4th of March 2013 Author: Glo Wood
Tottenham won a very intense North London derby to move up to third place in the league, seven points clear of Arsenal. Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon bagged two almost identical goals in just three minutes while Per Mertesacker pulled one back for the Gunners after the interval. Then Bale had another chance but missed it before Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey, playing as a makeshift right back in the last minutes of the game, fired one just wide. The home side held out for the win which extends their unbeaten run to 12 games. Moreover, the Spurs leapfrog Chelsea in the league table moving up to third, just two points behind second-placed Manchester City.
Arsenal seemed to dominate the game in the first half but they paid a hefty price for two moments when their defense appeared to be lacking concentration. Santi Cazorla created the first chance for Arsenal early on as he set up Olivier Giroud but the striker's shot was blocked by a great sliding tackle from Jan Vertonghen. The Tottenham defence, especially Dawson and Vertonghen, did a great job to stop Arsenal's attacks and then the Spurs struck.
Gylfi Sigurdsson and Scott Parker each played incisive passes from the left flank through the middle of Arsenal's defence for Bale and Lennon to score, in the 38th and 41st minute respectively. Arsenal threatened a comeback when Mertesacker's header from Theo Walcott's free-kick cross deflected off Bale's head before ending up in the back of the net. Then goalkeeper Hugo Lloris did well to stop a cross from Carl Jenkinson with Giroud and Ramsey waiting to score.
Bale replied at the other end as he fired over a Benoit Assou-Ekotto cross from the left before Sigurdsson wasted a huge chance as he was clean through but decided to square the ball for Mertesacker to clear instead of shooting. The Spurs had another chance on a counter attack through substitute Defoe who fired just wide while Ramsey came the closest for Arsenal but he fired just wide as well. Theo Walcott had the final opportunity for the Gunners but his well-taken free kick sent the ball inches wide.
The result made the bookmakers alter the odds for a top four finish in the Premier League, Bet365 now have Tottenham priced at 2/7 to finish inside the top four while Arsenal are priced at 7/4 and Liverpool at 16/1.
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