant Reaction

The universe maintains its correct order.

Clive Rose

Well, that sure was fun, wasn't it?  After a nervy first five minutes in which Arsenal still couldn't pass to players wearing Arsenal shirts, they settled into their normal-these-days dominant groove and started moving the ball around well, and not giving their guests any time to put anything together.

Theo Walcott started out like he singlehandedly wanted to beat them - I love players that "get" rivalries and buy into them, and Walcott's the guy on the Arsenal side that really understands what it means to beat Spurs, to the team and to the fans.  In the first 20 minutes, he had three good chances, none of which he converted, but he always looked dangerous and he was almost the man of the match for me.

I say "almost" because of the presence of one Serge Gnabry.  I was a bit unsure when I saw his name on the lineup sheet; he's young, he's good, but he's also relatively light on experience.  But damned if he didn't grab this game by the scruff of the neck and take control of it in the first half.  He moved the ball around really well, he got himself into good spaces, and in the 32nd minute, he did this:

His vision and passing accuracy is pretty unbelievable, no more so than on that pass to Santi.  Santi unleashed a beast of a shot, as well, but it all comes from that pass.

The second half was a little slower, a little chippier, and a little sloppier - and nobody brought the sloppy better than Danny Rose:

That made it 2-0 Arsenal, and from then on, it was never in doubt.  The only worry coming out of this game is Theo, who looked to suffer a pretty serious knee injury late on.  He suffered that injury in front of the visiting supporters, who were raining abuse on him during his treatment and stretchering off.  Did that bother Walcott?  Did it heck.

So, Arsenal march on, and PBFC wander home aimlessly, only to miss their garages by about 200 yards.