Our Arsenal week 18 match review covers the Gunners’ game against Tottenham in the second North London Derby of the season. Arsenal visited Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to play this match and came away with a 2-0 win, winning there for the first time in nine years. That win, coupled with Manchester City’s loss to Manchester United, puts the Gunners eight points clear at the top of the Premier League table. Let’s get into the match review for this critical North London Derby.
Arsenal Week 18 Match Review: The Positives
There were plenty of positives from this match for Arsenal. The Gunners dominated the first half of the game. Arsenal dominated possession and created plenty of good chances. The Gunners scored from two of these chances, giving them a 2-0 lead at halftime. A Hugo Lloris own goal gave Arsenal the 1-0 lead and Odegaard doubled the Gunners’ advantage with a great strike from outside the box in the 36th minute.
Arsenal’s midfield played well. Partey provided the back four with plenty of protection while helping Arsenal transition from defense to attack. He did give the ball away a few times early on in the match, but he had a solid performance overall.
Xhaka also played well. He got forward in some good positions and his passing was good. He certainly impacted the game positively. However, Odegaard was the standout player in the midfield for the Gunners.
Odegaard had a terrific game. He scored a great goal to put Arsenal up 2-0 in the first half and his creativity led to a number of chances for the Gunners. Odegaard is now up to eight goals and five assists already this season. The Norwegian midfielder is enjoying his best season as an Arsenal player so far.
Ramsdale also played quite well. His distribution was good and he made a total of seven saves to ensure Arsenal not only won the game, but kept a clean sheet. Ramsdale was certainly quite busy in this match, but he proved his quality yet again with an excellent performance.
Nketiah played well, although he didn’t manage to score. He held up the ball well and made good runs in the box. Nketiah was unlucky not to score in his match. Still, his goal-scoring record in games he starts is very good, so he should be back on the scoresheet before too long.
Arsenal Week 18 Match Review: The Negatives
This was a game of two halves. Arsenal dominated the first half and could have been up more than 2-0 at halftime. However, Tottenham responded in the second half and had a better second half than Arsenal overall. The Gunners still managed to win and keep a clean sheet, but I would have liked to see them control the game better in the second half.
Arsenal also failed to capitalize on a few key chances in the first half. Thankfully, these missed chances did not come back to haunt the Gunners. Still, Arsenal could have been a bit more clinical in the final third in this game.
Manager Rating: 8
Arsenal dominated the first half and made that dominance count with two goals in the first half. They could have scored even more goals in the first half. However, Arteta did not have the Gunners control the game in the second half as well as I would have liked. His substitutions were just fine, though, and overall, Arsenal played fairly well in a tough fixture in which they have struggled mightily in recent years.
Arsenal Play Manchester United Next
The Gunners face another tough test as they return home to play Manchester United in the Premier League next. Manchester United has been in good form and is coming off a 2-1 win against Manchester City. As a result, I expect a difficult match for the Gunners. However, given Arsenal’s home form this season, I would bet on another home win for the Gunners. This match could prove to be critical in Arsenal’s Premier League title challenge.
Check back in next week for more Arsenal content.