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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 12 December, 2018
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Liveblog

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Hello, and welcome to today’s liveblog.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the game. E-mail aaron@the42.ie, tweet @the42_ie, post a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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Kick off is at 12.30pm.

Let’s get started with some team news…

So, today’s teams are:

Tottenham: Lloris, Trippier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele, Alli, Eriksen, Kane, Son.

Subs: Rose, Lamela, Wanyama, Vorm, Sissoko, Aurier, Lucas Moura.

Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Elneny, Xhaka, Ozil, Wilshere, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang.

Subs: Lacazette, Ospina, Iwobi, Chambers, Welbeck, Maitland-Niles, Kolasinac.

So then, how do we see this one going?

There are so many plot-lines lurking beneath the surface as another keenly-awaited London derby nears.

The key selling point in the shop window is the prospect of Harry Kane vs Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but this game also presents a possible six-pointer between Tottenham and Arsenal in the race for a top four finish.

Spurs’ form at Wembley has steadily increased over time, but Arsene Wenger has won every single time on his last nine visits to the national stadium.

Just 15 minutes to go now!

Warm-ups are coming to a close as supporters take their seats at Wembley. Five minutes until kick-off.

Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal - Premier League - Wembley Stadium Source: John Walton

Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal - Premier League - Wembley Stadium

Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal - Premier League - Wembley Stadium

Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal - Premier League - Wembley Stadium Source: Paul Harding

3Mins

A great atmosphere inside Wembley with Tottenham taking the front foot inside these opening few minutes. Spurs are happy to use the length and breath of this massive pitch with high intensity along both wings. An energetic start.

6Mins

A decent move there from Spurs as Son turns Hector Bellerin inside out and back around again.

He feeds the ball to the edge of the box towards Dele Alli, who plays through Kieran Trippier, however the defender’s cross is blocked at the first hurdle and cleared.

9Mins

Chance! Harry Kane very nearly gives Tottenham the lead after another lighting break on the counter.

The ball was fed to the England striker right in front of Petr Cech inside the box and the deftest of touches almost saw the ball dribble slowly into the back of the net.

Luckily for the Arsenal goalkeeper it narrowly missed the target, drifting inches wide of the post. It would have been a scrappy finish had it gone in — but as they say, they all count.

12Mins

Aubameyang almost in for his first Arsenal goal as he is played clean through… but the flag is raised for offside. That’s more promising for the Gunners following a period of sitting back and absorbing pressure.

14Mins

Another chance goes a begging for Tottenham. A corner swung deep into the box is met by Eric Dier, but his header is directed into the ground and it bobbles comfortably wide of the target.

17Mins

Son sees some space open up in front of him and tries an effort on goal. It has the power and drive, but ultimately the strike drags along the turf and is gathered comfortably by Cech.

Tottenham very much enjoying the upper hand both in terms of possession and chances on goal so far. Arsenal are yet to enjoy any proper spell with the ball at their feet inside 15 minutes.

25Mins

Christian Eriken very nearly lobs the ball over Petr Cech… with a header.

It was a quick cross from Tripper and Eriksen succeeded in meeting the ball first time, however it took too much flight and failed to come back down under the crossbar — to the Cech’s visible relief standing ever so slightly off his line.

28Mins

Yet another chance for Spurs and this was definitely the closest thus far.

Eriksen was once again instrumental. The Danish playmaker swung in a deep cross aimed at Harry Kane unmarked in the box but his header from blank range rattled over the top of the bar.

That really should have been 1-0 — and Kane knows it.

35Mins

Oh, goodness. Mkhitaryan and Hector Bellerin with a horrific piece of link-up play there which earned the ironic cheers of many around Wembley.

The former attempted a cross which ballooned terribly towards the touchline opposite him, then his team-mate failed to keep it in play with a bandy leg swung more in hope than precision.

Just… awful.

40Mins

Arsenal fight back at the other end with a driving break. The ball is dipped behind enemy lines by Mkhitaryan cleverly but Nacho Monreal fails to make anything of it — heading the dinked cross over the crossbar.

45Mins

Well, that was… okay? Not great, but not brutal either. Both sides have had chances, but really Tottenham should be at least a goal ahead. Harry Kane was presented with the game’s best chance following some intricate crossing from Christian Eriksen.

Indeed Eriksen and Mkhitaryan have been the two key protagonists in this game so far, but unlike a derby thus far this game is lacking any sort of bite or edge.

There was no major standout moments, leaving all the action for the second half… obviously? Hopefully.

In fact, the best part of that first half was that new Nike ad about athletes in London that came on after the half-time whistle just now. Have you seen it? It’s really, really good.

Source: Nike/YouTube

46Mins

Second-half: We’re back underway…

50Mins

Tottenham take the lead in the London derby and of course it’s that man Harry Kane.

Ben Davies swings in a fabulous cross and Kane leaps highest and mighty to nod it past Petr Cech and into the far corner across goal.

It’s athletic, it’s precise — it’s broken the deadlock!

52Mins

CHANCE! Oh, goodness that should have been 2-0 and Tottenham will know it.

Arsenal’s defence was simply all over the place with a complete breakdown in communication between Koscielny and Mustafi at the back.

Neither of them pick up Kane drifting through but this time the England striker’s header misses the target — he should have gotten his second goal in as many minutes there, but it remains 1-0.

55Mins

Chance again! Harry Kane is bombarding shots reigning down on Petr Cech’s goal.

Wembley is completely rocking as Spurs refuse to let up this pressure.

A cross finds Kane free on the edge of the box. He sizes up the chance and offers a rocket volley which is directed on goal.

To his credit, Cech performs brilliantly and somehow manages to get himself behind the ball and force it clear and here are no two ways about it, that was simply a world class save to keep it at 1-0.

65Mins

Save! Another stunning save from Cech to deny Eriksen.

It was a free-kick from a good distance, Eriksen succeeds in curling it up and over the ball and it looks like nestling right into the top corner.

That, before Cech dives brilliantly and manages a strong hand to tip it away and out for a corner. Excellent stop again from the goalkeeper, who is just about keeping his side in this game.

65Mins

Double substitution for Arsenal: Alexandre Lacazette replaces Henrikh Mkhitaryan & Alex Iwobi replaces Mohamed Elneny.

72Mins

Two chances in succession for Tottenham to double their lead, the first sees Dele Alli fail to capitalize on a break and another counter follows shortly after, with Erik Lamela spoiling his effort after cutting inside along the right.

75Mins

Another effort goes begging for Tottenham and how they are not more than 1-0 up is beyond just about everyone inside Wembley.

This time it’s Kieran Trippier with a powerful effort which Petr Cech once again does magnificently to keep away with a strong diving save at his near post.

79Mins

Erik Lamela receives a yellow card for a sloppy sliding challenge on Jack Wilshere. A proper derby challenge, that.

80Mins

81Mins

Arsene Wenger’s side are letting go of this game just yet. They will be aware more than anyone that one single goal changes the entire complexion of this game.

They should be 3-0 or 4-0 down, but have kept their head above water.

A huge ten minutes ahead as they continue to break forward on the break using the speed of Aubameyang peeling away from his marker off the shoulder.

85Mins

Substitution for Tottenham: Victor Wanyama replaces Dele Alli.

87Mins

Substitution for Arsenal: Danny Welbeck replaces Granit Xhaka.

87Mins

Welbeck almost makes an immediate impact. Jack Wilshere drops an inviting cross right into the penalty area, however the forward just can’t get enough of a touch to take it past Hugo Lloris.

90Mins

Harry Kane, the match-winner as it stands, is named Man of the Match. The player deemed not good enough for Arsenal in his youth could be handing the Gunners a derby day defeat.

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90Mins

So very nearly a second for Tottenham as Erik Lamela breaks down the left-hand channel. He takes the ball into the box and sweeps a powerful left-footed half-volley right across goal when it was aimed for the bottom corner.

90Mins

There will be four minutes of additional time to come at the end of the second half.

90Mins

CHANCE! Arsenal almost grab a point at the death… Alexandre Lacazette is played through on goal but drags his effort wide of the target.

Arsene Wenger holds his head in his hands… is that all she wrote?

90Mins

There’s a last chance for Arsenal as they earn a free-kick on the edge of the box. The chance falls to Mesut Ozil, but his set-piece crashes off the wall as the referee sounds his whistle… it’s all over at Wembley.

About the author:

Aaron Gallagher

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