Gunners shoot down Tottenham Hotspur
Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud gave Tottenham a worrying glimpse of life without Gareth Bale as his first half strike clinched a 1-0 win in the north London derby yesterday.
Giroud netted his fourth goal of the season midway through the opening period at the Emirates Stadium to maintain Arsenal’s revival since their dismal opening day defeat at home to Aston Villa.
That loss had triggered a barrage of abuse from fans frustrated by the club’s eight-year trophy drought and boss Arsene Wenger’s failure to make any marquee signings since the end of lastseason.
But four successive victories, including two over Fenerbahce in the Champions League qualifying round, have at least temporarily silenced Wenger’s critics.
Even the more vociferous of the anti-Wenger faction could have few complaints as Arsenal took the north London bragging rights with a dominant display that left their bitter rivals nursing concerns that Bale’s imminent departure may be a fatal blow to their hopes of a top-four finish.
With Bale’s world record move to Real Madrid set to be concluded before today evening’s transfer deadline, Spurs have embarked on a frenzied spending spree.
Villas-Boas has splashed out over £100 million on seven players and four of those new arrivals, Roberto Soldado, Paulinho, Etienne Capoue and Nacer Chadli, were in the starting line-up at the Emirates.
But, with little time to gel, Tottenham lacked cohesion and unity in their first serious test of the post-Bale era.