Arsenal: Szczesny, Chambers, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Wilshere, Arteta, Ramsey, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Welbeck
Subs: Ospina, Coquelin, Flamini, Rosicky, Podolski, Cazorla, Alexis
Arsenal came from behind and had Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to thank as they drew 1-1 with Sp*rs at the Emirates this evening.
Arsene Wenger made just one change from the side which beat Aston Villa last weekend, recalling Jack Wilshere at the expense of Santi Cazorla, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain continuing on the right ahead of Alexis Sanchez.
It meant that Mesut Ozil was shifted out to begin the game on the left hand side but as always the German was at liberty to roam. The Gunners had the first shot on goal when Aaron Ramsey chose to go for goal when he might have been better advised to find one of the three red shirts in the box.
Referee Michael Oliver booked Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for a foul on Capoue but kept his cards in his pocket when Jack Wilshere was taken out in midfield.
Danny Welbeck stormed towards goal with a lovely turn which left Jan Vertonghen floundering in midfield but saw his shot deflected wide, and the former Man United man saw a shot saved by Hugo Lloris after good work from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Wilshere followed the Ox into the book for a trip on Mason and then tested Hugo Lloris with a stinging drive which was saved well. Sp*rs got forward through Mason but his cross for Adebayor was easy for Szczesny, before Arsenal were forced into an early change.
Mikel Arteta looked to suffer a calf strain and was replaced by Mathieu Flamini and there was a worry when Wilshere got a kick and turned his ankle in the Sp*rs penalty area (might it even have been a penalty). Thankfully the midfielder was ok to continue.
After a careless Ramsey backheel gifted possession to Sp*rs, Emmanuel Adebayor found himself one on one with Szczesny but his first touch was poor. Then, as the visitors applied pressure after more slack Arsenal passing, Per Mertesacker headed a corner back towards his own goal but Szczesny made the save to prevent an own goal.
Good work from Ramsey then set up Oxlade-Chamberlain for a low drive which Lloris save while at the other end Chadli spurned a great chance after finding space behind the Arsenal defence. Arsenal’s injury problems increased when, late in the half, Aaron Ramsey pulled his hamstring and was replaced by Santi Cazorla, the second enforced change of the game.
Szczesny pulled off a good save low at his near post to ensure the teams went into the break level.
The second period started brightly for Arsenal with Santi Cazorla putting Sp*rs under pressure with a low cross/shot that Kaboul put out for a corner. From the resulting set-piece Kieran Gibbs found himself with space but from a tight angle lashed the ball over the bar.
Moments later Jack Wilshere played in Ozil whose left footed shot was saved by Lloris as the Gunners looked to raise the tempo. Mathieu Flamini saw a shot drift wide after a series of corners put the visitors under some pressure, but the Frenchman was the architect of the game’s opening goal, and not in a good way.
He got caught on the ball in midfield, Lamela fed Chadli who finished past Szczesny from close range to make 0-1. Against the run of play, perhaps, but still a terrible goal to concede.
Arsenal nearly responded straight away when, from an Ozil free kick, Mertesacker’s header was brilliantly saved by Lloris, the ball just staying the wrong side of the line from an Arsenal point of view. Having to chase the game, Arsene Wenger made his final change of the game bringing on Alexis for Jack Wilshere in the 63rd minute.
Claum Chambers came close to getting the equaliser, volleying just over the bar but it was another former Southampton man who made the breakthrough. Arsenal had Sp*rs under real pressure, Alexis fed Cazorla who hit a left footed shot which rebounded across goal. Danny Welbeck cleverly dummied it, allowing Oxlade-Chamberlain to lash it home from close range to get the goal we certainly deserved. 1-1.
Calum Chambers picked up his fourth booking of the season for a foul on Aaron Lennon as Arsenal looked for a winner, but despite all the pressure the goal didn’t come.
So, Arsenal remain unbeaten but will feel that they should have beaten a Sp*rs side who are, basically, a bag of festering shit.