Google+ PLANET FOOT 7: Olivier Giroud leads the Gunners to win the derby of London over the Spurs.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Olivier Giroud leads the Gunners to win the derby of London over the Spurs.

Arsenal lifted themselves up into the summit four of the Premier League as they edged bitter rivals Tottenham 1-0 at the Emirates in the first north London derby of the 2013/14 season.

Olivier Giroud's goal after 23 minutes proved the difference between the sides, with the Gunners now on a run of four successive wins after having opened the campaign with a shock 3-1 defeat against Aston Villa. 

Spurs, meanwhile, appear to still be struggling to gel, with Andre Villas-Boas having spent well over 100million on new players, but still having to see his side score from open play in the English summit-flight, having won both their opening matches thanks to Roberto Soldado penalties.

Arsene Wenger's men threatened right from the off and twice came within inches of taking the lead within six minutes, but Santi Cazorla's curling free-kick was just pushed behind by Hugo Lloris before another set-play from the Spaniard saw the ball fizz just inches broad of the upright.

Spurs came more into the game as the half went on, and Soldado got himself into a good position to score after getting upon the end of a loose ball inside the place, but Kieran Gibbs was quick to close down the shot to prevent any real danger.

With 23 minutes gone it was the Gunners who drew first blood, Thomas Rosicky playing Theo Walcott in behind the defence for the striker to roll a pass across the place, which Giroud met at the close-post to flick house with the outside of his left boot.

Aaron Ramsey then had a good chance to make it 2-0 after a slick move ended with the ball being teed up for the Welshman, but he got his shot all wrong and skied his effort miles over the crossbar.

Spurs began the second half brightly and won two early corners, but they were unable to make the most of them as the home defence did well to smother any potential threat.

With 60 minutes gone Spurs won themselves a free-kick in a promising position out broad, but Paulinho's delivery let the visitors down as Per Mertesacker was able to easily head certain.

A few minutes later Wenger's side looked destined to make it two as they broke upon the counter-attack four-upon-four, with Walcott eventually slipping a pass through to Giroud, but the Frenchman's first touch let him down, lifting ball into the air and forcing him to skew a shot broad of the mark.

Andre Villas-Boas' side were dealt a huge blow midway through the second period as Rosicky landed upon Etienne Capoue's ankle in very awkward fashion, leaving the new 10million acquisition writhing in agony and needing to be stretchered off.

The visitors came desperately close to leveling matters after the game was restarted, but Wojciech Szczesny pulled off a smart save to just tip Jermain Defoe's goal-bound effort away, while the follow up was slammed into a crowd of Arsenal bodies.

Up at the other end, Arsenal probably should have put the game to bed as Walcott's shot from inside the place was only parried into the path of Nacho Monreal, but the substitute's touch was an awkward one and he couldn't steer the ball into the gaping net after Lloris has slipped upon his recovery.

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