Arsenal restore some lost pride: Premier League review
Alex Sharp looks back at another instalment of Premier League football, as Arsenal thrashed Tottenham 5-2 at The Emirates
‘In Wenger we trust’ is the motto amongst most Arsenal fans but at times this season the confidence in the legendary manager has wavered at The Emirates.
However, in a weekend of landmarks, Arsene Wenger’s side managed to claw their way back in an exceptional north London derby to prevent Tottenham from sealing a league double over Arsenal for the first time in 20 years.
The Gunners were under immense pressure heading into the game having capitulated against AC Milan and Sunderland, leaving the trophy cabinet empty for a seventh year.
And despite a diabolical start, Arsenal somehow recovered to demolish Spurs 5-2 led by an inspired Robin van Persie, a brutal Alex Song and an enforcing Thomas Vermaelen.
Harry Redknapp will be furious at Tottenham’s defensive woes, with his side now having conceded five or more goals in two separate Premier League games in the same season for the first time since 1993.
Spurs seemed wrapped up in the occasion and the rare carnival atmosphere at The Emirates as Arsenal showcased the steel and commitment to take this squad forward.
Theo Walcott proved he can finish and the relief poured out of his frustrated body as he netted two sublime goals. Wenger will be hoping that this will be the game Walcott looks back on and goes on to play with the confidence and determination he has lacked this campaign.
The win might not keep the Gunners in a trophy hunt but it certainly has gone some way to restoring some lost pride.
Another landmark this weekend was the remarkable feat achieved by Ryan Giggs in his 900th appearance for Manchester United.
His class, skill and execution is still staggering. The Welshman snatched three points for United with a stoppage-time winner at Carrow Road, bagging his 163rd goal for the club in his illustrious career which started some 7,666 days ago back in 1991.
United are currently relying on the old guard of Paul Scholes and Giggs for penetration and it could catch out the defending champions as they go toe to toe with City for the title.
City are cruising but United are continuing their annual tradition of grabbing late points and momentum in the title crunch time.
Meanwhile, Frank Lampard responded to being dropped in Naples by helping guide Chelsea to a three crucial points against Bolton as he achieved another personal landmark.
Lampard is now the only player to score double figures in nine consecutive Premier League seasons – a stunning record for a midfielder.
Surely Andre Villas-Boas needs to utilise Lampard’s experience in this telling part of the season. He’s been there, he’s done it and is evoking the passion to help Chelsea overtake Arsenal for that final Champions League spot.