Gun­ners de­nied

Goal keeps Arse­nal away from top spot

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports International -

BY MARTIN SA­MUEL / With 73 min­utes gone, Harry Kane left the field to pre­dictable op­pro­brium from the home sup­port. That is five goals in four games against Arse­nal for Kane, ty­ing with Gareth Bale in the Premier League era.

Kane has been miss­ing for six weeks and Tot­ten­ham have suf­fered ac­cord­ingly.

The draw was the fair re­sult, though, even if it will leave both sides frus­trated. Arse­nal missed out on a chance to go top, Tot­ten­ham lost ground on the top four. No-one suf­fers the Monday morn­ing em­bar­rass­ment at work, but no­body got the spoils ei­ther.

Kane’s penalty, Tot­ten­ham’s equaliser, looked soft. Mousa Dem­bele ap­peared to be al­ready off bal­ance and ready to tum­ble when Lau­rent Ko­scielny stuck out a leg in the 50th minute.

Had he kept out of it the Tot­ten­ham man may have fallen any­way. This made it look like a trip. Mark Clat­ten­burg had a good view, though, and de­cided: foul. Kane waited for Cech to choose a side and stuck it straight down the mid­dle.

Arsene Wenger made a string of at­tack­ing sub­sti­tu­tions, but none could de­liver the match. Hugo Lloris saved at the feet of Me­sut Ozil, and tipped an Alex Iwobi cross around when Granit Xhaka couldn’t get a touch. It was a good derby, a lively derby, but with no win­ner it did nei­ther side any favours re­ally.

It was a bold de­ci­sion by Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino to play a back three in such an im­por­tant game but, for much of the first half, it worked. Arse­nal had plenty of pos­ses­sion, but lit­tle that amounted to a threat and had to wait un­til the 31st minute for a shot of sig­nif­i­cance.

Tot­ten­ham, by con­trast, made good use of their wing backs – par­tic­u­larly Danny Rose – and had a cou­ple of good op­por­tu­ni­ties to open the scor­ing.

In the fifth minute, Son He­ung-min broke quickly down the left and struck a low cross that just couldn’t meet the foot of Kane.

Then, af­ter 21 min­utes, a cross by Erik­sen found Kane in plenty of space, but the Eng­land man steered a div­ing header nar­rowly mind. He could have done bet­ter, and per­haps would have if this were not his first match since Septem­ber 18. It is an in­di­ca­tion of how sorely he has been missed that Po­chet­tino put him straight back in the start­ing line-up.

Yet once Arse­nal got into the game, the ti­tle po­ten­tial that many have ob­served this sea­son could be plainly seen.

There seemed to be an Arse­nal goal com­ing, and in the 42nd minute, from the un­like­li­est di­rec­tion, it ar­rived. A free-kick was won 40 yards out and Ozil floated it in, tar­get­ing ev­ery cen­tral de­fender’s cor­ri­dor of un­cer­tainty. He suc­ceeded in turn­ing Kevin Wim­mer around, back to­wards his own goal.

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