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West Ham United
September 1, 2013
• 11:00 AM
• Emirates Stadium, London
Referee: M. Oliver
• Attendance: 60071
O. Giroud 23'
Arsenal will look to make it three league wins on the bounce when they travel to Sunderland after the international break whilst Tottenham will look to get back to winning ways when they host Norwich. Thanks for joining me, Max Bentley, on this Goal.com live commentary. Until next time, goodbye.
So, Tottenham's 100% record comes to an end, meaning that Liverpool are the only side to have won all three of their league matches. Villas-Boas' outfit came close though and they will no doubt be strong challengers for a top four finish come the season's finale.
You can sense the relief around the Emirates as Arsenal secure a valuable victory over their arch-rivals. However, that win will only cover up the cracks for now as Wenger still desperately needs to dip into the market before it closes tomorrow night.
FT: Arsenal 1-0 Tottenham. Olivier Giroud's goal gives Arsene Wenger's side a crucial three points at the Emirates Stadium. Tottenham rallied in the second period but they lacked the quality to make the difference in the final third. The Arsenal fans taunt the opposition with cheers of "What a waste of money!"
ARSENAL WIN THE NORTH LONDON DERBY!
90' + 5'
Yellow Card Paulinho
90' + 5'
There's a massive scramble in the Arsenal box but the crowd cheer loudly as Giroud clears the ball upfield. Seconds remaining.
90' + 4'
WHAT A CHANCE FOR TOTTENHAM! Lamela's cross is half cleared and when Soldado drives the ball back in, Walker completely miskicks with the goal at his mercy. It's a furious fight to the finish at the Emirates.
90' + 3'
Tottenham win a corner when the ball goes off Monreal. I'm surprised that Lloris is not coming up from the back.
90' + 2'
Every Arsenal challenge is being greeted by a loud cheer from the home fans who bite their finger nails anxiously. Soldado looks to hook the ball over the Arsenal defence for Chadli, but Sagna is there to make a crucial header.
90' + 1'
90' + 1'
Andre Villas-Boas is frustrated as Walker slices another effort over the crossbar. Arsene Wenger opts to run down the clock a little further by throwing on Bacary Sagna for Theo Walcott.
Tottenham have yet to score a goal from open play in the Premier League this season. They will take any sort of goal though if it means they snatch a point in the dying embers of this match.
The Arsenal fans cheer loudly as Szczesny claims Walker's cross from the right. They can sense the end here. Will Arsenal hold on for a priceless victory against their fiercest rivals?
Walcott produces some excellent trickery to deceive Rose down the right and the ball falls for Ramsey on the edge of the box, but his effort deflects kindly for Lloris.
Nervous moments for Arsenal here as Tottenham continue to pour forward. Defoe chips a clever pass over the defence but Lamela's shot lacks conviction and Szczesny makes a comfortable stop.
Tottenham have not given up hope of an equaliser themselves but they will need to do better than that as Chadli blasts an effort way over the bar from the left corner of the box. Into the final five minutes.
Arsenal are looking to kill this game off with a second goal. Monreal finds space down the left but his low cross into the middle is deflected straight into the gloves of Lloris.
The gaps are starting to appear for Arsenal as Tottenham throw more white shirts forward. Giroud has the chance to play in Walcott but his weak pass is easily intercepted by Vertonghen.
Yellow Card Jermain Defoe
Jermain Defoe picks up a yellow card after his flailing arm catches Jenkinson. Into the final ten minutes here at the Emirates Stadium.
GREAT CHANCE FOR ARSENAL! Giroud does brilliantly down the right and he cuts the ball back for Walcott who forces Lloris into another smart stop. Monreal thinks he is going to convert the rebound with his first touch but Walker gets a slight touch on the ball to take it away from the Spaniard.
Arsene Wenger looks to shore up the left side of his midfield by replacing Tomas Rosicky with Nacho Monreal. That means that Santi Cazorla will shift inside.
ARSENAL SOMEHOW SURVIVE! Tottenham launch the ball into the penalty area and Giroud's clearance finds Defoe on the edge of the box. His shot takes a wicked deflection, forcing Szczesny to change direction and make a wonderful save before Soldado's shot is blocked excellently by Giroud. Walker seizes on the rebound but his shot flashes just wide of the post.
Etienne Capoue is in some discomfort here and he is stretchered off the field. Sandro comes on to take his place with Erik Lamela replacing Andros Townsend.
A stoppage in play here as Capoue requires treatment after a challenge from Cazorla. The players take the chance to take a much-needed water break.
injury concern for Arsenal here as Ramsey clutches his hamstring. With Wilshere already off, that will be a concern for Wenger and he will hope the Welshman can run it off. Lamela looks like he will be introduced shortly.
BRILLIANT FROM LLORIS! Dawson is caught in possession by Rosicky and Arsenal break. Giroud plays a pass in behind the Tottenham defence for Walcott but Lloris is once again off his line quickly to sweep the ball clear. He spared Dawson's blushes there.
Villas-Boas opts to make his first change, sending on Jermain Defoe for Moussa Dembele. Two up top for Tottenham now.
Arsenal are defending excellently here with Rosicky and Flamini, in particular, refusing to allow Tottenham that extra yard in midfield. Can they hold out for their first league clean sheet of the season?
Paulinho eyes up a shot from distance but his strike slices well wide of Szczesny's left-hand post. Jermain Defoe is stripped off on the touchline.
This game is starting to get stretched a little here as Tottenham begin to commit a few more bodies forward. Will we see a change from Villas-Boas soon?
GREAT SAVE FROM LLORIS! Arsenal break forward in numbers and Cazorla plays a neat pass out to the right. Giroud collects the pass and unleashes a fierce shot which is excellently tipped behind by Lloris for a corner.
The statistics show that Tottenham have enjoyed 63% possession in this second half. Can they convert that pressure into a goal?
TOTTENHAM GO CLOSE! Townsend continues to cause problems with his dribbling down the right and his lofted cross is headed away crucially by Jenkinson, with Chadli lurking at the back post.
Tottenham break and they win a free kick in a dangerous area when Walker is fouled by Gibbs. The left-back then redeems himself by rising highest to head away the danger.
Walcott capitalises on a mistake from Rose and his dangerous low cross into the box is well diverted behind by Vertonghen for a corner. The resulting set-piece causes chaos in the box and Giroud's goalbound effort is blocked bravely by Dawson.
Not quite the open, end-to-end, gung-ho attacking encounter that you usually associate with this match. Both teams are being very calculated in possession and not rushing their passes.
David Beckham is in the stands today but Chadli cannot replicate one of the England legend's trademark free kicks and curls an effort high over the bar.
Yellow Card Mathieu Flamini
Mathieu Flamini is shown a yellow card on his second debut after a studs-up challenge on Rose. It appeared that he played the ball but you can't dive in like that. This is a promising free kick opportunity for Spurs.
The travelling Tottenham support scream for a penalty when Soldado goes down in the box under a challenge from Koscielny. However, the Spaniard did seem to go down easily and the referee waves play on.
It's not quite clicking for Tottenham at the moment and Villas-Boas tightens his tie as Rose sends a cross wildly over the crossbar. They haven't really tested Szczesny as much as he would have liked.
Ramsey is in the thick of the action at the moment and he collects Rosicky's pass just outside the box, before slicing an effort wide of Lloris' left-hand post.
It's been a bright start to the second half for Tottenham and Ramsey comes to Arsenal's rescue to block Paulinho's shot from the edge of the box.
Early chance for Tottenham as Walker wins a corner down the right-hand side. The delivery flicks awkwardly off Ramsey's hip and Gibbs has to be alert to clear the ball away from danger.
Arsenal get the second half underway. Can they end Tottenham's 100% record and alleviate some of the pressure from Arsene Wenger's shoulders?
Here are the two benches for the sides. Arsenal: Fabianski, Sagna, Monreal, Zelalem, Gnabry, Sanogo. Tottenham: Friedel, Naughton, Holtby, Lamela, Sandro, Sigurdsson, Defoe. I'm not convinced Arsenal have too much firepower to introduce to the action.
Tottenham's lone striker Roberto Soldado did not enjoy the greatest of halves however and he has struggled to get into the action. Yet, Nacer Chadli and Andros Townsend do look dangerous down the wings and Andre Vilas-Boas will be hoping that they can make things happen in the second half. Perhaps we will see Erik Lamela make his debut from the bench.
Arsenal fans have been critical of the club's lack of transfer activity but they did look impressive in that first half. Olivier Giroud, in particular, is doing his best to sway Wenger from bringing in another striker.
HT: Arsenal 1-0 Tottenham. Olivier Giroud's third league goal of the season gives Arsene Wenger's side the lead at the break. It's been a fairly even contest with both goalkeepers being called into action. It was not all good news for Arsenal fans though as Jack Wilshere only lasted 44 minutes before being replaced through injury by Mathieu Flamini.
Cazorla drifts a free kick into the box which is flicked on by Ramsey. Giroud is looking to head it in from close range but Lloris makes the decision to come for it and makes a crucial punch clear.
The Arsenal fans give Jack Wilshere a standing ovation as he is replaced by Mathieu Flamini, who makes his second Arsenal debut after rejoining from Milan on a free transfer.
The Arsenal attackers, Giroud included, are tracking back excellently and Tottenham just cannot find a way to penetrate this Arsenal defence. Are they missing a certain Gareth Bale?
It seems Arsenal are going to be forced into an early change here as Mathieu Flamini strips off on the touchline. It looks like Wilshere is struggling.
Townsend continues to look the most dangerous for Tottenham and he evades the challenge of Gibbs before firing a low shot straight into the midriff of Szczesny. Five minutes remaining until half time.
Tottenham are probing for an equaliser here. Dembele cuts inside Koscielny inside the box and just as he is set to pull the trigger, Gibbs races back to make another crucial interception.
The Arsenal fans are in fine voice here as they continue to hold off the Tottenham attack. Walker makes a promising run down the right wing but Gibbs wins back possession with a strong challenge, much to the delight of the home crowd.
Incidentally, Erik Lamela is on the bench for Tottenham today and he could make his debut in the second half. However, Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen was not registered in time and he will have to wait until after the international break.
Yellow Card Tomas Rosicky
Tomas Rosicky is the first man in the referee's notebook for a mistimed tackle. He can have no complaints about that one.
Theo Walcott is causing Rose problems with his runs infield and the England international is sent through on goal, only for Lloris to rush out of his box excellently and make a well-timed tackle. He had to get that right.
IT SHOULD BE 2-0! Arsenal attack in numbers with Cazorla feeding Walcott on the right corner of the box. The winger plays the ball across goal and Ramsey is there to meet it, but he leans back and balloons a shot over the bar. With his recent goalscoring record in the Champions League, you would have expected him to score there.
THAT'S BETTER FROM TOTTENHAM! Andros Townsend finds space again outside the box and his left-footed effort is pushed away from the bottom right corner smartly by Szczesny. Intriguing opening half hour at the Emirates.
Tottenham need a good spell of possession here because it is Arsenal who are doing most of the pressing. Wilshere chips a ball over the top of the Spurs defence but it is slightly overhit for Walcott and Lloris claims.
WALCOTT NEARLY MAKES IT TWO! Giroud and Ramsey battle down the right hand side excellently and the Welshman slips a ball into Walcott's path on the right corner of the box before his low shot across goal is well parried by Lloris. Arsenal back on top here.
That goal is the first that Tottenham have conceded in the Premier League this season. They have won both of their matches 1-0 thanks to penalties from Roberto Soldado.
Assist Theo Walcott
Goal Olivier Giroud
ARSENAL TAKE THE LEAD! Rosicky plays a neat ball beyond the Spurs defence for Walcott and his low cross into the middle is steered into the bottom right corner by Giroud, past his international colleague Lloris. Good movement from the Arsenal forward, 1-0, and the Emirates erupts.
A few appeals for an Arsenal penalty as Walcott goes down softly after tangling with Rose. However, referee Michael Oliver rightfully waves play on.
Despite all their signings, it is Townsend who is looking the most dangerous attacker for Tottenham. He cuts inside from the right flank before his left footed shot is well blocked by Ramsey, as the ball spins out for a corner.
Many Arsenal fans have called the next 36 hours the most important in Wenger's tenure at the club. Defeat to Tottenham today coupled with failure to spend wisely in the transfer market could spell the beginning of the end of Arsenal's dominance in North London.
Soldado is looking to make the run in behind Koscielny and Mertesacker on every occasion but the Arsenal centre-backs cope well to muscle him off the ball and allow Paulinho's chipped pass to go through to Szczesny.
MERTESACKER TO THE RESCUE! Townsend releases Walker down the right-hand side and he cuts the ball back for Soldado, who had peeled off of Koscielny. However, the Spanish summer signing is denied his third goal in as many games as his shot is excellently blocked by Mertesacker. This is a good spell for Tottenham.
You get the sense that Tottenham may try and exploit Jenkinson down their left hand side. Chadli nips past the young English right-back but his shot is comfortably caught by Szczesny. Incidentally, Jenkinson replaced Sagna in the Arsenal starting lineup after the Frenchman was declared ill.
Danny Rose will forever be a hero in Tottenham hearts after scoring a screamer on his debut vs Arsenal a few years ago and he combines well with Chadli down the left before his low cross is hacked clear by Koscielny.
Santi Cazorla is looking lively early on and he splits the Tottenham defence with an incise through ball over the top but Giroud sends an ambitious header well wide of the target. Wenger will be happy with the start his Arsenal side have made here.
CAZORLA GOES CLOSE! The Spanish magician opts for a cheeky free kick under the wall and it sneaks narrowly past the post with Lloris rooted. Good idea.
Another promising free kick opportunity for Arsenal here as Walcott crumbles under a challenge from Dembele on the edge of the box. Can Cazorla beat Lloris this time around?
Walcott delivers the resulting corner into the box but Giroud's header flashes over the bar. Good tempo to the game early on.
GOOD SAVE FROM LLORIS! Cazorla bends the free kick over the wall and the French shotstopper makes a smart save to push the ball away from the top corner.
Chadli delivers the corner into the box but his cross is headed clear by Jenkinson. Arsenal attack down the other end and Capoue concedes a foul just outside the box for a mistimed tackle on Rosicky.
Andros Townsend makes a promising run down the right, past the challenge of Gibbs before winning a corner off Koscielny. Early chance for Tottenham here.
The North London derby is underway. Tottenham get the ball rolling in their traditional white jerseys.
It's the oldest Premier League manager (Arsene Wenger) vs. the youngest Premier League manager (Andre Villas-Boas). Who will come out on top today? Kickoff is only minutes away.
TOTTENHAM (4-3-3): Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Rose; Capoue, Paulinho, Dembele; Townsend, Soldado, Chadli.
ARSENAL (4-3-3): Szczesny; Jenkinson, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs; Ramsey, Rosicky, Wilshere; Walcott, Giroud, Cazorla.
Without any further ado, here are the lineups...
Tottenham coach Andre Villas-Boas: "We always set out to try to win the game. We can expect an entertaining match today. These are two teams that are both very technically gifted."
Theo Walcott: "It [the north London derby] means so much to players and fans. They are always played at a very intense level. Both teams have a lot of respect for each other. We know how good they are but we're very good."
Arsenal have certainly enjoyed hosting Tottenham in recent seasons and have won the past two encounters at the Emirates Stadium 5-2. I think we can safely say that we expect lots of goals today.
However, Tottenham do not have a great record on Arsenal territory. Their 3-2 comeback win at the Emirates in November 2010 is their only victory away to Arsenal since the inaugural Premier League season in 1992-93.
As for Tottenham, they have spent an estimated £109.4 million on Roberto Soldado, Erik Lamela, Paulinho, Etienne Capoue, Christian Eriksen, Vlad Chiriches and Nacer Chadli. The Gareth Bale saga continues as he is yet to depart for Real Madrid and there is a growing belief that Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is delaying the transfer until the last moment, in order to prevent Arsenal from signing one of their Real Madrid targets.
It's been a contrasting summer for both clubs. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insists that he is still in the market for players but is yet to spend a penny, bringing in French duo Yaya Sanogo and Mathieu Flamini on free transfers.
Arsenal pipped Tottenham to the final Champions League spot last season but there is a real sense of optimism around Spurs that they can finally finish above their fierce rivals this time around. Andre Villas-Boas' side have won both of their opening league matches this season. Can they make it three out of three? My name is Max Bentley and I'll be keeping you up to date with all the action from the Emirates Stadium.
It's the no spenders vs the big spenders this afternoon as one of the world's biggest derby matches is set to go ahead at the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal vs Tottenham is always one of the most exciting and eventful matches of the Premier League calendar and let's hope today is no different.
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