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Five Things We Learnt From the North London Derby

  1. OZIL IS STILL “OZIL”

Mesut Ozil comes under big scrutiny when it comes to games of this magnitude. One will wonder if it’s not the same player, that has won the German player of the year five times, lead the assists chart in three different leagues, has the highest number of assists since joining the premier league and many other records.

At lunch time on Saturday, he reminded the world of his ability in the North London derby, to the extent that he came off to a standing ovation, also got the man of the match award. Arsenal fans will be hoping to see this Mesut Ozil every week.

Mustafi celebrates scoring the opening goal in Arsenal’s victory over Tottenham. Photo credits: The Guardian
  1. ARSENAL’S BIG THREE SHOWS UP

Wenger’s reluctance to play the AOL combination in big games remains one that Arsenal fans can’t explain. Whatever his reasons are, the trio consisting of Alexis, Ozil and Lacazette put that under big scrutiny against Spurs.

With Alexis leading the pack by giving the other Sanchez all sort of problems throughout the game, playing like a second striker, Lacazette been as ever sharp ,dragging the Spurs defence out of position on many occasions , and Ozil showing that his intelligence and vision is almost unrivalled in the league.

Hello Arsene, you have three of the best attackers in the league, play them!

  1. PRESSING GAME PAYS OFF

One thing was obvious from the blast of the whistle, Arsenal were prepared to press Spurs as much as they can throughout the game. They pressed the Spurs team forcing them to play long balls many times than usual in the game, also recovered so many balls high up the pitch when Spurs were hell bent on playing from the back.

This was a tactic Arsene tried to implement against Manchester City, but were unable to keep it up for the duration of the game due to city’s quality. The pressing game was led by the impressive trio upfront- many times in games, we have seen Alexis leading the pressing  game without proper follow up from others, but in this game they all started the pressing together, which resulted to the successful implementation of the tactic.

More of this every game and the fans will believe again.

  1. BIG AWAY GAMES STILL A PROBLEM FOR SPURS

Four wins out of eighty-six away games against the top six sides is a poor return from a team acclaimed as the next big thing in England. For all the deserved plaudits Pochettino gets for creating a side consistently capable of putting pressure on title winners, he has a woeful record away to the big teams, one which needs big improvements if he plans on winning the league.

One win, six draws and nine losses out of sixteen games is the record for Pochettino in games against the big boys. Important to take note is the fact that the sole win came against Manchester City – in a questionable way – when Harry Kane converted a hotly debated and questionable penalty in a 2-1 win.

Mauricio, fix this!

  1. NORTH LONDON IS STILL RED

There were many talks, debates and discussions about a power shift in North London in the build up to the North London derby. While Spurs, under Pochettino, have made significant progress, played some great football while challenging for the title and finished above Arsenal for the first time in many years, there is still the blemish of not winning a single trophy in many years, while the red part is still winning, even in poor times.

This win in particular was emphatic for Arsenal; they were the better team by some distance with Spurs lacking their usual qualities.

North London was painted red again.

 

Author: Babatunde Kolawole. You can follow him on twitter @iamkoolkola

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