Spurs 3 v Arsenal 3

It is all in the timing, and for Arsenal having taken a first half 3-1 lead, the timing was poor, lacking maturity if you will. Theo Walcott had given Arsenal the lead after only five minutes. Rafael Van Der Vaart levelled a mere two minutes later, and again note the timing and the inability to hold onto a lead. Samir Nasri then gave the Gunners the lead a further five minutes later, with Robin Van Persie making it 3-1 moments before the break, and Arsenal fans thought great stuff. How depressingly wrong we were to be proven to be.


A lack of concentration after a lengthy injury delay to Gareth Bale allowed an unmarked Tom Huddlestone to make it 3-2 and the Gunners looked a nervy shattered disunited outfit going into the break. It was no surprise when Van Der Vaart netted from the spot after Wojciech Szczesny brought down substitute Aaron Neville, and at 3-3 the fact that the scores remained that way was largely due to some fine saves from the Poland ‘keeper. His team mates should have taken heart from that inspired performance and found the winner. But despite Cesc Fabregas going close and a Van Persie effort ruled out through a contentious offside decision, the Gunners battered title challenge appears to have run its’ course. Mathematically it still has legs, but with Chelsea seeing off Birmingham City, Arsenal drop to third in the table.


The evening got off to a great start for the Gunners when Fabregas fed Walcott who raced away to finish with ease. The huge Arsenal travelling support went wild in celebration, but were soon muted two minutes later. Johan Djourou slipped allowing the Van Der Vaart to hit a low shot past Szczesny two minutes after Arsenal had taken the lead. Five minutes later and Abou Diaby sprung Nasri who let fly from 25 yards, deflecting off Michael Dawson and past Huerelho Gomes. You then waited for Arsenal to consolidate, take the pace out of the game and play with the maturity that they needed. They did the opposite of all of those things. Walcott delivered a delicious chip to Van Persie after William Gallas fluffed a clearance. The Gunners’ number 10 header was pushed out by Gomes,but Van Persie responded with a left foot shot from two yards to score making it 3-1.


Now was the need for calm control. Szczesny was excellent in denying Bale and had no hesitation in coming out to command the area. With Bale needing treatment after a clash with the Gunners’ keeper, Arsene Wenger’s side switched off. Unable to clear from a corner, Huddlestone let fly from 20 yards, a shot that came through traffic and too late for the unsighted Szczesny.


Going into the break only a goal behind gave the home side the momentum as Fabregas and the rest of the Arsenal players failed to spark a desperately required revival. Jack Wilshere came on for Diaby who seems to operating on his own time zone these days. The recently voted PFA young player of the year however was unable to create anything of substance. You just wonder also what has happened to Nasri too.With nine minutes to go a double substitution brought on Andrey Arshavin and Nicklas Bendtner. But it was too late. Van Der Vaart grabbed his second of the night and only some great goalkeeping kept Arsenal in with a chance. Despite mounting some late chances through Fabregas, Gomes was not to be beaten, but for Wenger the end product was yet another draw and definitely not what was required.