We had to settle for a point from an absorbing north London derby on Sunday – and there were plenty of talking points after the game.
Here are three things we noticed, from our all-star attack, through to Matteo Guendouzi and Bernd Leno’s displays:
OUR TRIPLE THREAT
Ahead of kick off, much of the talk centred around whether we would unleash our star attacking trio – and Unai Emery duly delivered as Nicolas Pepe, Alex Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all started here. On this evidence, the hype is real as the latter two both scored and the former threatened throughout during a high-energy display. Pepe may not have made the scoresheet, but he came close in the first half and his searing pace and quick feet constantly had the crowd off their feet in appreciation. This was a hugely encouraging first showing for the PAL/PLA/LAP strikeforce… but we’re going to need a better nickname for them than that…
MATTEO THE MAIN MAN
Sometimes it is easy to forget that Matteo Guendouzi is just 20 years old. Barely out of his teens, this precocious young star played here with such authority, such drive and such steel that you would think he was at the peak of his powers, rather than at the start of an exciting journey towards superstardom. But make no mistake, he is headed for the top if he continues to play like this. The young Frenchman played his part in both of our goals, particularly the second when he broke forward and picked out Aubameyang with an outstanding ball, but that was merely one aspect of a wonderful display. Energetic, perceptive, intelligent and possessed of real character, this was arguably his finest display in an Arsenal shirt – and just to really labour this point, he is only 20 years old. He’s a star in the making.
BERND MAKES AMENDS
Bernd Leno looked as disappointed as anyone inside Emirates Stadium when Tottenham opened the scoring, after he had palmed Erik Lamela’s shot into the path of the waiting Christian Eriksen. But almost immediately he started to make amends, and his breathtaking save to prevent Heung-min Son doubling the visitors’ advantage was truly unforgettable. The Tottenham forward, a danger all afternoon, flew forward on the left, cut inside and sent a fierce shot towards the top corner – only to see Leno somehow push it around the post. Our German goalkeeper made another fine stop to keep out an Eriksen free kick during the first half, and was untroubled during the second period. It was a fine response from our No 1.
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