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  • Mitre June 17

Arsenal's season in the balance as derby defeat sees them fall seven points shy of rivals Tottenham

 

The pressure has been turned up yet again on Arsene Wenger and his Arsenal side as they were beaten by Tottenham at White Hart Lane, in a tense North London derby.

With Liverpool, Everton and Chelsea all winning the day before, it was a must win game for both sides, as the race for a Champions League place grew even closer.

The game was played at a fierce pace from the offset, with both sides looking to take the initiative in the opening exchanges, and both side carved out some chances.

But with the half coming to an end, and both sides perhaps looking to go into the break at deadlock, Tottenham stepped up a gear in a tremendous three minute spell to give themselves a 2-0 lead and leave Arsenal shell shocked at the interval.

Man of the moment Gareth Bale was on the score sheet yet again, after being played in by Sigurdsson with a through ball that bypassed the Gunners' defense, with the Welshman calmly finishing to give his team the lead after 37 minutes.

Only two minutes later Spurs were through again when Scott Parker's neat ball found Lennon, who rounded the keeper to give his side a second barely two minutes after they got for their first.

Arsenal looked a different side after the break, and indeed it was not long before they pulled a goal back, Per Mertesacker heading home from a  Theo Walcott free kick after Aaron Ramsey had done well to draw a foul in the corner.

The away side pressed forward looking for an equaliser, leaving themselves vulnerable to a counter attack from Spurs, but neither side could find the breakthrough. Bale had a couple more chances for the hosts, whilst nacho Monreal screwed a volley just wide for Arsenal, but even with six minutes of stoppage time, neither side could find another goal.

The result means that Spurs retake third place from Chelsea after their win against West Brom yesterday, and are now seven points clear of Arsenal in fifth.

Arsenal will now have to turn their attention to their next Premier League mach against Everton, a match that is now vitally important for the Londoners, with Everton now only two points behind the Gunners after their win against Reading.

If Arsenal were to lose against Everton,  with their Champions League second leg in Munich soon after, they could find that their season is effectively over. 

They don't play any of the sides around them in the run in to the end of the season, and would be relying on the in form Tottenham, and Chelsea, both dropping points. If they failed to do qualify for the Champions League, it would be the first time in nearly twenty years under Arsene Wenger.
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