Spurs show calibre of champions-elect: Five things we learned from Tottenham 2 Arsenal 2
By Editor Wayne Veysey
Spurs are best team in England
This will feel like two points lost for Mauricio Pochettino’s team, who had yet again retrieved an unpromising position to take a 2-1 lead midway through the second half. With Arsenal reduced to 10 men and the Spurs fans in full cry, the momentum appeared to have swung decisively the way of the home team. But, in a sensational match, Arsene Wenger gambled by replacing Mohamed Elneny with Olivier Giroud and Arsenal grabbed the equaliser. Credit to Arsenal as they were second best for much of this match. Spurs might have dropped five points of a possible six this week but they were magnificent for periods of this match as they showed the calibre of champions-elect.
Coquelin pays price for brainlessness
The midfield anchorman already had a booking to his name for a needless handball when, for reasons known only to him, he slid in on Harry Kane when the striker was dribbling by the touchline. The striker was upended in an area where he could do little of danger and Francis Coquelin’s match had ended after just 54 minutes. It was senseless, irresponsible and unnecessary in equal measure.
Dembele is a class above
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With four words, Ian Wright summed up pre-match the fear factor in the Arsenal ranks inspired by the return of the fit-again Belgium international. “Dembele frightens me, man”, said Wright in his own inimitable way. The midfielder’s outstanding subsequent performance showed why. Oozing class, Dembele’s interceptions, distribution and ability to find himself half a yard in crowded areas shows just why he is so important to Spurs. He was comfortably the best midfielder on view and showed how much he had been missed during his three matches absent with a groin injury.
Sanchez is undroppable
There are certain players that demand selection even when they are playing well below par. Alexis Sanchez is one of them. Off the boil for more than a month since recovering from a hamstring problem, the Chilean was an anonymous figure for much of this match but demonstrated that form is temporary and class is permanent when he slid in the equaliser at a time when Arsenal’s hopes of getting anything from this match were quickly evaporating.
Welbeck freshens up attack
The versatile forward justified his selection as the spearhead of the attack with a vibrant display. Danny Welbeck offers greater mobility and speed than Olivier Giroud and stretched the Spurs defence with his runs into the channels. He played a big role in the opener by releasing Hector Bellerin with a pass from the left side of the box and continually got into good positions. Giroud has looked stale of late and Welbeck’s inclusion freshened up the front line.