Tag Archives: mertesacker

Arsenal 0 Everton 0 – match report: Champions League picture muddied by draw

Arsenal 0 Everton 0: Rough and tumble night ends all square as top four fight rumbles on

PUBLISHED:

20:38 GMT, 16 April 2013

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UPDATED:

20:39 GMT, 16 April 2013

Arsenal and Everton slugged it out for a share of the spoils which does little to boost either sides' top four hopes.

The two came into the match in third and sixth place respectively, and remain there after a draw which will be remembered more its blood and thunder style than it will the football on show.

Such was the ferocity of the opening exchanges that tempers flared as the players left the pitch at half-time after Everton's Kevin Mirallas squirted Jack Wilshere with his drink.

Back on the pitch, Olivier Giroud wasted the two best chances enjoyed by either side, sliding one effort wide from an excellent Aaron Ramsey cross, then falling in a heap when well found by Theo Walcott.

More to follow…

No way through: Despite the best efforts of all concerned, neither side were able to find a goal

No way through: Despite the best efforts of all concerned, neither side were able to find a goal

MATCH FACTS

ARSENAL: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs (Monreal 90), Arteta, Ramsey, Wilshere (Oxlade-Chamberlain 68), Cazorla, Walcott (Podolski 69), Giroud Subs not used: Mannone, Vermaelen, Rosicky, Gervinho

Booked: Arteta, Monreal

Everton: Howard, Baines, Gibson, Jagielka, Mirallas (Oviedo 90), Distin, Barkley (Jelavic 76), Pienaar, Coleman, Fellaini, Anichebe (Naismith 90) Subs not used: Mucha, Heitinga, Hitzlsperger, Neville

Booked: Gibson, Pienaar, Barkley

Referee: Neil Swarbrick

Attendance: 60,071

Latest Premier League table and results

XX.


Rough and tumble: There were meaty challenges flying in all over the field as the sides battled for supremacy

Rough and tumble: There were meaty challenges flying in all over the field as the sides battled for supremacy

Rough and tumble: There were meaty challenges flying in all over the field as the sides battled for supremacy

Rough and tumble: There were meaty challenges flying in all over the field as the sides battled for supremacy

Rough and tumble: There were meaty challenges flying in all over the field as the sides battled for supremacy

Chances: Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud had Arsenal's best moments in the first half

Chances: Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud had Arsenal's best moments in the first half

Chances: Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud had Arsenal's best moments in the first half

Spat: There was a running battle between Jack Wilshere and Kevin Mirallas that continued into the break

Spat: There was a running battle between Jack Wilshere and Kevin Mirallas that continued into the break

Enlarge

Spat: There was a running battle between Jack Wilshere and Kevin Mirallas that continued into the break

Spat: There was a running battle between Jack Wilshere and Kevin Mirallas that continued into the break

Gary Lineker and Arsenal fans fury at Arsene Wenger dropping players

It's a disgrace! Fans join Lineker in condemning Wenger's decision to rest key players for crunch Munich clash

By
Lee Bryan

PUBLISHED:

11:14 GMT, 13 March 2013

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UPDATED:

12:17 GMT, 13 March 2013

Gary Lineker has slammed Arsene Wenger’s decision to rest several key players for tonight’s Champions League last-16 second leg tie at Bayern Munich.

With the Gunners 3-1 down after the first leg at the Emirates and needing at least three goals in the Allianz Arena to progress to the quarter-finals the Arsenal boss has left first-team regulars Santi Cazorla, Theo Walcott, Wojciech Szczesny and Per Mertesacker in England.

With Jack Wilshere, Bacary Sagna and Lukas Podolski already missing through injury Wenger has effectively thrown in the towel, despite the club being out of the FA Cup and 24 points adrift of Manchester United at the top of the Premier League.

Scroll down for video of Arsene Wenger's press conference

Under pressure: Arsene Wenger has left several players in London

Under pressure: Arsene Wenger has left several players in London

Arsenal players warm-up during a training session

Arsene Wenger talks ahead of Champions League clash with Bayern…

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The Match of the Day presenter and former England striker tweeted: ‘They have no other cup competitions to worry about, why on earth would he feel the need to rest players’

One argument is that Arsenal need to rest players as they push for fourth place and Champions League qualification for next season, but Lineker dismissed that.

He tweeted: ‘Who he plays tonight will have no baring on where they finish in the league. Rotation is a myth.’

Left behind: Santi Cazorla (above) and Theo Walcott are missing in Munich

Left behind: Santi Cazorla (above) and Theo Walcott are missing in Munich

Theo Walcott

Another tweet read: ‘If they are injured, that’s a different matter. Top players rarely need a rest.’

Many Arsenal fans are furious with Wenger’s decision after they had already paid for the trip to Munich and tickets to the game.

One disrgruntled Gunner, Ken Barkway, tweeted: ‘Its a disgrace really. It is the final proof that the club is little more than a cash cow. Glory clearly no place in the agenda.’

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Arsenal 5 West Ham 1: match report

Arsenal 5 West Ham 1: Giroud at the double as Wenger's side put Hammers to the sword

PUBLISHED:

21:47 GMT, 23 January 2013

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UPDATED:

22:15 GMT, 23 January 2013

Arsenal kickstarted their Barclays Premier League campaign as they blew West Ham away with four goals in the space of 10 minutes at the start of the second half to run out 5-1 winners at Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners had slumped to successive defeats against Manchester City and Chelsea to leave them facing an uphill battle to regain a place in the top four.

Manager Arsene Wenger knew there was no more margin for error and despite falling behind in tonight's rearranged Boxing Day fixture to a fine strike from Jack Collison, his side found their form, equalising through Lukas Podolski's 25-yard screamer.

Brace yourself: Olivier Giroud scored two goals in ten minutes as Arsenal ran riot at the Emirates on Wednesday

Brace yourself: Olivier Giroud scored two goals in ten minutes as Arsenal ran riot at the Emirates

MATCH FACTS

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen (Koscielny 57), Gibbs, Ramsey, Wilshere, Cazorla, Walcott, Giroud (Oxlade-Chamberlain 73), Podolski (Andre Santos 70).

Subs Not Used: Mannone, Arshavin, Jenkinson, Frimpong.

Goals: Podolski 22, Giroud 47, Cazorla 53, Walcott 54, Giroud 57.

West Ham: Jaaskelainen, Demel, Tomkins, Reid (Diarra 62), O'Brien, Noble, Nolan, Collison (Potts 62), Taylor, Carlton Cole, Vaz Te (Diame 70).

Subs Not Used: Henderson, Jarvis, Joe Cole, O'Neil.

Booked: Vaz Te.

Goals: Collison 18.

Attendance: 60,081

Referee: Andre Marriner (W Midlands).

Olivier Giroud scored his first goal
in six games to put the hosts in front just after the restart, before
German forward Podolski tore the Irons apart, charging down the left to
set up Santi Cazorla, Theo Walcott and Giroud again as Arsenal romped
out of sight before the hour.

West Ham had to play the closing
stages with 10 men after what looked a serious injury to substitute
Daniel Potts, who was carried off on a stretcher following a clash of
heads.

The Gunners now head to Brighton on
Saturday looking to keep alive their FA Cup hopes, before next week's
visit of Liverpool will again put the character of Wenger's squad to the
test if they are to close back within striking distance of Champions
League qualification again.

Arsenal signalled their intent early
on as Walcott made a darting run inside West Ham full-back Joey O'Brien,
but his low centre through the six-yard box was behind the onrushing
Giroud.

Jack Wilshere needed treatment after he was caught on the ankle by West Ham midfielder Collison. The England man, who has just returned to full fitness this season after more than a year out, was soon able to continue.

Unconscious: There were 12 minutes of injury time at the Emirates after a collision involving Danny Potts

Unconscious: There were 12 minutes of injury time at the Emirates after a collision involving Danny Potts

Danny Potts

On 15 minutes, Walcott was almost
away again down the right, but Winston Reid did just enough to get
across as the England forward shot into the side netting.

At the other end, Matthew Taylor's 20-yard effort was deflected up and on to the roof of the net by Thomas Vermaelen.

Arsenal failed to clear their lines,
and from a second corner on 18 minutes, the ball was headed out to the
edge of the penalty area. Collison took one touch to set himself before
firing a superb strike through a crowd of players and into the bottom
corner.

On target: Santi Cazorla popped up with the third goal for Arsenal after 53 minutes

On target: Santi Cazorla popped up with the third goal for Arsenal after 53 minutes

Arsenal produced the perfect response
to level within four minutes. The ball was fed out from Wilshere to
Podolski on the left, some 25 yards from goal. The German promptly
stepped inside before unleashing a blistering low, left-foot strike into
the far corner.

Arsenal soon settled back into their
trademark passing rhythm. A quick one-two down the left through Giroud
and Kieran Gibbs played Podolski in on goal, but his snapshot was hacked
clear by O'Brien.

All smiles: Lukas Podolski equalised for the Gunners after 22 minutes at the Emirates Stadium

All smiles: Lukas Podolski equalised for the Gunners after 22 minutes at the Emirates Stadium

West Ham, though, were in again as
half-time approached when a long ball split the defence and fell to
Cole, whose chip was only part-blocked by Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech
Szczesny and Aaron Ramsey had to scramble back to boot the ball off the
line.

In stoppage-time, Cazorla's curled
free-kick was heading to the top corner before Irons keeper Jussi
Jaaskelainen clawed it away. Arsenal were ahead just after the restart.

The Irons had been pressed back by a
series of sweeping attacks. Walcott clipped a corner towards the near
post, where Giroud arrived to drill it back past Jaaskelainen for his
first goal since a late double in the 7-3 win over Newcastle on December
29.

Before West Ham could mount a
comeback, it was 3-1 on 53 minutes. Walcott got away down the right,
before the ball was recycled back to the other flank, where Podolski
played a one-two with Giroud before squaring for Cazorla, who rolled in a
clever backheel.

Arsenal were flying and immediately
chalked up a fourth on the break inside 60 seconds. Podolski was set
away down the left, charging clear of a stretched West Ham defence
before clipping a perfectly-weighted pass across into the path of
Walcott, who smashed home first time at the far post.

Arsenal, however, were not finished
as Giroud added a fifth on 57 minutes, with Podolski again the provider
following another surging run down the left.

After all the high drama, the tempo
of the match dropped as fast as the temperature. There was a lengthy
stoppage with 18 minutes left as substitute Potts needed treatment after
a clash of heads, eventually taken off on a stretcher, covered with an
emergency blanket in a neck brace and receiving gas. As all had been
changes used, West Ham had to continue with 10 men – through some 12
minutes of stoppage time.

Reading 2 Arsenal 5 – match report: Santi Cazorla delivers Christmas presents for Arsene Wenger

Reading 2 Arsenal 5: Santi delivers for Wenger with help from Walcott and Podolski as Gunners gloom lifted in romp over Royals

|

UPDATED:

07:34 GMT, 18 December 2012

Arsenal relieved the pressure on Arsene Wenger with a five-star attacking display at the Madejski Stadium.

Wenger has rarely been under more strain during his 16 years as Arsenal manager, but fortunately for him only Reading were standing in his team’s way.

The Frenchman is off the hook, returning to winning ways against only the second team — after Wigan — to record 10 defeats in the Barclays Premier League this season. Santi Cazorla scored a hat-trick for Arsenal and the little Spain midfielder was the class act on show.

Main man: Mikel Arteta tweeted this picture of Santi Cazorla

Santi's Christmas cracker: Playmaker Cazorla celebrates his hat-trick at the Madejski Stadium

Top man: Mikel Arteta tweeted picture of Santi Cazorla (left) with hat-trick ball

MATCH FACTS

Reading: Federici, Cummings, Gorkss, Mariappa, Shorey, McAnuff, Leigertwood, Tabb, Kebe (McCleary 74), Hunt (Robson-Kanu 61), Pogrebnyak (Le Fondre 61).

Subs: Taylor, Gunter, Pearce, Harte.

Goals: Le Fondre 66, Kebe 71.

Booked: McAnuff

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Cazorla (Coquelin 83), Oxlade-Chamberlain (Ramsey 74), Walcott (Giroud 85), Podolski.

Subs: Mannone, Koscielny, Rosicky, Gervinho.

Goals: Podolski 14, Cazorla 32, 34, 60, Walcott 80.

Booked: Wilshere

Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)

Attendance: 24,125

Click here for latest Premier League table, fixtures and results

Germany forward Lukas Podolski,
Arsenal’s opening goalscorer, was also a cut above, as was Theo
Walcott, up front at last and scorer of the visitors’ fifth goal.

Arsenal were good but let us not
forget the part played by Reading.They were shocking, save for the two
streaky second-half goals scored by Adam le Fondre and Jimmy Kebe that
gave Arsenal’s defence the jitters at 4-2.

These days, the Gunners can barely get
through 90 minutes without becoming nervous wrecks and their manager
is feeling the heat following the embarrassing Capital One Cup exit on
penalties to League Two Bradford last week.

Last night Wenger clenched his fist in relief each time the net bulged behind Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici.

Wenger nudged Steve Bould after
Podolski scored the opener with a tidy left-foot finish and the
assistant manager responded by smiling. It looks like they are friends
again.

The players were patting each other on
the back when Cazorla scored Arsenal’s second goal by heading
Podolski’s cross beyond Federici. They are, in Walcott’s words, a family
again.

Start of the rout: Lukas Podolski blasts the ball past the helpless Adam Federici in the Reading goal

Start of the rout: Lukas Podolski blasts the ball past the helpless Adam Federici in the Reading goal

Clinical: Germany forward Podolski celebrates his strike against the Premier League's basement boys

Clinical: Germany forward Podolski celebrates his strike against the Premier League's basement boys

In focus – by Sami Mokbel

Kieran Gibbs

Arsenal, once a team of foreigners, could soon lose that tag. The full back was one of four Englishmen, with Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Jimmy Kebe

Winger might have been feeling a bit left out as
Reading’s only midfielder not formerly to play for Crystal Palace — like Jay Tabb, Jobi McAnuff and Mikele Leigertwood.

Adam le Fondre

A 350,000 signing from Rotherham last year, the striker is now Reading’s top scorer after his
second-half consolation took his tally to five goals from nine games.

Niall Quinn

The former Arsenal striker enjoyed a pre-match bite in the press lounge. And his appetite would have been satisfied by his old club’s convincing win.

High up in the south stand, Arsenal’s
travelling throng celebrated by waving red and white scarves above
their heads every time a goal went in. They are together again.

It was just like old times as the
three-man midfield — Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere — steered
Arsenal out of troubled waters.

After 16 years at the club, Wenger —
the highest-paid Premier League manager on 7.5million a year — has
convinced himself he is in credit.

It was pay-day for Podolski and his
team-mates last night, but the bigger picture is putting together a
team that can compete for silverware. After five years of hearing all
about this great team, Wenger’s Friday morning spin at London Colney is
beginning to wear thin.

Reading were cannon fodder for them, conceding five when it could easily have been 10.

/12/17/article-2249631-168EF732000005DC-374_634x389.jpg” width=”634″ height=”389″ alt=”Head boy: Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla dives to nod in the second goal of the game” class=”blkBorder” />

Head boy: Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla dives to nod in the second goal of the game

That's more like it: Arsenal enjoyed a fine return to form after their recent struggles

That's more like it: Arsenal enjoyed a fine return to form after their recent struggles

McDermott’s side are hurtling straight
back to the Championship after this depressing start to the season.
They have picked up only nine points from their opening 17 league games.
Performances rarely come this bad at the highest level.

The general rule of thumb is that
being out-thought by Arsenal is OK but being out-fought by them is
unthinkable — and Reading lost out comprehensively on both scores last
night.

Podolski came good — and about time,
too. He began the move for Arsenal’s opener in the 14th minute and
finished it when he converted Kieran Gibbs’ cross.

Fox in the box: Cazorla fires home from inside the penalty area for Arsenal's third goal

Fox in the box: Cazorla fires home from inside the penalty area for Arsenal's third goal

Two's company: Cazorla (centre) celebrates with his Gunners team-mates after netting his second goal

Two's company: Cazorla (centre) celebrates with his Gunners team-mates after netting his second goal

Standards have been slipping of late at Arsenal, but at times last night they showed some special touches in front of goal.

Podolski set up the second, providing
the ball for Cazorla to head beyond the desperate arms of Federici. It
was fun time for the visiting fans, mocking Reading’s support with
chants of: ‘We’ll never play you again.’

Arsenal can still play a bit, no-one
ever doubted that. The midfield triangle popped the ball around the
pitch at will, all pass-and-move as they continued to expose Reading’s
defence.

Cazorla scored with another strike
just before half-time and he completed his hat-trick when he put
Podolski’s cross past Federici in the 60th minute.

It would not be an Arsenal game
without the team being gripped by fear at some stage and the moment duly
arrived when Le Fondre, on as a substitute, got on the end of Jay
Tabb’s through ball.

Consolation: Adam le Fondre finishes with ease after rounding Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny

Consolation: Adam le Fondre finishes with ease after rounding Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny

Comeback Jimmy Kebe side-foots the ball into the net as Reading briefly battled in the second half

Comeback Jimmy Kebe side-foots the ball into the net as Reading briefly battled in the second half

Panic engulfed the Arsenal defence and Kebe capitalised when he beat Wojciech Szczesny 19 minutes from time.

‘I could see the headlines,’ admitted Wenger — but he need not have worried as his team responded.

Walcott picked up on Cazorla’s pass and finished Reading off with a left-foot shot from the edge of the area.

All over: Theo Walcott, used as a central striker, rounds off the scoring with a cool finish

All over: Theo Walcott, used as a central striker, rounds off the scoring with a cool finish

Local boy: Walcott celebrates his successful return to Berkshire, the county where he grew up

Local boy: Walcott celebrates his successful return to Berkshire, the county where he grew up

Arsenal’s fans were loving it, in full voice as they urged Wenger to ‘sign him up’.

Walcott, finally playing through the
middle, thrived in the role before being replaced by France striker
Olivier Giroud as the home fans were begging the referee to blow the
final whistle.

As Arsenal’s players celebrated a decent win, Wenger leapt out of the dug-out and high into the air to celebrate.

When he landed, he was back on safe ground.

Wenger and Walcott shake on it

Walcott and Wenger hug

Shake on it Arsene Wenger congratulates Walcott on a job well done… and these pictures suggest the manager and player are united, despite the ongoing uncertainty over a new deal for Walcott

Arsenal lose to Bradford in the Capital One League Cup

Humiliating new low for Wenger as Arsenal's best hope of ending trophy drought is wrecked in penalty shootout by Bradford… the League Two minnows with a team that cost just 7,500

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UPDATED:

08:13 GMT, 12 December 2012

Bradford 1 Arsenal 1 (aet, 3-2 on pens)
For Bradford City – a club so long lost in the foothills of football's obscene money mountain – there will be a Capital One Cup semifinal and a shot at some real winter glory.

For sorry old Arsenal, there is only more failure and more ignominy. Seven-and-a-half years it has been since the Gunners and their manager Arsene Wenger laid their hands on something tangible.

With Christmas yet to come and go, only the FA Cup and Champions League remain after one more humiliation on a lengthening list.

How the penalty shootout drama unfolded…

Shootout

We've done it: Bradford City players led by Blair Turgott (right) and Gary Jones (left) run to congratulate their goalkeeper

We've done it: Bradford City players led by Blair Turgott (right) and Gary Jones (left) run to congratulate their goalkeeper

Jubilation: Bradford's players celebrate after Thomas Vermaelen hits the post, handing them the victory

Jubilation: Bradford's players celebrate after Thomas Vermaelen hits the post, handing them the victory

Millionaires v minnows… Bradford's win was all the more dramatic because their team cost just 7,500 – compared to the 66.8m sum of Arsenal's side
BRADFORD

Matt Duke FREE
Stephen Darby FREE
Carl McHugh FREE
Rory McArdie FREE
James Meredith FREE
Garry Thompson FREE
Nathan Doyle FREE
Gary Jones FREE
Will Atkinson FREE
James Hanson 7,500
Nahki Wells FREE

TOTAL 7,500

ARSENAL

Wojciech Szczesny FREE
Bacary Sagna 6m
Per Mertesacker 8m
Thomas Vermaelen 10m
Kieran Gibbs FREE
Francis Coquelin FREE
Santi Cazorla 16m
Aaron Ramsey 5m
Jack Wilshere FREE
Lukas Podolski 11m
Gervinho 10.8m

TOTAL 66.8m

And this really was a humiliation.
Bradford City may have won on penalties but that only tells part of the
story. In truth, the team from League Two were superior to their
Barclays Premier League opponents for much of the night.

Ultimately, this will be remembered
as the first time Arsenal lost to opposition from the fourth tier since
the 1992 FA Cup defeat at Wrexham.

As such, there will be another inquest at the Emirates this week and rightly so. It is not good enough and Wenger knows it.

In this forgotten corner of West
Yorkshire, though, they wi l l celebrate and look forward to a January
windfall, maybe even a February trip to Wembley.

It is hard not to feel pleased for
them. Leading through a first-half goal from Garry Thompson – recently
of Scunthorpe and a veteran of 10 years at Morecambe – it took a
half-time rollicking from Wenger that was so loud it was heard in the
Bradford dressing room and a header from Thomas Vermaelen two minutes
from the end of normal time, to deny Bradford and breathe life into
Arsenal.

Blushes spared: Thomas Vermaelen headed the equaliser for Arsenal to take the tie to extra time

Blushes spared: Thomas Vermaelen headed the equaliser for Arsenal to take the tie to extra time

Shock: Garry Thompson put Bradford a goal up against Arsenal

Shock: Garry Thompson put Bradford a goal up against Arsenal

Delight: Vermaelen (left) and Jack Wilshere celebrate after the equaliser

Delight: Vermaelen (left) and Jack Wilshere celebrate after the equaliser

Helpless: Thompson put the ball into the back of the net

Helpless: Thompson put the ball into the back of the net

How Gervinho somehow skewed a gilt-edged chance to equalise

How Gervinho somehow skewed a gilt-edged chance to equalise

MATCH FACTS

Bradford: Duke, Darby, Meredith, McHugh, McArdle, Thompson (Jones 72), Atkinson (Turgott 92), Jones, Doyle, Hanson, Wells (Connell 74)

Subs not used: McLaughlin, Good, Ravenhill, Hines

Goal: Thompson 16

Booked: Wells, Doyle, Hanson

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Wilshere, Ramsey (Rosicky 69), Cazorla, Coquelin (Chamakh 60), Podolski (Oxlade-Chamberlain 69), Gervinho

Subs not used: Mannone, Squillaci, Jenkinson, Arteta

Goal: Vermaelen 88

Booked: Gervinho, Vermaelen

Referee: Mike Dean

Attendance: 23,971

After surviving some pressure from
their illustrious visitors in added time, though, Bradford progressed
courtesy of the shoot-out.

Remarkably, they have now won their
last nine penalty contests. Santi Cazorla and Marouane Chamakh did not
exactly exhibit the best body language as they ambled up to take
Arsenal's first two kicks.

Sure enough, the former saw his shot
saved by Matt Duke while the latter struck a post. No doubt struggling a
little with nerves, Bradford did falter, too. Nathan Doyle and Gary Jones scored
Bradford's first two penalties while Alan Connell converted the fourth.

But either side of that kick, Stephen Darby and Ritchie Jones saw weak
shots saved, meaning that the shoot-out would have gone to sudden death
had Vermaelen beaten Duke with Arsenal's fifth.

The Arsenal captain could only
strike a firm shot against the post, however, meaning that in the week
they face expulsion from the FA Cup for fielding an ineligible player,
Bradford are a two-legged semifinal away from a day at Wembley.

Ambitious: Thompson kicks the ball over his head

Ambitious: Thompson kicks the ball over his head

Cheer up, Arsene: Wenger looked frustrated during the match

Cheer up, Arsene: Wenger looked frustrated during the match

Wenger was a little short of patience
when it was put to him that this was rather embarrassing. He had, after
all, fielded something approaching his strongest team.

It is only embarrassing if you do
not try, was the gist of his message. This setback, though, belongs on a
different scale to recent disappointments against teams like Swansea.

This was Bradford of League Two and if Wenger does not feel genuinely uncomfortable this morning then he should.

Tussle: Santi Cazorla (right) and Nathan Doyle vie for possession

Tussle: Santi Cazorla (right) and Nathan Doyle vie for possession

Warm enough Mikel Arteta (left) and the rest of Arsenal's substitutes look freezing on the bench

Warm enough Mikel Arteta (left) and the rest of Arsenal's substitutes look freezing on the bench

Bradford manager Phil Parkinson
summed things up well when he said: 'It's a shame the headlines will be
about the penalties because I think we deserved to win in normal time.
We were only two or three minutes away from beating their best team.'

In truth, a Bradford win looked to be
on the cards from the moment Thompson crashed Parkinson's team into the
lead after 16 minutes.

Vermaelen obstructed the dangerous
Nahki Wells by the right corner flag to concede a free-kick and when
Gary Jones' cross was flicked on to the far post, Thompson volleyed home
with his left instep.

Entering the fray: Arsene Wenger walks onto the pitch before the match

Entering the fray: Arsene Wenger walks onto the pitch before the match

Arsenal tried to respond but Francis Coquelin struck a post from 18 yards and Gervinho failed to make contact from a yard out.

In the second half, Arsenal improved.
Bradford goalkeeper Duke only had to work sporadically, though, and the
surprise was not that Arsenal's equaliser came so late but that it came
at all.

They really had been that
unconvincing. Once they had their lifeline, Wenger's team were somewhat
better. They should have scored in extra time as Bradford tired but Jack
Wilshere dallied when clean through and Cazorla hit the bar.

This Arsenal team has no killer
instinct. In fact it has little or no instinct at all. Pretty soon, it
may have no season left, either.

All smiles: Bradford manager Phil Parkinson was delighted with the victory

All smiles: Bradford manager Phil Parkinson was delighted with the victory

IT'S NOT THE FIRST TIME…

Walsall 2 Arsenal 0, 1933
Arsenal were regarded as the best team in Europe, Walsall were in the Third Division South when they met in the third round of the FA Cup, but produced what Sportsmail then called 'the sensation of the century'.

Swindon 3 Arsenal 1, 1969
Having lost to Leeds in the League Cup final the year before, Arsenal wanted to atone. Instead, Third Division Swindon stunned a muddy Wembley, Don Rogers netting twice in extra-time.

York City 1 Arsenal 0, 1985
Third Division York put the Gunners out in the fourth round of the FA Cup with a late Keith Houchen penalty.

Wrexham 2 Arsenal 1, 1992
The champions were hot favourites for a thirdround FA Cup tie but captain Mickey Thomas hit a stunning late free-kick leveller and Steve Watkin won it for Wrexham.

PS And the Bantams pull their weight in penalty shootouts…

Bradford have now been successful in their last nine spotkick deciders.

October 6 2009 3-2 Notts County

November 10 2009 5-4 Port Vale

August 30 2011 3-1 Sheffield Wed

October 4 2011 4-3 Huddersfield

November 8 2011 6-5 Sheffield Utd

October 9 2012 3-2 Hartlepool

October 30 2012 4-2 Wigan

November 13 2012 4-2 Northampton

December 112012 3-2 Arsenal

Olivier Giroud: I picked the wrong time to join Arsenal

I picked the wrong time to join Arsenal, admits 12m summer signing Giroud

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UPDATED:

22:42 GMT, 7 December 2012

Olivier Giroud has admitted he may have joined Arsenal at the wrong time, with the club experiencing their worst start to the season for 18 years and selling 'some of the best players every two or three years'.

The 26-year-old striker, who has scored seven goals in 22 games since his 12million move from Montpellier last summer, said Arsenal do not create enough chances and are guilty of over-playing the ball in front of goal.

French fancy: Giroud is the 23rd Frenchman to play during Wenger's reign

French fancy: Giroud is the 23rd Frenchman to play during Wenger's reign

Giroud has immersed himself in the 'weight of history' at Arsenal, but does not feel pressure to emulate Arsenal forwards such as Robin van Persie, Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp.

Asked whether he felt he had arrived at the wrong time, Giroud told L'Equipe magazine: 'Yes. But it puts less pressure on my shoulders. I feel the pressure of the result, not the weight of my predecessors. When you come to a big club, of course you replace a great striker (like Van Persie). It's useless to have that in your head.

'It is up to the new boys to make sure the others are forgotten.We need to be more efficient in all areas of the pitch – to be more realistic and to offer more variety.

'When you're attacking, you hope for more crosses. It is not spontaneous enough when we are in positions to cross. I have talked with my team-mates about this.

'Arsenal has the culture of the passing game, perhaps too much. I am not staking a claim to be the coach, but I am fortunate to be at a club where we can talk about such things.'

Giroud believes Arsenal, who sit 10th with just 21 points from their first 15 games, should look at his former club to see a side capable of winning the championship without 'spending millions'.

On the ball: Per Mertesacker and Giroud in training

On the ball: Per Mertesacker and Giroud in training

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has described Montpellier's first Ligue 1 title last season as a 'miracle', given Paris Saint- Germain's financial clout since Qatar Sports Investments bought a 70 per cent stake in June 2011.

Montpellier finished 14th in 2010-11 but won the league by three points from PSG a year later. Giroud was the competition's joint top scorer with 21 goals.

He said: 'My story proves that you can win titles without being a star. Manchester City became champions thanks to their chequebook. Montpellier took on PSG without using their chequebook. Here we bought Santi Cazorla and he did not cost 50 million! Arsene Wenger does not buy a team. He builds one. He built his group with this philosophy.

'Even though it's been seven years since the club won anything, they have a strong identity. Even if the club lose some of their best players every two or three years, they do not deviate from this philosophy.'

Arsenal legend: French striker Thierry Henry

Arsenal legend: French striker Thierry Henry

Giroud admitted he gets goosebumps when he hears fans singing his name to the tune of The Beatles' Hey Jude and believes he has fitted in well at a Premier League club with a 'Frenchy' touch.

'I am the 23rd Frenchman to play here since the arrival of Arsene Wenger,' he added. 'This club are marked by the goals of Henry and by Patrick Vieira. There is music in the locker room before matches; it was forbidden at Montpellier. I love this casual approach.

'But it's true, Arsenal do some things a French way. The photo of Vieira and the coach with the league trophy in 2004, it talks to me. There is also a statue of Thierry Henry.

'Once you've integrated as an Arsenal player, it gives you confidence. Fans make you understand that it is an honour to wear this shirt.'

Thomas Vermaelen back to top form – Arsene Wenger

Vermaelen is confident and back on form, insists Arsenal boss Wenger

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 30 November 2012

Arsene Wenger has admitted Thomas Vermaelen has struggled this season but said the Arsenal captain’s performance on Wednesday in the 1-1 draw at Everton will ‘boost his confidence’.

Wenger said: ‘It was his best game since the start of the season. This will boost his confidence and hopefully get out of his mind what happened when he was not completely confident. He was physically sharp, calm and important for us.’

Back in business: Thomas Vermaelen (left) has regained his confidence, says Arsene Wenger

Back in business: Thomas Vermaelen (left) has regained his confidence, says Arsene Wenger

Arsenal, who host Swansea on Saturday, have won two of their last eight games in all competitions and are 12 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester United, prompting Wenger to challenge his strikers to improve their finishing.

‘We have improved our defensive record quite well. But we are used to scoring more goals and that’s what we want to add.’

Per Mertesacker, who made his Arsenal debut in a 1-0 win against Swansea last September, said: ‘December is here and it’s a very important month for us.’

Aston Villa v Arsenal live

PREMIER LEAGUE LIVE: Aston Villa v Arsenal – as it happens from Villa Park

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UPDATED:

18:09 GMT, 24 November 2012

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the Barclays Premier League as Aston Villa host Arsenal at Villa Park to conclude Saturday's action. The Gunners are riding high on confidence following their qualification for the last 16 of the Champions League and travel to a Villa side involved in a battle against relegation at this stage of the season. Send me your thoughts on the action at [email protected] or contact me on Twitter @Ripinho.

Aston Villa 0-0 Arsenal (5.30pm)

Click here for the live goals as they go in

Aston Villa: Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Stevens, El Ahmadi, Westwood, Weimann, Bannan, Agbonlahor, Benteke.
Subs: Given, Ireland, Albrighton, Holman, Delph, Bowery, Lichaj.

Arsenal: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Ramsey, Oxlade Chamberlain, Cazorla, Podolski, Giroud.
Subs: Mannone, Sagna, Vermaelen, Wilshere, Coquelin, Arshavin, Gervinho.

Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire)

Click here for the live Premier League table

All the latest from the Championship

37min: A mistake from Szczesny sees him handle the ball outside the box under pressure from Gabriel Agbonlahor, giving Villa a free-kick on the left flank and the keeper a booking.

36min: Villa are stretched at the back again but the backline keeps its shape as Cazorla's 25-yard shot is blocked.

35min: There are signs that Arsenal are starting to make their class tell as they are now seeing more of the ball and forcing the hosts to drop deep.

When Villa do get possession back, they try to pass the ball around but are quickly forced into a hurried clearance.

32min: After that fine opening Villa have struggled to to test Arsenal in the last 15 minutes but will be happy that they have limited Arsenal going forward. The rain continues to fall in Birmingham.

29min: And this is a full chance. The Gunners break down the right and after the ball finds Ramsey inside the area, his shot through a crowd of Villa bodies and across goal is well blocked by Guzan.

27min: Half-chance for Arsenal as the ball bounces loose for Lukas Podolski inside the box, but Brad Guzan is quickly off his line to claim before the German can shoot.

25min: From InfostradaLive:

Arsenal have scored at least twice in four of their last five PL visits to Villa Park.

22min: But we are soon back at the other end where Villa think they have won a free-kick on the right side of the box.

As it turns out, Karim El Ahmadi is booked for diving after Santi Cazorla makes no contact with his attempted tackle. A great call by Lee Mason and his officials.

20min: A minute of appreciation from the Villa fans who applaud in support of their captain, Stiliyan Petrov who is battling illness.

During it, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain fires wide at the near post for Arsenal.

19min: From there Westwood crosses for Benteke who climbs above Laurent Koscielny to head wide back across goal.

18min: Another Villa corner as Bannan's chip into the box is headed behind by Kieran Gibbs. It was crucial too as had he missed it, Benteke would have been one-on-one with Szczesny.

16min: The home fans are really starting to get behind their side as they force the Gunners into a number of errors.

Christian Benteke scuffs a shot from a poor Carl Jenkinson header inside the box as Villa continue to chase every ball.

14min: Excellent passing from Villa. A neat passing move precedes Westwood picking out Andreas Weimann on the left side of the box with a lofted ball, and his cross is pushed behind by Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny. The corner though comes to nothing.

11min: Barry Bannan's inswinging delivery from it is decent and powerful but no one can make contact as it flies wide at the far post.

10min: And his side win a free-kick to the right deep in Arsenal's half after Aaron Ramsey's sloppy lunge on Ashley Westwood.

9min: Aston Villa boss, Paul Lambert is serving a touchline ban today and judging by the weather it's a good match to observe it.

The Scot is watching from the stands but will be impressed how his side has stifled Arsenal so far.

6min: The away side continue to probe for an opening as Kieran Gibbs plays a hopeful low cross into the box but Villa comfortably clear.

5min: Olivier Giroud's cross from left is headed behind by Ron Vlaar for a corner, but the set-piece into the box evades everyone.

3min: Arsenal are trying to settle into their passing game but plenty of appetite from Villa so far who are pressing all over the park. No chances.

Tough in the tackle: Arsenal's Olivier Giroud (right) attempts to tackle Aston Villa's Ron Vlaar

Tough in the tackle: Arsenal's Olivier Giroud (right) attempts to tackle Aston Villa's Ron Vlaar

Kick-off: Arsenal, in yellow, get us going with Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla.

17.25: It's a chilly evening in the West Midlands and the rain is falling to accompany it as the players make their way out.

17.20: From InfostradaLive:

The starting lines up for both teams have a combined average age of 24 years and 252 days old – the youngest of any PL fixture this season and youngest since Manchester United’s 8-2 home win against Arsenal in August 2011 (23-314).

17.15: Arsene Wenger has said pre-match he expects a direct approach from Aston Villa and that he is prepared for it.

That's providing Paul Lambert's side can get the ball of course. The hosts could spend much of this game chasing shadows.

Back in the team: Aaron Ramsey replaces the rested Jack Wilshere for Arsenal

Back in the team: Aaron Ramsey replaces the rested Jack Wilshere for Arsenal

17.10: Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert recalls midfielder Karim El Ahmadi in place of Stephen Ireland for the home Barclays Premier League clash with Arsenal – but there is no place amongst the substitutes for fit-again striker Darren Bent.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger makes three changes from the line-up which qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League via the midweek win over Montpellier.

Full-backs Carl Jenkinson and Kieran Gibbs replace Bacary Sagna and Thomas Vermaelen while midfielder Aaron Ramsey comes in for the rested Jack Wilshere.

17.05: The full line-ups from Villa Park:

Aston Villa v Arsenal
Aston Villa: Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Stevens, El Ahmadi, Westwood, Weimann, Bannan, Agbonlahor, Benteke. Subs: Given, Ireland, Albrighton, Holman, Delph, Bowery, Lichaj.

Arsenal: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Podolski, Giroud. Subs: Mannone, Sagna, Vermaelen, Wilshere, Coquelin, Arshavin, Gervinho.

Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire)

17.00: On paper this isn't really a contest. Aston Villa looking well short of confidence and stuck inside the bottom three go up against an Arsenal side starting to go up through the gears again.

An away victory is surely on the cards but i think I may have said something like that when the Gunners visited Norwich recently…team news up next.

Gunning for success: Arsenal will hope to pile more misery on Aston Villa at Villa Park

Gunning for success: Arsenal will hope to pile more misery on Aston Villa at Villa Park

Arsenal 2 Montpellier 0 – match report

Arsenal 2 Montpellier 0: Gunners go through thanks to Wilshere and Podolski

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UPDATED:

22:56 GMT, 21 November 2012

13 YEARS AND COUNTING…

Arsenal's passage into the last 16 for the 13th year in a row was secured with the help of Schalke's 1-0 win over Olympiacos. The Gunners are a point behind the German's, and travel to Greece on the final matchday.

The comparisons with Lionel Messi may be over the top for now, but Jack Wilshere’s comeback is complete after his goal helped Arsenal qualify for the knock-out stages of the Champions League.

With frustration mounting following a nervous first half, the England midfielder put his side ahead after just four minutes of the re-start.
Lukas Podolski added a quite spectacular second as Arsenal secured their passage, courtesy of Schalke’s win against Olympiacos.

But it was Wilshere’s goal that proved the difference. How vital it was, too.

jack's back: Arsenal were set on their way by Jack Wilshere's first goal in two years

jack's back: Arsenal were set on their way by Jack Wilshere's first goal in two years

Stunner: Lukas Podolski then added a spectacular second to seal the point for the Gunners

Stunner: Lukas Podolski then added a spectacular second to seal the point for the Gunners

MATCH FACTS

ARSENAL: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Arteta, Cazorla (Coquelin 84), Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Ramsey 69), Giroud (Gervinho 84), Podolski. Subs Not Used: Mannone, Arshavin, Jenkinson, Gibbs.

Booked: Cazorla, Giroud, Koscielny.

Goals: Wilshere 49, Podolski 63.

MONTPELLIER: Jourdren, Deplagne, Congre, El Kaoutari, Bedimo, Yanga M'Biwa, Estrada (Marveaux 79), Cabella (Herrera 68), Belhanda, Mounier, Charbonnier (Martin 68). Subs Not Used: Pionnier, Hilton, Pitau, Jeunechamp.

Booked: Bedimo, Deplagne.

Attendance: 59,760

Referee: Firat Aydinus (Turkey).

We seem to take it for granted that
English teams will progress beyond the group stages of European
competitions but, as champions Manchester City have shown, it really is
not that easy.

Arsenal have now done it for 13 years
in a row and that is to be applauded — because now Arsene Wenger’s
attention can turn to trying to get this talented bunch of individuals
to achieve their potential as a team.

Confidence is very much the key to
their performances. An away defeat at Norwich City brings despair and a
5-2 victory in the north London derby — albeit against 10-man Tottenham —
sparks elation. There is no middle ground with this team. They seem to
be either enthralling or insipid.

‘I think the result (against Spurs)
will help to rebuild the belief completely again,’ said Wenger in his
programme notes. ‘There is something special in this team and I’m sure
it will come out when they play with complete confidence.’

Old friend: Olivier Giroud was up against his old club but couldn't find the net himself

Old friend: Olivier Giroud was up against his old club but couldn't find the net himself

Arsenal only lost two of their
remaining 13 games after beating Tottenham 5-2 last season; something
Wenger called a ‘doping’ effect.

But the same edginess that
characterised the first 20 minutes against Spurs on Saturday — both on
the pitch and, to a lesser degree, in the stands — was apparent in the
opening half-hour last night. Arsenal are certainly not displaying
‘complete confidence’ just yet.

Wilshere, playing his first Champions
League game at the Emirates since March 2011, gave the ball away twice
in the first five minutes but he was not the only one culpable, with
Podolski and Bacary Sagna both drawing Wenger to the edge of his
technical area with wayward passes. Seats were slow to fill up but there
were soon audible groans coming from around the stadium.

Gritty: The game failed to sparkle in the first half, with both teams guilty of being careless in possession

Gritty: The game failed to sparkle in the first half, with both teams guilty of being careless in possession

An unmarked Laurent Koscielny should
have scored with a powerful header from a Thomas Vermaelen cross after
Montpellier failed to clear a Santi Cazorla short corner.

Arsenal’s play was ad hoc, rather
than the patient, positive football to which we are accustomed. Per
Mertesacker managed to drive his way into the penalty area with all the
close control of a 6ft 6in German centre half but was eventually
crowded out by navy shirts. Arsenal’s appeal for a penalty was as
half-hearted as the chance.

Montpellier are the reigning French
champions but they are bottom of Group B for a reason. This is their
debut season in the Champions League; an elite club in which it often
takes a few years to feel like you truly belong.

Arsenal, accordingly, enjoyed the
vast majority of possession and left back Vermaelen nullified the threat
of Remy Cabella rather than Kieran Gibbs, who returned to the bench.
But there was still alarm at the way Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa was able to
thread a ball through the home side’s high back line to feed Anthony
Mounier early on, prompting Wojciech Szszesny to sprint off his line and
quell the danger.

Breakthrough: Wilshere got the stadium rocking when he pounced on Giroud's flick on to score

Breakthrough: Wilshere got the stadium rocking when he pounced on Giroud's flick on to score

Breakthrough: Wilshere got the stadium rocking when he pounced on Giroud's flick on to score

Thanks: The midfielder dashed to the bench to share the moment with the medical staff

Thanks: The midfielder dashed to the bench to share the moment with the medical staff

Arsenal’s finishing, particularly
from Podolski, was lacklustre, too, with the German doing little to
enhance his prospects of moving in from the left to play as a central
striker in the first half.

Podolski sent a right-foot shot wide
after a surging run from Montpellier old boy Olivier Giroud and then
held off Mathieu Deplagne to flash another effort wide with his left
foot after an inviting pass from Cazorla.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, fit again to
start on the right and replace the injured Theo Walcott, also saw a
right-foot shot easily saved.

With the other game in this group —
leaders Schalke at home to Olympiacos — also poised at 0-0 at half-time,
there was extra impetus for Arsenal to try to break the deadlock. They
wasted little time, with Wilshere putting them ahead soon after the
re-start.

Volley nice: Podolski's stunning effort will be a contender for goal of the season in Europe

Volley nice: Podolski's stunning effort will be a contender for goal of the season in Europe

Volley nice: Podolski's stunning effort will be a contender for goal of the season in Europe

The England midfielder started and
finished the move, initially finding Vermaelen on the left. The Gunners
captain played a one-two with Podolski before cutting on to his right
foot and crossing for Giroud to knock down a header into Wilshere’s
path.

The 20-year-old finished superbly,
dinking the ball over Geoffrey Jourdren with the outside of his left
boot to score his first goal for nearly two years, stretching back to a
4-2 win at Aston Villa on November 27, 2010.

Finally, that elusive confidence
began to flow, despite a poor clearance from Szczesny falling straight
to Cabella just minutes later, and Giroud was again crucial for the home
side’s second goal.

Oxlade-Chamberlain was the architect
with a surging run towards the penalty area, but it was Giroud who fed
Podolski on the left after an exchange of passes between the pair.

The 27-year-old made up for his
earlier misses by unleashing a blistering shot which demonstrated
brilliant technique, balance and power. Maybe he might not be so bad as a
centre forward, after all.

Arsenal 5 Tottenham 2 match report: Emmanuel Adebayor sent off as Gunners win derby

Arsenal 5 Tottenham 2: Adebayor opens scoring before seeing red for desperate lunge as Gunners seal derby delight

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UPDATED:

15:29 GMT, 17 November 2012

A moment of madness from Emmanuel Adebayor sparked a spectacular Tottenham collapse as Arsenal romped to victory in today's entertaining north London derby at the Emirates Stadium.

Adebayor scored against his former employers to give Tottenham a 10th-minute lead, but he pressed the self-destruct button seven minutes later when he was given a straight red for a horrific sliding tackle on the excellent Santi Cazorla.

Tottenham struggled to cope with the numerical disadvantage thereafter and it only took a few minutes for Per Mertesacker to equalise.

Lunge: Adebayor was shown a straight red card for a wild tackle on Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla

Lunge: Adebayor was shown a straight red card for a wild tackle on Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla

Red hot: Theo Walcott scored the final goal as Hugo Lloris shipped five

Red hot: Theo Walcott scored the final goal as Hugo Lloris shipped five

Match facts

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Arteta, Wilshere (Ramsey 72), Cazorla, Walcott, Podolski (Santos 80), Giroud (Oxlade-Chamberlain 86).

Subs: Mannone, Jenkinson, Coquelin, Arshavin.

Booked: Podolski

Goals: Mertesacker 24, Podolski 42, Giroud 45+1, Cazorla 60, Walcott 90+1.

Tottenham: Lloris, Walker (Dawson 46), Gallas, Vertonghen, Naughton (Dempsey 46), Lennon, Sandro, Huddlestone (Carroll 72), Bale, Adebayor, Defoe.

Subs: Friedel, Livermore, Townsend, Sigurdsson.

Booked: Lennon, Sandro

Sent off: Adebayor

Goals: Adebayor 10, Bale 71.

Att: 60,111

Ref: Howard Webb.

The latest Premier League table, fixtures and results

Lukas Podolski's strike, and Olivier
Giroud's fifth goal in his last five games gave Arsenal a comfortable
two-goal cushion by half-time.

Tottenham fared slightly better in the
second half, but their only reward came through a Gareth Bale
consolation after Cazorla killed the contest.

To add insult to injury Theo Walcott
grabbed a deserved goal in injury time to make the score the same as the
5-2 win that Arsenal used as a springboard for their Champions League
assault last season.

Arsenal's victory means they jump
above Tottenham in the table, while Spurs have now suffered four
successive defeats under Andre Villas-Boas, who will have questions to
answer about why he decided to play Adebayor if there were doubts about
whether the striker could keep a lid on his emotions.

It was clear from the off that
Adebayor was pumped up for the clash. After being snubbed by his former
team-mates in the tunnel, he tussled aggressively with Jack Wilshere for
the ball inside the first minute.

The Togolese's every touch was booed
during an opening five minutes which was bereft of goal-mouth action,
but packed with passion thanks to the white-hot atmosphere inside the
Emirates Stadium.

Protest: The Togo international was given his marching orders by referee Howard Webb

Protest: The Togo international was given his marching orders by referee Howard Webb

Protest: The Togo international was given his marching orders by referee Howard Webb

William Gallas, whose status as a
former Gunner also meant he was jeered constantly, thought he had given
Spurs an early lead when he intercepted Tom Huddlestone's shot and
curled a shot past Wojciech Szczesny, but the Frenchman was correctly
given offside.

One minute later Spurs did have the
lead, however, through their controversial number 10. Szczesny palmed
Jermain Defoe's shot in to Adebayor's path and he twisted his body to
tap in to an empty net.

Net gains: Adebayor had given the away side a deserved lead after tapping home with 10 minutes gone at the Emirates

Net gains: Adebayor had given the away side a deserved lead after tapping home with 10 minutes gone at the Emirates

Net gains: Adebayor had given the away side a deserved lead after tapping home with 10 minutes gone at the Emirates

Net gains: Adebayor had given the away side a deserved lead after tapping home with 10 minutes gone at the Emirates

The striker, famed for running the
whole length of the pitch to celebrate in front of Arsenal's fans three
years ago, hurdled the advertising boards and goaded the irate home
support.

Such was the vitriol against Adebayor that some of the home fans were ejected for hurling abuse at the 28-year-old.

Seven minutes later the home fans were jeering Adebayor off after his awful foul on Cazorla.

Studs showing, the Spurs striker
propelled himself in to a high tackle on the Spaniard, who was in
mid-air and Howard Webb had no option but to send the player off.

Head boy: Mertesacker scored his first goal for the club with a well-executed header

Head boy: Mertesacker scored his first goal for the club with a well-executed header

Head boy: Mertesacker scored his first goal for the club with a well-executed header

Head boy: Mertesacker scored his first goal for the club with a well-executed header

Arsenal peppered the Tottenham box as the visitors struggled to cope with the one-man deficit.

The inevitable equaliser came after 23
minutes. Walcott latched on to Wilshere's ball and crossed for
Mertesacker, who headed past Hugo Lloris after Huddlestone went missing
in the box.

Villas-Boas checked his notepad for
inspiration, but he must have known there was little he could do to stop
Arsenal from taking the lead.

Lloris, making just his second league start, did his best to keep the Gunners out, saving twice in succession from Giroud.

On target: Podolski celebrates after giving Arsenal the lead shortly before the interval

On target: Podolski celebrates after giving Arsenal the lead shortly before the interval

Cazorla bent a swirling drive just
over Lloris' bar as Tottenham tried to hold on until the break, but
Huddlestone then gifted the Gunners the lead.

The midfielder, recalled to the
England squad this week, poked Mikel Arteta's pass unwittingly in to the
path of Podolski and his shot deflected off Gallas past Lloris.

Arsenal bagged their third in
first-half injury time. Kyle Naughton knocked Cazorla down but he picked
himself up and squared to Giroud, who beat Gallas to the ball and
dispatched a close-range finish.

French fancy: Giroud celebrates with Walcott after scoring a third for the hosts in first-half stoppage time

French fancy: Giroud celebrates with Walcott after scoring a third for the hosts in first-half stoppage time

Kyle Walker and Bale remonstrated with
Webb as they left the field at half-time, but in reality there was
little they could complain about.

Villas-Boas brought on Michael Dawson
and Clint Dempsey and moved to 3-5-1, but the move made little impact as
Arsenal remained in control.

Lloris managed to keep the hosts out
for 14 minutes before Arsenal hit on the break through Walcott and
Podolski, who found Cazorla at the back post and he made no mistake from
five yards.

Santi Cazorla

Reign in Spain: Cazorla scored the home side's fourth goal after the interval at the Emirates

Santi Cazorla

Only a crucial block by Gallas stopped
Arsenal from scoring their fifth as the hosts threatened a
record-breaking victory margin.

Bale then restored a bit of pride for
the away side with 20 minutes to go when he outpaced Mertesacker and
drove past Szczesny through Laurent Koscielny's legs.

Flashes of Spurs' Bale-inspired near
comeback against Inter Milan flashed in to the minds of the away support
as the winger again went charging down the left and cut in to the box
but this time the his shot flew wide.

Hope: Bale scored with a right-footed effort after 71 minutes

Hope: Bale scored with a right-footed effort after 71 minutes

As the clock ticked towards 90 minutes Tottenham started to throw more bodies forward, but they were left exposed at the back.

Defoe attempted a 10-yard volley while
unmarked at the back post but he missed the ball Thomas Vermaelen shot
just wide and Arsenal finished off the rout in injury time when Alex
Oxlade-Chamberlain took advantage of a Jan Vertonghen mistake to play in
Walcott.

Job done: Walcott completes the rout in stoppage time

Job done: Walcott completes the rout in stoppage time