The young right back struck with 17 minutes remaining to hand Spurs a well earned victory after Aaron Ramsey had cancelled out Rafael van der Vaarts opener. It was the seventh game without defeat in league and dup for Harry Redknapp’s side and the boss will be relieved his players emerged with all three points this afternoon. The 167th meeting between the two North London clubs was played at a frantic pace and the Gunners will feel they deserved at least a point after working hard to draw level. After three wins on the trot in all competitions Arsene Wenger’s side looked like they had finally shaken off their dreadful early season form only but were unable to cope with the hosts as they controlled the opening exchanges. It took the visitors a good 15 minutes to find their rhythm and they should have taken the lead through Gervinho on the half hour mark. Captain Robert Van Persie did brilliantly to beat Younes Kaboul down the left only to see his teammate shoot tamely wide of Brad Friedel’s goal.
It proved to be costly as Van Der Vaart struck five minutes before half time to give the hosts the lead. Former Gunner Emmanuel Adebayor played a key role chipping a delicate pass into the Dutchman who brought the ball under control before firing past Wojciech Szczesny. The Polish keeper had to be at his best to deny Adebayor for getting on the scoresheet after the restart brilliantly turning the Togolese international’s placed strike behind after he broke the offside trap and found himself one on one. That save allowed Arsenal to get themselves back into the game and Ramsey did just that turning in Alex Songs low cross from close range after a bulldozing run down the left. Redknapp identified the need for a combative presence alongside Scott Parker and duly brought Sandro on in place of Van Der Vaart allowing Spurs to establish a foothold on the game. Attention then turned to Bacary Sagna on 70 minutes after the French fullback was stretchered off with a serious looking ankle injury after Benoit Assou Ekotto’s challenge caused him to land awkwardly on the turf.
That seemed to unsettle the Gunners and they were made to pay for their drop in concentration as Walker lashed home the winner. Szczesny will feel he could have done better as the ball dipped and swerved all over the place making it difficult to judge. He did redeem himself with seven minutes remaining palming Defoe’s fierce strike away from goal as Arsenal chased their second equaliser of the game. But it was Tottenham who looked the more likely to score and Luka Modric almost did just that in the final minutes only to see his shot find the side netting. It didn’t matter though as Spurs held on to secure a third straight win in this fixture and leave Wenger back at square one.
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