All eyes were on the North London derby this weekend, and the game at the Emirates Stadium certainly didn’t disappoint.
The Gunners had made a strong start to the game, but a couple of individual errors saw them conceding two first-half goals. The hosts did manage to fight back and salvage a draw, but some might consider it a missed opportunity.
Nevertheless, here are five things we learned from the first North London derby of the season.
1. The balance could be shifting once again
Tottenham have managed to finish above their arch-rivals for three consecutive seasons. However, this could be the season when the pendulum shifts once again. Spurs have made a less-than-impressive start to the new campaign as they have managed only one win in their four games. The manner they allowed their two-goal lead to slip on Sunday doesn’t bode well for them. Meanwhile, Arsenal have lofty ambitions following a busy summer. They already boast of one of the dangerous attacks in the league, and if they can improve on the defensive front, a top-four finish would be given.
2. Christian Eriksen is staying at Spurs
The Danish midfielder was a subject of transfer speculation throughout the window. However, his inclusion in the starting eleven for the North London derby was a clear indication that he would be staying at Tottenham for at least one more season. The 27-year-old could prove to be vital for Spurs as he demonstrated with his goal-scoring performance in the derby. However, on the downside, Spurs might end up losing him for next summer.
3. Matteo Guendouzi could become the next Patrick Vieira for Arsenal
Matteo Guendouzi has proved to be a revelation for the Gunners since he joined the club last summer. However, he arguably produced the best performance of his career during the NLD. He not only provided the assist for the equalizer but also managed to bag the MOTM trophy. The 20-year-old could be described as one of the best talents in his age group, and he can only improve from here. He has been called up to the France national squad during the international break and that is the biggest testament of his talents. And it’s no surprise that everyone has started to take notice of his talents.
Unsurprising. Enormously talented young footballer. 👏🏻👏🏻 https://t.co/KqsWuZQkHk
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) September 2, 2019
4. Defence continues to haunt Arsenal
There is no doubt that Arsenal have one of the best-attacking force in the league. The likes of Aubameyang, Lacazette and Pepe can cause problems for any defence in the world. However, Arsenal’s defence continue to be their Achilles Heel. The frailties in their defence was very much evident in the NLD as both Spurs goals came because of individual mistakes. The Gunners have made 13 mistakes leading to goals since the start of the last season, and that is not acceptable for a side competing for top four places.
Arsenal have made 13 errors leading to goals in the Premier League since the start of last season, more than any other club.
— Goal (@goal) September 1, 2019
5. Granit Xhaka’s Arsenal career seems to be over
Midfielder Granit Xhaka is already not a favourite among the Arsenal fan-base, and he certainly didn’t help his case by giving away a stupid penalty in the game. He attracted a lot of criticism for his mistake. And in hindsight, some of the reaction might be knee-jerk, but there is no doubt that Xhaka’s popularity among Arsenal fans is at an all-time low currently.