Jose against Arsenal.
Jose Mourinho overcame Spursy to keep up his record of never losing a home game against Arsenal, with a comeback win that was more a Jose masterclass than entertaining.
The first North London Derby at the new stadium, the first for Jose Mourinho and even Spurs tendency to blow it in such occasions, even going behind couldn’t stop a Spurs victory and Jose keeping up his record of not losing a home match against Arsenal.
Four four two eh. Well, it worked to a point the middle two were overrun, I say two, it was basically Lo Celso and an empty space of nothingness, otherwise known as Winks. While two other players played a somewhat different role than usual. Sissoko and Moura playing out wide but sticking wide and not really getting forward much, especially in Moura’s case. A blocking role rather than attacking, stopping their wing-backs.
Highlighted by the bizarre fact that by the time he was substituted, on the 82nd minute, Spurs had made 19 tackles in total, of which Moura had 10 of them. It was a disciplined performance from Moura. Disciplined from most of them.
It resulted in Spurs having only about a third of possession but that turned into more shots, on and off target, than the visitors, while Hugo had very little to do in the Spurs’ goal his opposite number made a number of saves to keep things tight.
Aurier wasn’t getting much love from the fans on the day, this of course before the death of his brother. His interception was a heavy touch, followed up by his tackle which went to the Arsenal player. Aurier actually bothered to make the tackle, while others just watched on and it was helpful to #OneOfOurOwn as it they glossed over the fact Winks just meandered alongside Lacazette, leaving him open to shoot before putting in one of those “I’ll look like I’m making an effort without actually doing anything” tackle.
There was talk that Aurier is their only option for right-back but Tanganga was back on the bench, after his back injury, and has performed reasonably well in the role, or you could put him in at centre-back and play Toby wide.
The formation meant that Sonny was playing up front with Kane, this helped Kane, not so isolated and another player to distract the defenders. Not that their defence needs much to distract them. For all of Spurs’ woes at least we never signed David Luiz and then signed him to a longer contract. I remember a bunch of articles claiming the signing was just what they needed and they weren’t saying that as a piss take.
He wasn’t initially at fault for the equaliser but he played his part. Played into trouble with a backpass that was too far away from him, he was never gonna win a race with Son. It could only have one of two outcomes, a Luiz foul or a Son chance. It was the latter which he expertly chipped over the keeper. Where’s this Son been since the restart?
As said Spurs had the chances, while they didn’t. Harry had a number, he should have got something, he usually does against that lot. Both side hit the woodwork. Davies with a real piledriver. Sissoko should have got one but… well, it’s Sissoko and the ball bounced off him in the area, typical, couldn’t trap a bag of sand first touch from him.
They then all of the ball but were somewhat like Spurs against Bournemouth, couldn’t do anything with it. While with that defence and Spurs attack looking far more lively there was always a chance of the counter succeeding. Except for one time when Moura broke and was ready to cross into the box when the commentator said “…and Sissoko’s in the middle..”
The winner came ten minutes before the end of regulation time. Spurs hadn’t seen much of the ball that half and the midfield were getting overrun but Jose wasn’t making any changes, obviously hoping for this type of smash and grab opportunity. Toby, under no real pressure, marked only by their little wing-back.
Now was classic Jose. You’ve got the lead… hang on. But this is Spurs, they don’t really do that hanging on for victory. There was finally some substitutions, even Poch would have been querying the lateness of the changes.
They managed it Jose vs Arsenal trumps Spursy… it’s the one time the Jose masterclass has worked, wouldn’t want to see it every week, here it was the result that mattered. Of course next up is a ground he doesn’t win at…