Arsenal 2 Spurs 2: Point Gratefully Accepted
Football lends itself to many clichés but the one about taking a result before a ball is kicked came true yesterday. Let’s face it, how many of us wouldn’t have accepted a 2-2 draw after the previous weekend’s poor display against Newcastle?
However, having been 2-0 up on 45 minutes, it was a sickening blow to see Arsenal come back so there are definitely some mixed feelings this morning.
We certainly can take some positives out of our second consecutive 2-2 draw on the road. Not everyone will agree, of course, but we were happier when we saw the names of Vertonghen and Eriksen on the team sheets at the start of the game. Dele Alli was also introduced for his first appearance of the new campaign while Giovani Lo Celso made an interesting cameo from the bench that suggested he will be pushing for a start when the players return after the international break.
It was Eriksen who put Spurs ahead on 11 minutes before Harry Kane doubled the lead from the penalty spot. Had we gone in at 2-0 at the break then it may have been a different story but with Spurs getting caught in possession, Alexandre Lacazette managed to halve the deficit in first half injury time.
In the second half, there were chances at both ends but ultimately, it was down to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to level the scores and leave the points shared. Once again, there were penalty appeals, a raft of bookings and a ton of VAR controversy. A draw was probably a fair result but we were all left thinking what might have been and it was a mood summed up by Mauricio Pochettino in his post-match press conference.
Speaking to Football.London, Pochettino said:
That goal that we conceded in the last action of the first half gave the belief to Arsenal. Of course it was a big emotional hit for us because from here in one action you were down. For them the same they were down and suddenly their emotion was high and the belief in football is about emotions.
I thought the team recovered really well after half-time. We created a lot of chances to score the third goal. I thought it was very important for us, it’s not the table or the points, it’s to recover the good feelings after Newcastle and the summer and all that happened in these last four weeks. That is most important. Worse impossible, only we can improve.
The point means that Spurs will go into the first international break of the campaign in 9th place and, next up will be a home fixture with Crystal Palace. Overall, it’s been a mixed opening with two creditable 2-2 draws on the road against tough sides. Unfortunately, that has been contrasted with a shaky opening win against Aston Villa and a poor home defeat to a Newcastle side who were relegation favourites when they visited the new White Hart Lane.
Before that, it’s a case of getting the European transfer window out of the way on September 2nd and the manager will then know what he has to work with for the next four months of the season.