Up until yesterday my weekend had been taken up doing things around the house and those personal admin tasks that I don’t always find the time for in the week. Waking up yesterday morning though, my schedule was clear and that feeling of trepidation started to creep in. A few hours later I can’t deny I was nervous. With kick off approaching however, I jumped on our now regular Zoom call feeling less than confident. My friends on the other hand were feeling far more chipper than me, which is impressive considering one had his ceiling collapse the day before!
A few beers in and we were away. The big news was of course the omission of Aubameyang due to “disciplinary reasons” – it turns out he was late. It was a huge call for Arteta to make and one that could have backfired had the result been different. Aubameyang looked a combination of embarrassed and annoyed watching on from the bench. Hopefully that’s the last we hear of it.
We came absolutely tearing out the blocks and we completely dominated a hapless Spuds team. Matt Doherty had a torrid time dealing with our left sided attack, largely because Rory McIlroy ahead of him was giving him no help. ESR slammed a shot off the crossbar and moments later Lacazette fluffed his lines when presented with a great chance. Then, with their only effort to note, Erik Lamela (who should’ve been sent off well before he was) luckily squeezed the ball through the legs of everyone and into the corner. The only reason a player does a rabona is because they’re shite with their weaker foot, Lamela embodies that. As Sky wanked off over the goal we slapped the post again! But then the breakthrough finally came. Again down the left Tierney rolled the ball to Odegaard who’s shot found the corner via a deflection. Get in!
At half time one of my good friends said that we needed to make sure that their goal was completely irrelevant by winning, especially as we’d never hear the end of it. Who remembers Tony Yeboah anyway?
Sp*rs where slightly better at the start of the second half but having lost Son in the first half and McIlroy to a substitution, their attack was pretty toothless. In 63rd minute we were awarded a penalty. I’m not going to debate whether it was a penalty or not (I thought it was having seen a replay) because I honestly couldn’t fucking care. Lacazette slotted it home and we had a deserved lead.
Erik Lamela, is a nasty player and after one too many fouls he was given his marching orders and I genuinely couldn’t have been happier. Even Maureen on the sideline knew he was in trouble. However, the final 15 minutes with them a man light were actually the worst of the game for us. It seem to spark them into life and we panicked a bit. They put the ball in the net but it was correctly ruled offside and then with minutes to go England’s cumbersome golden boy rattled the base of the post with a free kick and it fell to Sanchez to simply put it in. But in a block that was a good as a goal Gabriel headed clear and I started to breath a tiny bit easier.
Were the last 10 minutes uncomfortable? Yes. Did I think they were going to equalise? It certainly looked like it. Does any of that matter? Not one jot. We were better than them to a man yesterday and thoroughly deserved all 3 points. There’s not much better than a derby victory is there? It’s just a shame the Emirates wasn’t full to see it.
Vaguely on the horizon is the second leg of our European campaign on Thursday but for now dear Gooners enjoy this moment. North London is and always will be red.