Spurs beat Arsenal to go third in EPL

Updated 04 March 2013
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Spurs beat Arsenal to go third in EPL

LONDON: Tottenham Hotspur beat Arsenal 2-1 in a typically frantic North London derby at White Hart Lane on Sunday to move into third place in the Premier League and open up a seven-point gap on their arch rivals in the hunt for a Champions League spot.
Both Spurs goals came in a two-minute burst shortly before halftime with man-of-the-moment Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon scoring before Arsenal hit back with a header from Per Mertesacker six minutes into the second half.
Bale and Lennon scored after finding huge gaps in the center of Arsenal’s defense and both teams had plenty of chances to score in an all-action second half.
But Spurs, who stretched their unbeaten league run to 12 matches, held on to move above Chelsea with 54 points from 28 games.
Arsenal stayed fifth on 47 points after failing to win at White Hart Lane for the fifth successive season.
Suarez tricks
for Liverpool
Luis Suarez netted a hat trick Saturday night as a rampant Liverpool beat Wigan 4-0, putting the Uruguay forward atop the Premier League scoring list.
After Stewart Downing put the visitors ahead in just the second minute, Suarez effectively decided the game by making it 3-0 by the 34th — his second goal coming with a stroke of luck as he slipped when taking a free kick but the ball deflected off the defensive wall and into the net.
He then completed his hat trick shortly after the break for his 21st league goal of the season, putting him ahead of Manchester United’s Robin van Persie on 19.
He joins Robbie Fowler and Fernando Torres as the only Liverpool players to score at least 20 goals in a Premier League campaign. Suarez has now scored 15 goals in as many matches in all competitions, making him one of the top contenders to be crowned player of the year, along with Van Persie and Tottenham’s Gareth Bale.
“He’s such a pleasure to work with,” Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said. “He has quality, finishing, work-rate and that’s what makes him world class.” The win kept Liverpool in seventh place, while Wigan is only out of the relegation zone on goal difference.
Downing set the tone for Liverpool as he lost his marker in the penalty area to head home a cross from the impressive Philippe Coutinho, making only his third appearance since joining from Inter Milan.


Why even the #WengerOut brigade should lament Arsene Wenger's exit from Arsenal

Updated 20 April 2018
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Why even the #WengerOut brigade should lament Arsene Wenger's exit from Arsenal

  • The Frenchman revolutionised the game in England across all leagues, not just the Premier League.
  • After initial success he found the going tough in the second half of his reign, but will still go down as an all-time great.

Over the past few seasons it has been fashionable to view Arsene Wenger as some sort of figure of fun — a man living in the past, left behind by the modern game, but too stubborn to realize it.
In time, though, even the most ardent, frothing-at-the-mouth #Wenger Out believer would have to agree that the Frenchman will go down not just as one of the best managers Arsenal have had, but also among the greatest in English club football.
As with any caricature, there is a hint of truth in the picture created, crude as it sometimes is. Yes, Wenger’s past few years at the Emirates have been painful to watch. Yes, he was stubborn when it came to both activity in the transfer market and belief in his methods and tactics. Yes, it is fair to say he leaves the club, on the pitch at least, in a bit of a mess. And, yes, he should have left two or three years ago.
But if there is one thing that any sane fan should remember about Wenger’s 22 years as Arsenal boss, it is this: He was a game-changer, a manager who oversaw not only a revolution of the Gunners, but also of the English game.
As soon as Wenger landed in England in 1996, he banished Arsenal’s Tuesday drinking club and munching of Mars bars — in their place came stretching sessions and broccoli. Hardly profound or radical in today’s game, but this was the era when change in English football invariably meant no pies and pints on a Friday night.
The technical, passing, possession football that is now the norm for any side with ambitions to remain in the Premier League, let alone win it, and the idea that eating vegetables rather than a tub of lard would help player performance, were brought in by Wenger alone.
He won the double in his first full season in charge, signed unheralded foreign talent such as Emmanuel Petit and Patrick Viera — who went on to become world-class players — and created teams that were a joy to watch, culminating with “The Invincibles” of 2003-04, who won the Premier League without losing a match.
The irony is that the one-time revolutionary ended up being viewed as a throwback, a stuck-in-the-mud anachronism; a manager who harked back to a time when playing with the owner’s chequebook was not seen as the only path to success and when paragraphs were favored over 140 characters.
And that perhaps explains why so many Arsenal fans seemingly wanted him gone: Wenger is not of the Twitter generation, of instant opinions for the 24-hour news agenda and of hype over humility. The man who was once seen as the future stuck to principles that were deemed as belonging to the past.
It is clear there is a lot of bad blood at the club — a ridiculous Facebook post by an Arsenal fan claimed Wenger’s announcement he was leaving made it the “greatest day in Arsenal’s history.”
But for all the bluster and nonsense, Wenger’s legacy will be that of “The Invincibles” — one of the greatest club sides of modern times; of beautiful football played at pace and with artistry; of being a decent, yet flawed, man who was never anything but articulate and courteous.
Having been in charge of Arsenal for 22 years, he is undoubtedly the last of a kind, and in the era of trigger-happy owners, short-term fixes and sensationalism over stability, that is something everyone, even the #WengerOut brigade, should lament.