Football News

Tottenham 2-3 Arsenal: Player ratings as Gunners survive NLD scare to keep title dreams alive

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 16:00, 28 April 2024

Arsenal visited neighbours Tottenham with more than just bragging rights on the line. 

Mikel Arteta’s men headed into this weekend leading the Premier League, a point in front of defending champions Manchester City, albeit having played one more game with four matches remaining this season.

Spurs, meanwhile, are still in the race to reach next season’s Champions League tournament, but recent performances have not been encouraging. In such an emotional fixture, though, recent form goes straight out the window.

But not on this occasion. It went as how many observers predicted, the Gunners running out 3-2 winners, but the manner of victory was striking.

An unlucky Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, Bukayo Saka and Kai Havertz put Arsenal into a commanding 3-0 half-time lead before Cristian Romero, through fortunate circumstances, pulled one back for Spurs giving the hosts some hope, which intensified after Son Heung-Min netted an 87th-minute penalty, but no such dramatic comeback was completed.

As the dust begins to settle, here is how the players rated in the 195th north London derby:


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Tottenham

Guglielmo Vicario – 5.5 – He will be frustrated to have conceded twice from corners.

Ben Davies – 4 – Given the unenviable task of keeping tabs on Saka, if not slowing him down, which he didn’t exactly succeed in doing.

Micky van de Ven – 6 – The speedster thought he equalised but saw his 22nd-minute effort ruled off for offside.

Cristian Romero – 7 – Came twice agonisingly close to levelling proceedings, including hitting the woodwork. His tenacity was rewarded when Raya gifted him a goal.

Pedro Porro – 5 – Normally a consistent and constant presence down Tottenham’s right flank, but the league leaders grounded the flying Portuguese full-back.

Rodrigo Bentancur – 4 – Nominally a nuisance in Tottenham’s midfield, the energetic Uruguayan had an off day today and was replaced at half-time. 

Pierre-Emile Højbjerg – 3.5 – Inadvertently nodded the ball into his net to put Arsenal in front.

Timo Werner – 4.5 – Often found himself driving into Arsenal’s final third, but that lack of cutting edge let him down. He would go off with a suspected injury on the half-hour mark.

James Maddison – 5 – His build-up play was cute and neat, but Tottenham expected more from the playmaking maestro.

Dejan Kulusevski – 6 – Never stopped demanding the ball and running, but the Swede often found himself slamming into a brick wall.

Son Heung-Min – 6 – A man for the big occasions, and his record in this particular fixture is good, but Tottenham’s skipper and talisman effectively played on the periphery for much of it before converting a late penalty. 

Substitutes:

Brennan Johnson (for Werner 31) – 5.5 – Given his recent showings, he may feel unlucky not to start; the Welshman picked up Werner’s brief, though he could not stamp his authority on this game.

Pape Sarr (for Bentancur 45) – 5 – Brought some much-needed bite in Tottenham’s midfield.

Yves Bissouma (for Højbjerg 64) – 5 – Another calming presence in Spurs middle third but seldom had any significant influence.

Richarlison (for Maddison 64) – 5.5 – No one seemed to be more involved for Tottenham as soon as he entered the field of play.

Giovani Lo Celso (for Davies X) – N/A – A late sub.


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Arsenal

David Raya – 5.5 – It looked to be another commanding performance, but an error in judgement ensured he wouldn’t pick up the golden glove after today’s game.

Takehiro Tomiyasu – 5 – Again, he played on the flank he wasn’t accustomed to, but that did not deter the Japanese international, who proved to be a consistent outlet while dealing with the Porro-Kulusevski threat.

Gabriel – 6 – When called upon, the Brazilian didn’t often put a foot wrong, making a crucial interception and keeping himself onside to deny a Van de Ven equaliser.

William Saliba – 6.5 – How the Gunners missed his presence at the backend of last season. It’s been said verbatim that if he stays healthy, Arsenal could become champions.

Ben White – 5.5 – Showed real endeavour going forward and put a commendable shift backing up the dynamic Saka.

Declan Rice – 6 – Tasked with retaining and recycling possession in Arsenal’s midfield, he registered his seventh assist in the campaign.

Thomas Partey – 5.5 – Made his sixth Premier League start of an injury-hit campaign and only his third since August; there were no frills to his game this afternoon, but when able to, he produced some intelligent forward runs.

Martin Ødegaard – 6.5 – It goes without saying that when he’s on song, Arsenal plays their best football. Ødegaard was at his fleet-footed best, and everything Arteta’s side did positively regularly came through him.

Leandro Trossard – 5.5 – There were glimpses of Trossard’s brilliant forward play, but on this occasion, the Belgian wasn’t at the forefront of Arsenal’s good attacking work.

Kai Havertz – 8 – A well-executed long-range pass freed Saka to extend the visitor’s advantage before the rejuvenated German international headed in Arsenal’s third.

Bukayo Saka – 8 – Produced a brilliant effort to double the Gunners’ lead, subsequently becoming the first English player to score home and away for Arsenal against Spurs in a league campaign since Ian Wright in 1993-94.

Substitutes:

Gabriel Martinelli (for Trossard 63) – 5 – Hardly saw the ball in Tottenham’s attacking third after coming on.

Jakub Kiwior (for Ødegaard 89) – N/A – A late sub.

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