Emmanuel Adebayor’s moment of madness finished the game as a contest after only 20 minutes, and Arsenal were ruthless in exposing the ten men of Spurs. Villas-Boas went for broke at half-time with his formation changes, and ended up with a big loss in his first North London derby. Despite only having ten men, many Spurs players were poor, and few came out with a little credit.
Here’s a full run down...
Hugo Lloris: 6
Some impressive saves in the first half kept it at 3-1 at the end of the first period, and could do nothing about any of Arsenal's five goals. Called in for only his second Premier League start, Lloris did fine, but will have to write this one off in his mind.
Kyle Walker: 5
Walker was not hugely involved in the first half, with most of the play going down Arsenal’s right, and was taken off at half time as Spurs switched to three at the back.
Jan Vertonghen: 6
The Belgian was the most impressive of Spurs’ defenders throughout the match. Restored as centre back he often had to head left anyway, firstly to help out Naughton, and then as part of the three man defence.
William Gallas: 3
The Frenchman turned in a poor display against his old club, and with his form looking increasingly erratic, his place could be under threat from Steven Caulker when he returns.
Kyle Naughton: 3
Naughton was substituted at half time to allow Spurs to go a three at the back system, but could easily have come off for his performance in the first half. Walcott was good, but Naughton made him look world class, allowing him to put in the cross for the equaliser.
Gareth Bale: 6
Took his goal well and remained threatening even as Spurs capsized. Created openings with his direct running as always, but should have done better to get a shot on target or find Defoe when through shortly after he scored.
Aaron Lennon: 4
The winger was anonymous for most of the match, and should have been more effective down the right against the uncomfortable Vermaelen.
Enjoyed a tremendous amount of leniency from Harold Webb as he snapped around the midfield, and looked a little tired after international duty by the end of the match. But the midfielder won the header to set up Bale’s goal, and you imagine it could have been a hell of lot worse for Spurs without him.
Tom Huddlestone: 4
Ten men is no excuse for a string of poor deliveries from corners and free kicks. Huddlestone looked more at sea than anyone when Spurs lost Adebayor, and he allowed Mertesacker to rise unchallenged for the equaliser.
Jermain Defoe: 6
Defoe’s movement was excellent for the opening goal, and when Dempsey was put alongside him in the second half he looked good even as Spurs struggled.
Emmanuel Adebayor: 2
If the game had ended after 15 minutes Adebayor would have been a shout for man of the match, having given Spurs the lead. As it was, his red card ruined the contest and sunk his team, and he will have to break back into the side all over again after a deserved three game suspension.
Clint Dempsey 4
Started brightly and looked more like the player Spurs though they had signed from Fulham, but broke up a couple of promising breaks with poor touches, and looked bereft of ideas with the ball at his feet in the final third.
Michael Dawson 5
Beaten in the air for Arsenal’s fourth, but the game was decided before Dawson took to the pitch.
Tom Carroll 5
Carroll looked assured on the ball in his limited time on the pitch, and should be given a chance ahead of Huddlestone in the first team soon.
image: © wonker