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

News
FIFA President Sepp Blatter reacts during a news conference in Zurich June 1, 2011
news
News
people
Life and Style
food + drink
News
peopleKatie Hopkins criticises River Island's 'seize the day' bags for trying to normalise epilepsy
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Nicole Kidman plays Grace Kelly in the film, which was criticised by Monaco’s royal family
film'I survived it, but I’ll never be the same,' says Arash Amel
Life and Style
Retailers should make good any consumer goods problems that occur within two years
tech(and what to do if you receive it)
Life and Style
healthIf one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
Life and Style
tech
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada