Opinion: Five things we learned from Tottenham’s NLD defeat to Arsenal

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Tottenham Hotspur’s top-four hopes took a major knock this evening as they lost 2-1 to their fierce rivals, Arsenal, in the North London Derby.

Let’s take a look at five things we learned:

Approach to the game – Spurs have come on leaps and bounds in recent weeks when coming out on the front foot and taking the game to the opposition. Tottenham definitely have a better attack than defence, which they have been using to great effect of late.

Unfortunately, the game plan today seemed to be sit back and hope to break away. Once Son went off injured, that was never going to work. Even with him, it looked to be the wrong play. Spurs should have taken it to Arsenal from the off.

Matt Doherty’s audition – Jose Mourinho put faith in Matt Doherty after his recent improved performances but the Irishman failed in his big-game audition. Arsenal targeted him from the start and the likes of Tierney ran past him for fun, which is eventually where they scored from. Arguments that Serge Aurier perhaps should have started after his good performance in midweek.

Heung-min Son’s injury – A huge dent, not just in this game, but for the rest of the season. Unfortunately, I think it’s a case of a winger who sprints a lot starting every single Premier League game all season. A muscle injury seemed inevitable. Let’s hope it won’t be too long but the initial signs didn’t look good.

Erik Lamela’s rabona – They say that lightning doesn’t strike twice, but Erik Lamela scored his second worldie rabona goal for Spurs today. His last came in the Europa League against lesser opposition but this time he pulled out the style in the North London Derby, even nutmegging Partey on the way in. Class.

Erik Lamela’s red card – Unfortunately, Lamela’s evening ended in tears as the Argentine lost his temper and saw red for palming off Kieran Tierney in the face for a second yellow. If ever there was a performance that summed him up, it was today. All the skill in the world, but a temperament that can often let him down.

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