Arsenal overcame a Lamela Rabona goal as they were victorious in today’s North London derby. They won 2-1 against a ten men Tottenham side, who took the lead in the game.
Arsenal started the first half well but failed to create any clear cut chances for the first ten minutes. This was until youngster Emile Smith Rowe hit the bar with a fierce shot.
Both Thomas Partey and Alexandre Lacazette hit shots wide but there was a growing sense that the red half of North London would live to regret their misses.
LAMELA RABONA COMES AGAINST RUN OF PLAY
This is exactly what happened when Érik Lamela gave Spurs the lead. The Argentinian, who came on in the 18th minute to replace the injured Son Heung-min, made an impact with a sensational goal in the 33rd-minute.
Gareth Bale picked up the ball from right-back Matt Doherty and switched the ball with a cross-field pass to left-back Sergio Reguilón. With his first touch, the Spaniard found Lucas Moura who took a touch before playing the ball to Lamela.
Lamela then found his box of tricks, pulling off a nutmeg Rabona. The shot managed to find its way through three Arsenal players and into the bottom right corner, sending Spurs players wild.
However, the Lamela Rabona was as good as it got for the Spurs as they ended the half level.
ØDEGAARD FIRES ARSENAL LEVEL
This was thanks to a 44th-minute equaliser from January signing Martin Ødegaard.
The Norwegian international, who scored a wonderful goal in the Europa League on Thursday night against Olympiacos, missed a chance just minutes before with a tame header at goal. He would soon make up for this when he put the Gunners level.
Scot Kieran Tierney put in some excellent work in the build-up to the goal, making his way past Spurs’ Matt Doherty. He found a cross into the box and Ødegaard’s first time shot beat Hugo Lloris, with a deflection from Toby Alderweireld along the way.
Arsenal and Spurs ended the half 1-1 but Arsenal were the better team. They started the second half off in the same fashion. Lacazette almost gave them lead, finding a pass from Ødegaard but could only hit the shot straight at Lloris.
They would soon get the chance to test the French goalkeeper when they won a penalty shortly after the hour mark.
LACAZETTE GIVES ARSENAL THE LEAD, SPURS FAIL TO EQUALISE
Nicolas Pépé played a beautiful pass to Lacazette who was fouled by Spurs’ Davinson Sánchez for an Arsenal penalty. Lacazette’s shot was mis-hit but Sanchez’ foul was a silly one to give away. Lacazette’s penalty went to the bottom right corner, sending Lloris the wrong way.
Spurs had chances to equalise, with Dele Alli failing to get on the end of an excellent Harry Kane cross and Lamela’s header failing to test Leno, the latter being their their first attempt on goal since the Lamela Rabona.
Lamela would once again make an impact, being sent off in the 76th minute. He received a second yellow after raising his arm at Tierney. With the current climate of the sport, this is a needless decision from Lamela.
Considering how good the Lamela Rabona goal was, it is a shame for the side that he spoilt it with a red card. If there is any game that perfectly describes Lamela’s Tottenham career, this is the one.
Spurs would start to create more chances, with fans surely asking questions as to where this was earlier in the game.
Harry Kane was quiet for most of the game but came into life during the last 15 minutes. He thought he had equalised when he headed in from a free-kick but was ruled offside. He then had a free kick in the 88th minute, his low driven shot hitting the post before Sanchez’ attempt on the rebound was headed away from Arsenal youngster Gabriel.
Kane had a free-kick attempt in injury time in what was the final opportunity, but his shot blazed over the bar.
Arsenal truly deserved this victory, with a performance that can kick on their season. They dealt well with the trio of Kane, Son and Bale who had been in excellent form. They had 53% possession, seven more attempts than Spurs and three more corners.
Despite the defeat, Spurs are still just six points off the Champions League places with a game in hand over Chelsea who currently occupies fourth. They next face an away trip to Aston Villa on Sunday, March 21st.
Earlier on that day, Arsenal also play a game away from home, at the London Stadium against West Ham. Arsenal lies in 10th place after today’s win, ten points behind fourth-place Chelsea with a game in hand. Champions League may seem a task too far but beating Spurs puts just four points between both teams. This victory can go a long way towards Arsenal’s attempts to finish above Spurs.