Tar­get prac­tice for Ar­se­nal

Tot­ten­ham brings Spurs to a Gun­ner fight in this one- sided north Lon­don derby

SundayXtra - - SPORTS SOCCER - By Rob Har­ris

LON­DON — Ar­se­nal came from be­hind to beat Tot­ten­ham 5- 2 in the Premier League on Satur­day, seiz­ing con­trol of the north Lon­don derby af­ter its for­mer striker Em­manuel Ade­bayor was sent off hav­ing scored the opener.

Ade­bayor net­ted his first league goal of the sea­son in the 10th minute but was dis­missed eight min­utes later for a dan­ger­ous high chal­lenge on Santi Ca­zorla.

Per Merte­sacker started Ar­se­nal’s come­back with a 24th- minute header, and Lukas Podol­ski and Olivier Giroud both found the net be­fore half­time.

Ca­zorla swept in the fourth goal on the hour be­fore Gareth Bale re­duced the deficit for Tot­ten­ham, and Theo Wal­cott knocked in the fifth in stop­page time.

By repli­cat­ing its 5- 2 derby win in Fe­bru­ary, Ar­se­nal rose above Tot­ten­ham in the stand­ings to sixth af­ter the club’s worst start to a sea­son since Arsene Wenger took charge in 1996.

“If we show that courage and am­bi­tion ev­ery game we will climb up the ta­ble,” Wal­cott said. “We showed peo­ple how good we are to­day ... it will give us tremen­dous spirit.”

Tot­ten­ham started with two for­mer Ar­se­nal play­ers and both Wil­liam Gal­las and Ade­bayor found the net first.

Gal­las’ goal was ruled out for off­side but a minute later there was no dis­put­ing Ade­bayor’s ef­fort.

Jer­main De­foe latched onto Jan Ver­tonghen’s deep ball, cut in from the right and his shot was par­ried by Wo­j­ciech Szczesny, who was re­turn­ing from a two- month lay­off. But Ade­bayor was on hand to nudge the loose ball over the line against the club he left in 2009.

With their lead, Spurs upped the pres­sure and Aaron Len­non came close to dou­bling the ad­van­tage, but his shot crept round the post.

GUN­NERS 5

SPURS 2

And the match swung in Ar­se­nal’s favour when Ade­bayor launched his high chal­lenge at Ca­zorla, hit­ting the mid­fielder’s right an­kle and com­pletely miss­ing the ball.

Ref­eree Howard Webb showed Ade­bayor a straight red card on just his sec­ond start of the league sea­son and, as ten­sions in­creased, Ar­se­nal mid­fielder Jack Wil­shere and Bale were also in­volved in an al­ter­ca­tion.

With its nu­mer­i­cal ad­van­tage, Ar­se­nal drew level in the 24th minute as Wal­cott went past Kyle Naughton and whipped in the cross that Merte­sacker met with a pow­er­ful header.

Ar­se­nal was now in com­mand, with a cou­ple of dan­ger­ous head­ers com­ing from Giroud, al­though ac­ro­batic goal­keeper Hugo Lloris did well to block them both af­ter he dis­lodged Brad Friedel from a Tot­ten­ham league lineup for the first time since Oct. 7.

De­flected Ar­se­nal, though, went in front in the 42nd when Wil­shere slot­ted the ball through to Podol­ski and the Ger­many striker’s scuffed shot de­flected off Gal­las into the net.

And in first- half stop­page time, Ca­zorla stayed on his feet af­ter be­ing fouled, re­gained his com­po­sure and went out to the left.

From there, he crossed to Giroud, who swept the ball into the net.

Trail­ing 3- 1, Tot­ten­ham man­ager An­dre Villa- Boas at half time took off two of the back four, Naughton and Kyle Walker, and brought on de­fender Michael Daw­son and striker Clint Dempsey.

It didn’t make much of a dif­fer­ence, al­though Ca­zorla took un­til the hour- mark to score Ar­se­nal’s fourth. The Spa­niard net­ted at the far post af­ter con­nect­ing with Podol­ski’s cross.

But Ar­se­nal switched off at the back, al­low­ing Bale to ram­page through be­fore knock­ing the ball past Szczesny with his weaker right foot to give Spurs a brief hope of a come­back. It wasn’t to be. The three- goal cush­ion was re­stored in stop­page time when Alex OxladeCham­ber­lain charged down the right and crossed to Wal­cott, who con­trolled the ball be­fore strik­ing past Lloris.

— The As­so­ci­ated Press

SANG TAN / THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Ar­se­nal play­ers cel­e­brate one of their quintet of goals against Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur on Satur­day.

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