Arsenal 2 Tottenham Hotspur 0 match report: Santi Cazorla and Tomas Rosicky inflict the ultimate punishment on Spurs

Arsenal take advantage of errors from Sherwood’s men to claim bragging rights in the north London derby and keep Wenger on course to end their nine-year drought without silverware

Emirates Stadium

Arsenal secured north London bragging rights and a place in the FA Cup fourth round with an ultimately comfortable victory over Tottenham this evening, but it was not without cost. The Premier League leaders, already beset by a growing injury list, had Theo Walcott taken off on a stretcher and also had to withdraw Thomas Vermaelen.

Since Walcott was only playing centre-forward as Olivier Giroud and Nicklas Bentdner were injured, a plunge into the transfer market by Arsène Wenger seems increasingly likely.

A high-tempo derby that showed Tim Sherwood the scale of the task he faces as he tries to overhaul Spurs’ neighbours was won by goals in the 32nd and 62nd minutes by Santi Cazorla and, after a howler by Danny Rose, Tomas Rosicky.

Wenger has now seen off so many Tottenham managers he is facing ones who used to be playing against his Arsenal team. Few, though have been as adventurous as Sherwood, who deployed twin strikers Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado in an attack-minded formation. And why not attack, given this team (aside from Nabil Bentaleb, who made a full debut) won at Old Trafford on New Year’s Day?

Sherwood’s strong selection was no surprise. Tottenham are engaged in a four-way fight for the last Champions’ League spot, but they are not favoured to win it, and the blame for failure will lie with his predecessor, Andre Villas-Boas. There is also the Europa League, but Sherwood is English, and of a generation to whom the FA Cup mattered. He knew, too, that Spurs have a rich relationship with the competition and winning it would cement his place in the supporters’ affections.

Wenger will have been more ambivalent about the competition; he needs a trophy, but with Arsenal top of the Premier League would much preferred to have fielded an ersatz side. The opposition’s identity made that impossible, and though he made four changes from the side that began Wednesday’s 2-0 defeat of Cardiff City, only Lukasz Fabianski and Serge Gnabry were infrequent members of the first team.

Tottenham began the brighter, taking the game to Arsenal, and should have led after eight minutes. Christian Eriksen, one of those brought in from the cold by Sherwood, seized on an error by Vermaelen and advanced on Fabianski, but the Pole blocked the Dane’s shot with his legs.

The drawback with Tottenham’s intent was that it played to Arsenal’s counterattacking strength, and Walcott twice broke behind their back four. He shot early after 11 minutes, bringing a decent save at full stretch from Hugo Lloris, then watched another effort deflect agonisingly over the bar. From the corner Gnabry also sent a shot skimming above the net.

Tottenham’s retorts were initially directed towards Vermaelen, no longer an imperious presence. Though he expertly dispossessed Aaron Lennon as the speedster threatened to fly by, a tackle on Moussa Dembélé was poorly timed. But Eriksen’s free-kick was wayward and Arsenal resumed thir control.

After Rosicky had shot over, Walcott ought to have scored when released by Cazorla, but a poor first touch narrowed his angle and Lloris saved his shot. It seemed the England man was fluffling his audition for a more prolonged run in his desired centre-forward role, but then came a smart bit of forward play. Gnabry picked up the ball between the lines and, with Walcott’s intelligent angled run taking defenders away, was able to find Cazorla in space on the left. The Spaniard’s finish was clinical.

With that goal the pace eased. Totteham were wary of conceding a second, Arsenal had no need to push hard for one. Walcott shot over and Soldado wide, but the main interest was a simmering feud between Jack Wilshere and Dembélé that will have ensured Mark Clattenburg’s mind did not drift back to Southampton’s ill-judged cricism of him.

Spurs should have levelled early in the second period but, in a moment Arsenal fans enjoyed almost as much as their goals, Adebayor mis-kicked attempting a close-range volley with the goal at his mercy.

As they pressed, Arsenal found more space, and Walcott rounded Lloris on the hour only to find the angle too tight.

Then came Rose’s nightmare. Dawdling in possession on the halfway line, the left-back was robbed by Rosicky, who was just quick enough to stay clear of Kyle Walker before chipping over Lloris.

Though Arsenal later went down to 10 men after Walcott was carried off with what appeared an ankle injury after falling awkwardly while tackling Rose, the game was beyond Spurs.

Clattenburg watch

Twenty-four hours after Southampton's demand that Mark Clattenburg does not officiate their matches after they felt he insulted Adam Lallana at Everton last week – he is alleged to have told him, “you're very different now since you played for England” – the referee was back on duty at the Emirates. How did he do?

Reception

A good match for Clattenburg in that both sets of supporters were far more interested in taunting each other than in abusing the referee. Aside from wails of complaint about decisions that went against their team Clattenburg was ignored.

Key decisions

Tim Sherwood was furious when Clattenburg waved play on after Aaron Lennon went down under a challenge from Thomas Vermaelen, but television pictures proved the Belgian made a good tackle. He also correctly played on after the ball bounced up to strike Santi Cazorla in the area and when Kyle Walker took an exaggerated tumble in the box.

Player interaction

There was no sign of his perceived “chumminess” with players. His most active intervention was to defuse a simmering feud between Jack Wilshere and Mousa Dembélé, which he did like a schoolteacher breaking up a playground argument.

Glenn Moore

Line-ups:

Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Fabianski; Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen (Mertesacker, h-t), Monreal; Wilshere, Arteta (Özil, 75); Rosicky, Gnabry, Walcott, Cazorla.

Tottenham (4-4-2): Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Chiriches, Rose; Lennon, Bentaleb, Dembélé, Eriksen; Soldad, Adebayor.

Referee: Mark Clattenburg.

Man of the match: Walcott (Arsenal)

Match rating: 7/10

Arts & Entertainment
Ricky Gervais at a screening of 'Muppets Most Wanted' in London last month
tvRicky Gervais on the return of 'Derek' – and why he still ignores his critics
Sport
Gareth Bale dribbled from inside his own half and finished calmly late in the final to hand Real a 2-1 win at the Mestalla in Valencia
sport
Life & Style
Infant child breast-feeding with eyes closed
healthTo stop mummy having any more babies, according to scientists
Arts & Entertainment
Homer meets Lego Marge in the 25th anniversary episode of The Simpsons, set to air on 4 May
tv
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Arts & Entertainment
James Franco and Chris O'Dowd in Of Mice and Men on Broadway
theatreReview: Of Mice and Men, Longacre Theatre
News
news
Life & Style
Going down: Google's ambition to build an elevator into space isn't likely to be fulfilled any time soon
techTechnology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Arts & Entertainment
film
Sport
Vito Mannone fails to keep out Samir Nasri's late strike
sportMan City 2 Sunderland 2: Goalkeeping howler allows Man City to scrap a draw – but Premier League title is Liverpool's to lose
News
David Cameron sings a hymn during the enthronement service of The Most Rev Justin Welby as Archbishop of Canterbury, at Canterbury Cathedral last year
news
Life & Style
From long to Jong: Guy Pewsey gets the North Korean leader's look
fashionThe Independent heads to an Ealing hairdressers to try out the North Korean dictator's trademark do
Extras
indybest10 best smartphones
Arts & Entertainment
tvCreator Vince Gilligan sheds light on alternate endings
Life & Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 63rd anniversary of the Peak District National Park
tech
News
Paul Weller, aka the Modfather, performing at last year’s Isle of Wight Festival in Newport
people
Life & Style
Michael Acton Smith founded Firebox straight out of university before creating Moshi Monsters
techHe started out selling silliness with online retailer Firebox, before launching virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part
Vespa rides on with launch of Primavera: Iconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales

Vespa rides on with launch of the Primavera

The Vespa has been a style icon since the 1950s and the release this month of its latest model confirms it has lost little of its lustre
Record Store Day: Independent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads

Record Store Day celebrates independent music shops

This Saturday sees a host of events around the country to champion the sellers of well-grooved wax
Taunton's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success

Education: Secret of Taunton's success

Taunton School, in Somerset, is one of the country's leading independent schools, says Richard Garner
10 best smartphones

10 best smartphones

With a number of new smartphones on the market, we round up the best around, including some more established models
Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

The former Australia coach on why England must keep to Plan A, about his shock at their collapse Down Under, why he sent players home from India and the agonies of losing his job
Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal