June 19 2013 Latest news:
By Ben Pearce, Tottenham correspondent, at White Hart Lane
Sunday, March 3, 2013
Tottenham beat Arsenal 2-1 at White Hart Lane to extend their lead over the Gunners to seven points - but how the individual Spurs players perform in the north London derby?
HUGO LLORIS 9/10
Had little to do in the first half but was left helpless by Per Mertesacker’s flicked near-post header five minutes after the break. Fumbled a cross moments later but recovered quickly and got away with it. That was the exception to the rule because otherwise he displayed his usual proactivity in coming off his line, and assured handling.
KYLE WALKER 8/10
Started aggressively with a flashback to his best days of last season, taking the ball from Lloris and scything through the middle of the field all the way into Arsenal’s box. Often guilty of looking inside or for a long ball rather than playing it wide or down the line for Lennon, which left the winger on the fringes at the start of the game. However, he more than played his part in this victory.
MICHAEL DAWSON 9/10
Imperious in the air as usual, leaving Olivier Giroud winded in the second half after a towering header. Arsenal’s goal came from a set piece but Dawson was not supposed to be marking Mertesacker – unfortunately. He was then involved in a ‘captain’s meeting’ with Thomas Vermaelen when Arsenal declined to kick the ball out of play while Emmanuel Adebayor was grounded, showing all of the passion that the north London derby requires. There were a few too many longs balls as usual, but that should not detract from a fantastic captain’s performance.
JAN VERTONGHEN 10/10
A masterclass in tackling, most notably in the ninth minute when he somehow got back to make a stunning goalsaving challenge on Giroud. The Belgian was constantly seeking to put Spurs on the front foot, bringing the ball out purposefully from the back in a classy performance. Read the game brilliantly, cutting out a through ball in injury-time and then whipping the ball down the line for Bale to chase, a moment which typified his display. Superb.
BENOIT ASSOU-EKOTTO 9/10
Cool and calm in a heated fixture, the left-back showed quality on the ball at both ends of the field. The Cameroon international got forward unseen just before the hour-mark and delivered a deadly first-time delivery across the goalmouth, which Bale skied into the stands from six yards.
AARON LENNON 8/10
Struggled to get into the game for the first 25 minutes but then came to life, getting at Nacho Monreal down the right and drawing a foul from Aaron Ramsey, who gladly accepted a booking to bring the little paceman down and halt his dangerous progress. Those forward forays clearly gave Lennon confidence and he scored Spurs’ second goal, racing inside off his wing and beating the offside trap to gather Scott Parker’s throughball and round Wojciech Szczesny. After a quiet period, it was good to see Lennon producing an end product again, and Spurs fans will hope for more of the same over the next couple of months.
SCOTT PARKER 7/10
Largely outmanoeuvred and outpassed for the majority of the first half, and gave the ball away increasingly often it progressed. However, he more than made up for it with his part in the second goal, when he freed Lennon with a fine through ball. Worked hard until the end, as everyone would expect.
MOUSA DEMBELE 8/10
An unsung hero, he was strong and composed against a busy and industrious Arsenal midfield and was effective with and without the ball. Limped off with an ankle injury but appeared to be okay, taking his place on the bench rather than going down the tunnel for treatment.
GYLFI SIGURDSSON 8/10
Started a Premier League game for the first time since New Year’s Day. Nearly found Bale in the 20th minute with a curling ball in behind the defence. Then released him in the 36th minute, bringing the ball down and playing an inch-perfect weighted through ball in behind to set up the opener. Worked hard in the second half to fulfil his defensive responsibilities, but panicked when put through one on one against Szczesny in the 68th minute, crossing the ball to no-one in particular rather than shooting. His confidence appeared to be undented though as he tried his luck from the edge of the box on a couple of occasions following that error.
GARETH BALE 8/10
Had little space to operate in in the opening half an hour but justified all of the hype once again, scoring the opening goal in the 36th minute to take his tally to nine goals in seven games for Spurs – and 10 in eight for club and country. The Welshman possibly should have doubled his tally in the second half when he fired over the bar from Assou-Ekotto’s low cross, and was then unlucky to see his volleyed effort fly straight down Szczesny’s throat. Another big-match performance from Spurs’ star man, but he had a lot more help this time.
EMMANUEL ADEBAYOR 7/10
Predictably put himself around more than in recent games, with the extra motivation of facing his former club. And, like his previous meeting with the Gunners, his exuberance left him in the referee’s notebook. Having been sent off in the 18th minute at the Emirates in November, the Togo international was booked for a tackle on Aaron Ramey 19 minutes in. His biggest contribution was the run which created the space for Bale’s opener, but he was also culpable at the other end when Mertesacker leapt to head home and make it 2-1. Unfortunately, his game came to a premature end after a worrying injury, when he landed awkwardly and his knee buckled under him. He left the field on a stretcher.
JERMAIN DEFOE (substitute) 6/10
Looked bright on his return, sending a trademark low effort curling narrowly wide of the far post soon after his introduction. It remains to be seen how long Adebayor is out for, but the England man may be Spurs’ only available striker again.
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