Arsenal’s three unsung heroes from Spurs win give Mikel Arteta food for thought
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Mikel Arteta could be left with a selection headache following Arsenal’s win over Tottenham.
The Gunners came from behind to beat their north London rivals with Martin Odegaard and Alexandre Lacazette turning the Premier League fixture around.
Erik Lamela went from hero to zero for Tottenham, netting the opener with a superb rabona before being sent off for two yellow cards.
Though Arsenal dominated throughout, limiting Spurs to very few attempts, but not all Gunners players will earn plaudits.
So Daily Star Sport has picked out three that went under the radar in the win with Arteta now set to have to make some key decisions.
Arsenal quickly realised that they were gaining more success down the left than the opposite flank, and former Celtic star Tierney was vital to that.
He often got the better of Matt Doherty and it was his cross that found Odegaard for the Gunners’ leveller.
Tierney has really come into his own in recent weeks, both in attack and defence, and is proving to be one of Arsenal’s key players.
Having struggled with full-backs in recent years, it seems Arteta may have a long-term solution.
Emile Smith Rowe
While Tierney is a regular on Arteta’s team-sheet, Smith Rowe isn’t.
The 20-year-old did not play his first Premier League game of the season until Boxing Day and missed out completely against Burnley last week.
He was given the nod against Spurs and proved to be a constant threat as he worked away down the left-hand side.
He struck the bar with a fine effort as Arsenal put the pressure on in the first half and, with Aubameyang missing out, certainly did his case for a more regular place no harm.
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The Ghanaian gave the sort of performance that Arsenal were hoping for when they signed him from Atletico Madrid last summer.
Alongside Granit Xhaka, they got the better of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Tangay Ndombele in midfield.
Injuries have restricted Partey’s availability this season but he showed he should be ahead of the likes of Mohamed Elneny and Dani Ceballos in Arteta’s midfield.
Now Gunners fans will just be hoping he can stay fit, with the holding midfielder visibly tiring as the game progressed past the hour mark.
His performances will certainly leave Arteta wondering what to do with his other midfielders this summer.
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- Arsenal FC
- Tottenham Hotspur FC
- Mikel Arteta
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