Tottenham 1-2 Arsenal: A Flaminicious Night at the Lane
Tottenham 1 (Chambers o.g. 56) – Arsenal 2 (Flamini 26′, 78′)
Following the recent slump in the Gunners form, the Derby clash against Tottenham in the Capital One Cup offered a different prospect. It was going to bad suffering three defeats on the trot but with half an eye on the Leicester game this weekend, Arsene Wenger had to keep his team fresh so he made some changes to the side that lost to Chelsea. In came David Ospina, the Cup keeper, Calum Chambers, Per Mertesacker, Kieran Gibbs, Matt Debuchy, Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Flamini, Joel Campbell, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Olivier Giroud. Only Aaron Ramsey kept his place in the squad and he was in his preferred central position.
As you’d expect from a Derby game, the intensity was high and it brought about committed performances from the lads. Up until his own goal and even after it, Chambers had a great game in the heart of the defense alongside a more experienced Mertesacker. Kieran Gibbs put up a much-improved performance from his shitefest at Zagreb but I was deeply concerned about Debuchy’s outing. The French defender looked really out of sorts and most of Tottenham’s attack, and their goal of course, came from his wing. With Carl Jenkinson returning back to the club this summer, it’s going to be interesting to see what happens to Debuchy, because he has clearly lost his place to Hector Bellerin and he hasn’t done himself any justice in the games he has featured this season.
Then there was Mathieu Flamini – the forgotten Frenchman that couldn’t leave the club for SC Bastia because they couldn’t afford to pay him what he earns at the Emirates. A player that has been heavily linked with an exit throughout the summer. One of the ‘hindrances’ to the club signing a defensive midfielder… the list goes on. However, none of that mattered yesterday. Flamini was his usual beastly self, covering ground, clattering into Danny Rose and getting his usual yellow card but…he scored two beautiful goals. Yes, I meant beautiful goals, I didn’t say he made two beautiful tackles.
A guy that had scored one goal in a year gets two in one night. The first was a typical center forwards finish as he showed very good anticipation to blast the ball into the roof of the net when Michel Vorm spilled Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s shot. The second goal was even better – a perfectly executed volley that bounced in front of the goalie before smashing the net.
You could see how those goals meant to Flamini – a player that has been written off by pretty much everyone. Wenger was really pleased for him and the player himself stated that he had a point to prove.
Elsewhere,the Ox had a good game and his dribbling skills were on show yesterday but I had concerns about Giroud’s performance leading the line. Things aren’t just working out for the Frenchman and he didn’t do anything to justify his place ahead of Walcott yesterday. Walcott was about to replace Giroud but Flamini’s match winner made the manager change his mind. Walcott came on for the Ox shortly afterwards.
The draws have been made and Arsenal is going to play Sheffield Wednesday in the fourth round.
It’s good to be back to winning ways.
Download the Gooner Daily BlackBerry App to receive notifications on your Smart Phone when a post is published.
Follow Gooner Daily on Twitter @goonerdaily. I’ll follow back
Visit Gooner Daily’s Facebook page.
Click on the “Follow button” to join Gooner Daily’s Mailing List.