Three reasons why Arsenal finished ahead of Tottenham Hotspur

Britain Soccer Premier LeagueMatthew Glazier of explains why Arsenal were able to pip their arch-rivals to a place in the Champions League.

On 3 March 2013, goals from Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon helped Tottenham to win the north London derby and go seven points clear of Arsenal.

After the match, Arsene Wenger admitted that finishing in the top four of the Premier League looked a difficult prospect, with Ladbrokes offering 3/1 about the Gunners making the Champions League places.

The Frenchman said: “We have to fight and it will be difficult now, because we dropped points that we couldn’t afford to drop. But we will fight and we will keep our spirit.”

Wenger was true to his word, with Arsenal galvanising and edging out Tottenham by a single point to claim fourth spot on Sunday. But what were the main reasons why the Gunners were celebrating at St James’ Park last weekend.

1) The central defence partnership of Koscielny and Mertesacker

At the start of the season, it would have been hard to imagine Thomas Vermaelen playing second fiddle to Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker, although that is exactly what has happened over the past few weeks.

It was fitting that Koscielny scored the winner against Newcastle as the Frenchman’s performances have been excellent, with just two goals conceded in Arsenal’s last six matches. Mertesacker bagged the only goal at Craven Cottage and the pair are directly responsible for fourth place.

2) Arsenal’s win against Bayern Munich

So the defensive horror show at home to Bayern seemed to indicate that the Gunners were leagues apart from the cream of Europe, although Arsenal then went to the Allianz Arena and claimed a 2-0 win. This was just ten days after losing at White Hart Lane and essentially sparked the team’s unbeaten run which lasted all the way to the end of the season.

3) Tottenham’s participation in the Europa League

Andre Villas-Boas declared at the start of the season that Spurs would be trying to win the Europa League and he was as good as his word. Unfortunately, you have to say that fielding a first-team from the word go backfired, especially towards the end of the season when Spurs lost 3-2 at Liverpool just days after beating Inter Milan.

Similarly, extra-time in the San Siro the following week then led to a lacklustre performance against Fulham which saw the Cottagers win 1-0 at White Hart Lane. A 2-2 draw with Basel was followed by another 2-2 draw at home to Everton and the damage was done.

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9 thoughts on “Three reasons why Arsenal finished ahead of Tottenham Hotspur

  1. The 3 reasons were actually

    A lino gave them a dodgy penalty 5 minutes from the end against Norwich

    A lino allowed Walcott an offside goal against United

    and they are very very lucky

  2. One of the reason is Rosicky in the middle. Even last year he played a major part and this year again he did same.

    Apart from the defensive partnership, Arsenal problem has been because there is no forward minded player like Rocky, OX and Diabi. And so, Arsenal just kept revolving in the middle without driving the ball into opponent’s yard.

  3. “3 reasons, dive for penalties, play acting, conning officials”…

    But enough about Gareth Bale let’s find 3 more reasons why Spurs bottled it… again.

  4. 1- Europa League
    2- Daniel Levy/Lack of depth/No striker
    3- Bayern giving LeArse an easy one and in doing so giving them hope. Had they butchered them AGAIN, Arsenal’s season would have been over right then and there.

    Lets alao not forget that Arsenal had basically a maximum of one starter onjured at a time the whole year. Spurs ranged from 2-6 (Including Ade in ACN)
    At one point we had Kaboul, Sandro, Bale, Lennon, Lloris, Defoe and Adebayor away for covering for him. How do you think Arsenal would do if you took off Cazorla, Podolski, Arteta and Walcott all at the same time?….. Thankfully we had SOME depth in Dempsey and Siggy to help out a bit… I think the last two seasons have been defined by injuries. Spurs are EASILY he most injury ravaged top 7 club….. Till next year boys, next year is the year. I’m feeling like some ironic twist of fate will smite another of the top 5 and leave us alone for once.

    Walker – Kaboul/Dawson – Benny
    Moutinho – Sandro – Dembele
    Lennon – Benteke/Damiao – Bale

    Thats a lineup arguably on par with United’s. #COYS

  5. 3 more reasons,

    A long sighted linesman gifts a victory to Arsenal against lowly Norwich.

    Unbelievably lucky to play teams who no longer had a real interest in the Premiership, Apart from Wigan who had to play 3 days after the cup final whilst the goooners had 10 days off.

    Kind officials who always see their opponents fouls but never see Arsenal ones.

  6. This kind of ‘analysis’ boiling a whole season down to a few key moments really gets me. It just so happens Arsenal scored one more point than Spurs — and any referee or official that allowed it to be otherwise the whole season would be grilled from high places on why they spoilt Arsenal’s run of 16 Chamions Leagues in a row. That’s why a few simple facts from Brian, madjeff and Kirillus ring truer than your whole article.

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