Premier League: Tomas Rosicky secures 1-0 win for Arsenal away to Tottenham
Last Updated: 17/03/14 8:39am
Tomas Rosicky's rocket after 72 seconds fired Arsenal back into the thick of the Premier League title race after a 1-0 victory away to Tottenham.
Some of the White Hart Lane faithful were still taking their seats when Arsenal took the lead, with Rosicky leaving Hugo Lloris grasping at thin air with a venomous right-foot strike from the corner of the area which flew across the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
Best of the match
- Man of the match: Laurent Koscielny. A rock at the heart of the Arsenal defence who repelled Tottenham's attacks and marshalled those around him.
- Moment of the match: Tomas Rosicky's stunning goal came with just 72 seconds on the clock and proved to be the pivotal moment of the contest.
- Miss of the match: Nacer Chadli could not take advantage when Wojciech Szczesny spilled a routine cross with Koscielny producing a superb last-ditch block.
- Save of the match: Hugo Lloris kept his side in it late in the second half, plunging low to his right to keep out a close-range effort from Per Mertesacker.
- Talking points: Can Tottenham still challenge for a place in the top four? Can Arsenal end their trophy drought with the Premier League title?
Rosicky had picked up possession in his own half before advancing into the space vacated by Danny Rose's forward foray before playing a slightly fortuitous one-two with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and then finding the top corner.
The Gunners were forced onto the back foot for long periods of the north London derby, but the closest Spurs came to levelling was in the second period when Wojciech Szczesny inexplicably failed to gather a routine cross from the right and had Laurent Koscielny to thank for denying Nacer Chadli a certain leveller.
Arsenal are now third, only behind Liverpool on goal difference and just four points adrift of Chelsea and with a game in hand on the leaders, while they now boast a nine-point cushion over their derby rivals in fifth.
Arsenal were ahead inside two minutes of Arsene Wenger's 999th match in charge with a goal of the highest order.
Sherwood's side - whose collective character had been questioned by the manager - soon regrouped and caused Arsenal a few problems with probing balls into the penalty area.
Arsenal, though, retained possession well and it should have been 2-0 on 15 minutes when Oxlade-Chamberlain robbed Nabil Bentaleb on the halfway line and sprinted clear.
The England man darted to the edge of the penalty area, but as Lloris came off his line the Arsenal man screwed his attempted chip horribly wide - with Lukas Podolski screaming for a square pass for what would have been a tap-in.
That let-off gave a huge lift to the home side, who immediately went on the offensive with a low cross from Andros Townsend on the right flying through the six-yard box.
Arsene Wenger says his players' workrate and spirit got them three points at White Hart Lane.
On 21 minutes, Arsenal full-back Bacary Sagna slid into a challenge with Danny Rose which - although he probably touched the ball first - totally upended the Spurs defender. Sherwood was off the bench demanding a red card but, after a stern talking-to, referee Mike Dean produced only a yellow.
Spurs continued to play a very high defensive line, which was breached again when Podolski raced clear down the left. His cut-back was just behind Rosicky but Oxlade-Chamberlain connected with a strike that was deflected out for a corner.
The home side should have been level at the start of the second half following two terrible handling errors from Szczesny.
Tim Sherwood says Tottenham were the better side in the north London derby and only lacked goals.
First the Pole flapped at a cross on the edge of the Arsenal penalty area, which Sagna hacked away as Chadli chased the loose ball. Then, inexplicably, Szczesny failed to collect a high cross into the box, which this time did fall for Chadli, but somehow Koscielny blocked his goalbound shot at point-blank range.
With 20 minutes left, there was a double change for the home side when Paulinho and Gylfi Sigurdsson replaced Chadli and Sandro.
For Arsenal, Rosicky was taken off as defensive midfielder Mathieu Flamini came on.
Tomas Rosicky admitted his winning goal against Spurs was one of the best he has ever scored.
Wenger was off his seat protesting for what he felt was a penalty after Koscielny was sent tumbling by Jan Vertonghen, but the referee was not interested.
Lloris then made a smart reaction save after Per Mertesacker lashed the ball goalwards from a deep free-kick.
Tempers boiled over in the closing minutes as Sherwood twice hurled the ball at Sagna when Arsenal had been awarded a throw-in.
Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta was less than impressed and eventually it needed Wenger to move in and act as peacemaker in a crowded technical area as his side played out the four minutes of stoppage time without further incident.
LIVE and exclusive on Sky Sports
Barclays Premier League
|11||West Ham United||34||37|
|16||West Bromwich Albion||33||33|
Tottenham v Arsenal
Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen admits that his club have not improved from last season.
Midfielder Tomas Rosicky says Arsenal are ignoring all their doubters as they fight to win the Premier League title.
Arsenal are showing resilience at just the right time of the season, writes Daniel Storey.