As the article title states, Arsenal smashed Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday night at White Hart Lane. Granted the match was contested in the Carling Cup and both sides fielded, for the most part, fringe teams – full of reserve players and youthful prospects without experience – but the result will still send many into joyful delirium and others into tears in North London. Tottenham started with the likes of Pavlyuchenko, Assou-Ekotto, Giovanni dos Santos, Bassong and Palacios supporting youngsters like Naughton and Livermore. Arsenal started with the likes of Rosicky, Eboue, Nasri, Wilshere and Vela supporting Lansbury, Fabianski and Gibbs. By the latter stage of the game Robbie Keane, Aaron Lennon and Niko Kranjcar has been introduced for Spurs whilst Arsenal had called upon Arshavin and Chamakh. The game had more than enough stars to make it meaningful. More pertinently this is the biggest derby in London, emotions are always high.
William Gallas, formerly the Arsenal captain, didn’t appear for Tottenham in this match and so the Arsenal fans could save their vitriol for somebody else. As it turned out it was for nobody in particular but the entire Tottenham team in general. In return the Tottenham support sang song about Arsenal being cheats throughout. The match ended 1-1 in normal time but then within 5 minutes of extra time the Tottenham chants of ”same old Arsenal, always cheating” began to have significance. At least for them.
Arsenal were awarded two penalty kicks in the space of 5 minutes and both were sscored by Samir Nasri. From 1-1 at 90 minutes, it was 1-3 by the 100th. By the end of extra time Arshavin had added a fourth and Arsenal were comfortable winners. Tottenham will be disappointed with the result but happy that some fringe players like David Bentley, once a £15 million + acquisition, managed to find some game time and fitness, whilst others like Aaron Lennon and Robbie eane showed suggestions that they are working their way back into form. Keane, in fact, scored the equaliser for Tottenham in the second half courtesy of a mistake by Lukasz Fabianski, the Arsenal goalkeeper. In the end, of course, his equalising goal counted for little, but at the time it was greeted with rapturous applause and congratulation.
Arsene Wenger was serving a one match suspension during the match and was a notable presence in the stands. He still managed to relay his instructions to his team bench, so they could then in turn direct them to the players on the pitch. He did all of this through his mobile phone and an associate sitting next to him. Wenger obviously did something right as his players ran out winners. Tottenham will know more important matches lay ahead.