Frank Stubbs: Saturday Night's Alright

13/14: Arsenal 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur - Santi Cazorla

With north London bathed in a huge red glow yet again, I sit here with a huge smile that doesn't want to go away and the usual pre-draw anticipation.

Cup days are special and uniquely so in this country it seems. Even with the debate raging as to whether this great competition is as 'important' as in the past, a north London derby could not have felt any bigger than Saturday.

This is of course for many reasons, including the most important of all, progression in the competition.

That dreaded fear that we might actually get knocked out by our confident near neighbours mean't PMT was certainly rife in the build up to kick-off. Despite the strength of our squad giving all us Gooners plenty of reasons to think we could be successful, the game came off the back of an extremely tough festive period with the injuries and fatigue that came with it.

I thought our visitors started the game well but as soon as we enjoyed got our passing game going we started to dominate - and remained on top for the rest of the match.

The move for the opening goal saw the highly impressive Serge Gnabry cut inside and slip the ball through to Santi.......bang! 1-0!! If the rest of the stadium was similar to where I sit, I'm sure every Gooner would describe it as absolute carnage! The noise was awesome. Get in!

It was an excellent first-half performance and if we produced that again in the second period we would win . But it was only 1-0, a scoreline that only seems to increase the nerves, no matter how well we are playing!

Tommy Rosicky is enjoying a quite fantastic vein of form at the moment and yet again he was quite superb on Saturday. Couple his creative ability with his stupendous work-rate and it is quite a combination. Our second goal summed up both attributes quite beautifully and didn't we all join him in enjoying the moment.

With so much time to think about the position his own desire had created, it is not easy to keep control of the ball and produce such a calm and beautiful finish. The celebrations as the ball nestled in the back of the North Bank net shook the stadium's foundations.

The noise and colour must have been difficult to take for the visiting fans and we gave it all we could. It is what derby days are all about.

I have heard and read the celebrations lasted long into the night in various parts of the UK and rest of the world - so they should.

Coventry City at home have just come out of the hat so we will look forward to that later in the month. Their west Midland neighbours play hosts to us next as we head of to Villa Park next Monday night.

Another big game to get up for as we stretch our enjoyment of what has been another fine weekend to be a Gooner.

North London is still very much Red.


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