Tottenham Hotspur versus Arsenal – First half review: English Premier League (Part 2)
Following Tottenham’s equaliser in the seventh minute of the match against Arsenal after Theo Walcott’s opening goal, Spurs pushed onwards to take the lead. However, Arsenal’s back line resisted the home team’s long ball strategy
to good effect for most of the first half. Bacary Sagna’s marking on Gareth Bale made it difficult for Tottenham to make any progress down the left hand side of the field so the home side concentrated their play down the right wing where Vedran Corluka linked
up with Rafael Van der Vaart.
In the eighth minute, Spurs threatened to break open Arsenal’s defence once again. This time Peter Crouch was fed in by Van der Vaart but the Englishman fired his shot wide. The Dutchman who played the final pass in the first place
ran into the Arsenal penalty area to create a decoy run for his team-mate. This run opened up space which allowed Crouch to shoot eventually. Luckily for the Gunners, the lanky striker’s finish lacked the required accuracy.
In the 10th minute, it was Arsenal’s turn to build an offensive move as Samir Nasri sent Robin van Persie clean through on Tottenham’s goal following an elaborate period of possession. Nonetheless, the Dutchman failed
to get the ball past Heurelho Gomes, who palmed it away to save his team.
In the 13th minute, Arsene Wenger’s team gained the lead once again as Tottenham were caught napping at the back. Michael Dawson tried to close down Samir Nasri but the Frenchman’s shot took a minor deflection off the
Tottenham defender en route to goal. Gomes was obviously distracted by the deflection and thus couldn’t save the shot as the score line reached 1-2 to the visiting team at White Hart Lane stadium.
In the 20th minute, Michael Dawson was on hand to deny Theo Walcott space behind his team’s defensive line as the Arsenal forward almost benefitted from Thomas Huddlestone’s weak pass. However, Dawson intercepted in
time and cleared the ball away toward Van der Vaart who tried his luck on Arsenal’s goal from outside their penalty area but the ball went high and wide over the bar.
At the 28th minute mark, Arsenal had a golden opportunity to add to their one goal advantage against Tottenham as Harry Redknapp’s men failed to keep pace with Theo Walcott’s quick feet. The former Southampton winger
was played in by Robin Van Persie but Walcott’s final effort was just wide of the mark.
In the 31st minute, Tottenham had a chance to draw level with Modric’s effort but the Croatian midfielder’s shot was easily held onto by Wojciech Szczesny. However, Arsenal did get their third goal in the 41st
minute. Theo Walcott capitalised on William Gallas’ error as he clipped the ball towards Robin Van Persie. Van Persie’s initial header was saved by Gomes but the Dutch striker made no mistake with the rebound as the Gunners took a two goal lead.
Nonetheless, Tottenham pulled a goal back just before the halftime whistle as Huddlestone fired in a pile-driver of a shot past Szczesny. The young English midfielder connected with the ball with utmost brilliance as Arsenal’s
youthful Polish goalkeeper was left helpless. Finally, the first half came to a close with Arsenal in the lead, albeit by a single goal.