Having cemented a slender advantage going into the half-time interval, it seemed as though Arsenal would learn from their lessons of old and finally secure a much-needed victory.
Instead, Francis Coquelin was given his marching orders following two needless, foolish bookings. This allowing Spurs a chance to get themselves back in the game
A quick-fire double courtesy of Toby Alderweireld and Harry Kane propelled Spurs ahead within minutes of Coquelin’s dismissal.
A spirited fightback was rewarded when Alexis Sánchez scored his first league goal since October. But it’s two points dropped as opposed to one gained in the title race.
David Ospina – 8
Ahead of kick-off, you could be excused for some nerves considering how little the Colombian has played, and how the absence of Čech would affect the side. Ospina was excellent and made a string of fine saves throughout, especially denying Lamela from point-blank range and Alli late on. Could do nothing about either of Spurs’ two goals.
Hector Bellerín – 8
A fierce battle for the young Spaniard. He came through unscathed and will benefit from the experience.
Defensively, he was constantly under pressure by both Rose and Eriksen. He made two cynical fouls but was allowed the freedom to roam forward, and utilised that to good effect. Getting forward with his blistering speed, created two assists and managed to track back when required .
Per Mertesacker – 6
Looked quite nervy and hesitant at times, especially during the early exchanges as Spurs piled on the pressure.
It was important to have someone with pace such as Gabriel alongside him, because he grew in confidence as the game continued. Managed to win a few tackles and aerial challenges, but nothing spectacular.
Gabriel – 7
Apart from almost scoring an astonishing own goal in the last few minutes, Gabriel grew into the contest with steel and a dogged determination to recover after a frustrating display against Swansea in midweek.
He made plenty of important tackles, blocks and was instrumental in helping to isolate Kane’s influence on the game up until his fantastic strike. Growing in confidence with every passing game, although still looks shaky occasionally he’ll continue to develop – which can only be a good thing.
Kieran Gibbs – 7.5
In a rare start due to Monreal’s minor injury, the fullback gave a good account of himself.
He was defensive solid and did everything asked of him, nullifying the impact of both Walker and Lamela down the right-hand side as Spurs were forced to play through the middle with Dembele.
I feel as though he’s been unlucky with the limited chances he’s had over recent months, and based on today’s performance, there’s no reason why he cannot feature on more of a regular basis.
Francis Coquelin – 4
He was initially important in helping to make a few challenges, but was overzealous in the tackle and needed to be careful after being booked for a deliberate handball. He ultimately wasn’t, and made a needless sliding lunge on Kane – which cost us two points in a game we were leading at that point.
Mohamed Elneny – 7
Today was his first Premier League start, marked with little fanfare, but the energetic Egyptian did his job very well and added balance in midfield. Made a number of interceptions and clearances, was tidy in possession and overall effective as his physical presence was a good match for that of Dembele’s.
Replaced after 75 minutes in an attacking change, otherwise would’ve completed the full game in what was very encouraging display.
Aaron Ramsey – 7
Was shifted out onto the wing, as we needed a reliable outlet that could provide both attacking intent as well as defensive stability out of possession. Grew into the game as the first-half continued and took his goal with aplomb in a tight situation.
Had more touches than any player on the pitch (80) and was looking to make things happen, tracked back when required. Hard to see why he’s been playing as part of a defensive-midfield duo when he offers more creativity in the final third and leaves space to be exploited frequently – a decent overall display.
Mesut Özil – 6.5
The silky German was fairly quiet in the first-half, as Spurs enjoyed large periods of promising possession in midfield and we struggled to retain possession enough to get the ball toward Mesut when attempting to counter.
Just like many of our players though, he was more involved as the game continued. Once we’d weathered the early storm of pressure, there were some great individual moments of skill and accurate, inviting passes to help create opportunities as Spurs struggled to contain his threat effectively.
Alexis Sánchez – 7.5
Following his encouraging – but equally frustrating – display in midweek, where he hit the post, bar and could’ve scored a hat-trick against Swansea, Alexis put in a much-needed shift and grabbed a goal for his efforts too. His relentless work ethic was again on-show, and perhaps even more pleasing was the passion he showed after going down 2-1 in the second-half.
His booking a harsh one after a kerfuffle with Lamela near the touchline, but he channelled his frustration in the right way and netted a well-taken equaliser when we needed it the most.
Danny Welbeck – 7.5
Since his long-awaited return from injury, Danny has virtually been a new signing for us. Again, his tireless efforts both off and on-the-ball were effective in reducing the time and space that Spurs’ defenders were able to build from the back – knowing that any mistake would’ve been punished.
Was a constant threat, managed to create chances out of seemingly nothing and held the ball up well too.
Olivier Giroud – 6
Not on long enough to justify a higher rating, but was involved attack-wise in search of the equaliser after replacing Elneny.