JOSE MOURINHO fielded a 4-3-3 direct lineup with Hugo Lloris in starting in goal. The defense with Aurier at RB, Alderweireld, and Sanchez as Centre-backs, and Davies at LB. The midfield trio included Sissoko, harry winks, and lo Celso. And with a fearsome front three of HARRY KANE, LUCAS and SON
MIKEL ARTETA Arsenals coach came in with a 3-4-3 formation with an idea of dominating the midfield. Martinez Arsenal's second-choice goalkeeper started in goal with Leno being injured for the rest of the season a few days ago. The back three had KOLASINAC, DAVID LUIZ, MUSTAFI. The midfield consisted of TIERNEY, XHAKA, CEBALLOS, BELLERIN. The front three with too much pace to handle with AUBAMEYUNG, LACAZETTE, and NICOLAS PEPE.
Looking at the lineups fielded by JOSE MOURINHO AND MIKEL ARTETA it could be predicted that TOTTENHAM would resort to defending as arsenal have comparatively more men in the midfield. Tottenham as usual will look to play more on counters as will Arsenal playing to their strengths of wingers and strikers full of pace. It will be an open game with both teams having equal opportunities. There will be goals and an exciting encounter to watch.
The first half was completely opposite to the expectations as Tottenham enjoyed most of the ball and maintained good possession. The first chance of the game fell for Harry Kane at the 5th-minute mark, tried a chip over goalkeeper Martinez who saved the effort. However, it was Arsenal with first blood from an amazing moment of magic from Lacazette. He found the top corner with the sweetest of the strikes which was simply unstoppable for Lloris. Lacazette’s moment of brilliance was denied its worth by those employed behind him to defend. The communication gap within the arsenal center backs paved the path for HEUNG-MIN SON to slot home the equalizer and make it 1-1 for spurs. Later in the first half came a spectacular effort from distance by Harry Winks which was saved brilliantly by Martinez. Arsenal would shift into a 5-3-2 formation in the defensive phase with wide midfielders dropping back to play as wing-backs. Spurs saw a lot of movement from Lucas and Son who kept dropping back for the build-up play. The first half was equally balanced with both teams having their chances and 54%-46% ball possession of Tottenham and Arsenal respectively.
Since the start of the 2nd half, Arsenal saw more of the ball. Tottenham also were very comfortable without the ball. Jose resorted to his “parking the bus tactics” and it did work. Jose is a master tactician and widely known for his counter-attacking style of play. The whole of 2nd half was an example of how good is Mourinho’s side is with their counter-attacking display. Spurs remained very compact defensively and sprung forward whenever they had chances. With 3 in the back for arsenal left a lot of wide spaces to attack which was used by Spurs for their advantage on counter-attacks. The balls came in-behind the midfield allowing Kane and Son to play their strengths. Aubameayang had a shot at goal which came off the crossbar in the 70th min. Arsenal were seen missing a defensive midfielder with spurs relentlessly counter-attacking with Harry Kane holding the ball up front and releasing it for Son and Lucas. Harry Kane looked alive in the 2nd half creating chances and taking a few of them himself. Tottenham found their winning goal in the 80th min thanks to a thumping header from TOBY ALDERWEIRELD. The Spurs center-back rose above everybody to meet the ball and head Tottenham to a much-deserved lead.
It was an exciting North-London Derby which resulted in Tottenham taking home 3 very important points. Tottenham now stands at 8th position in the league with 52 points and Arsenal in 10th with 50 points. The player of the match for arsenal would surely be their goalkeeper Martinez who kept making crucial saves and denying half a dozen clear chances of Tottenham. Overall the North-London derby lived up to its expectations for being exciting, immense, tense, and a war between two tactical geniuses JOSE MOURINHO and MIKEL ARTETA.
The Man of the match surely was the highest-scoring Asian in the premier league SON HEUNG-MIN. He scored a goal and also provided the assist for ALDERWEIRELD’S goal.