No one happy with a tie

Arsenals Olivier Giroud, left, fouls Tottenhams Jan Vertonghen as they compete for a high ball during the English Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium in London, Sunday Nov. 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

NBCSN’s Kyle Martino, he of the big hair and even bigger neck ties, was wrong on Sunday when he thought both Arsenal and Tottenham would be happy with their 1-1 draw.

Both teams should be disappointed with the shared point in the North London derby.

Tottenham, despite playing Monday and Thursday of the week prior, came out with more energy and more fire, taking the lead in the first half through Harry Kane. The Spurs had the Gunners on the ropes for much of the game, but only once really came close to adding to their lead.

Arsenal, depleted by injuries and thus void of almost all pace, struggled to open up the Tottenham rearguard as Arsene Wenger’s teams typically do when players like Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are available. Instead Wenger had to bring on three defensive-minded players despite chasing a goal.

Nonetheless, the Gunners could’ve scored three or four had striker Olivier Giroud’s “meaty French forehead,” as NBCSN’s Arlo White has called it, been more on target. Giroud hit the post and came within a foot of scoring on a couple other occasions.

In the end, it was left back Kieran Gibbs, brought on for winger Joel Campbell, that leveled the score late for Arsenal, and though both sides fought to the end for a winner, none was found.

Playing on the road, Tottenham outplayed Arsenal and despite keeping its unbeaten run against its biggest rival, couldn’t secure a win that would have confirmed Top-4 aspirations.

The Gunners, looking for a strong response after the 5-1 debacle at Bayern Munich on Wednesday, weren’t always firing on all cylinders with three regular starters out, but had the best chances of the game.

Both Mauricio Pochettino and Wenger wanted the win. But, the draw was fair.


Going rapid fire here:

Leicester City and Jamie Vardy just keep winning and they’re awfully fun to watch. Just a point behind first-place Manchester City and Arsenal, the Foxes are flying high thanks to Vardy’s league-leading 12 goals. …

How much longer for Jose Mourinho? Another loss, this time to Stoke, has Chelsea mired in 16th place with an astonishing seven losses. Chelsea went through last season with just three. …

Jurgen Klopp went after Liverpool fans for leaving early during the 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace. While as an Aggie I agree with him that fans should stay for the entire game, I don’t think it’s wise to blame fans for losing, especially as a new coach in a new country. …

World Cup 2018 qualifying begins on Friday for the UnitedStates with a match against St. Vincent and the Grenadines. While it should be an easy win, it will be interesting to see how Jurgen Klinsmann lines up his team for the official start of a new World Cup cycle.


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