Spurs were held goalless for the third North London derby this season – two in the Premier League – as Tomas Rosicky gave Arsenal the win in the second minute and the back line solidly kept the home attack at bay. The home side held nearly 60% of the possession throughout the match, but solid shape at the back for the visitors meant Spurs were left with a handfull of half-chances and not much more. Arsenal led just 72 seconds after the opening whistle as Rosicky and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain worked a quick break and Rosicky finished strong into the top corner for a shock away lead. Sandro gave the ball away in the attacking half, and with the defense playing up Rosicky and Ox beat them back easily. The Czech worked the ball down the right edge, and cut back in to Ox. The English winger was defended well, but before he was dispossessed he laid back off to Rosicky who cannoned his shot home past Hugo Lloris from a tight angle. Coming just a minute and 12 seconds into the match, the goal is the fastest ever for Arsenal against Spurs. Spurs settled in after the goal, but were left vulnerable on a number of occasions thanks to a very high defensive line put in by manager Tim Sherwood. It resulted in a very open match on both ends.
Tottenham came the closest to an equalizer in the 28th minute, as Andros Townsend on the right edge cut across for a streaking Emmanuel Adebayor, but defended well the Togolese striker couldn’t get a clean look and put it just wide. Their high line earned Spurs 62% of possession in the first half, but could not manage a shot on target. The hosts came out of the blocks firing in the second half, with two wide open chances, but botched them both. The second on 48 minutes was the more clear-cut, with Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny spilling the ball out of net, but Nacer Chadli couldn’t finish as Per Mertesacker threw his body in the way. Continuing to press, Adebayor three minutes later played Townsend in, and the winger cut across to Chadli in front of net but again he couldn’t finish. Adebayor later on 65 minutes got a head to a ball from Chadli but could only put it wide as Laurent Koscielny proved barely strong enough. They peppered the Arsenal area in the final 20 minutes, but couldn’t get anything solid out of it as Mertesacker and Koscielny led the stand. With the win, the Gunners draw level with Liverpool who won earlier today as well, as both pull four minutes back of Chelsea. They also pull nine points clear of Spurs, whose Champions League hopes are all but dashed, seven points out of the final Premier League spot. Arsenal have now beaten Spurs all three times they’ve played their London rivals this season – twice in the league and once in the FA Cup – by a total scoreline of 4-0. LINEUPS:Tottenham – Lloris; Naughton, Kaboul, Vertonghen, Rose; Sandro (Paulinho 68′); Townsend, Bentaleb, Eriksen (Soldado 82′), Chadli (Sigurdsson 69′); Adebayor. Arsenal – Szczesny; Sagna, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs; Arteta, Rosicky (Flamini 69′), Oxlade-Chamberlain (Vermaelen 85′), Podolski (Monreal 77′), Cazorla; Giroud. Goals: Rosicky 2′
Napoli takes commanding Serie A lead after Juventus loss
Six-time Serie A defending champions Juventus are in trouble. Not a lot, but the heat has been turned up.
A wild 3-2 loss to Sampdoria means the Italian giants are now four points back of Napoli in the Serie A table, and heading into their Champions League matchup with Barcelona, there is plenty of soul-searching to do in Turin.
Juventus nearly mounted what would have been a monumental comeback, down 3-0 heading into stoppage-time but posting goals by Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala in the first and fourth minutes of injury time. It was not to be, and the four-point deficit through 13 games not only leaves Juventus looking at Napoli more than a game in front of them, but also over their shoulders at Roma and Inter Milan both a point behind in third and fourth.
Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was kept out of the lineup as he continues to deal emotionally with the World Cup miss, and it showed. After a scoreless first half at Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Duzan Zapata beat Stephan Lichtensteiner in the air and sent a looping header over a flatfooted Wojciech Szczesny for the opening goal.
With 20 minutes to go, Sampdoria struck again as former Premier League creator Gaston Ramirez fed 21-year-old Lucas Torreira at the top of the box, and with nobody closing him down, he fired into the bottom-left corner of the net. They got the eventual winner nine minutes later after an embarrassing defensive breakdown by the visitors. A free-kick saw two attackers in front of net against five defenders, but somehow Gianmarco Ferrari was completely unmarked in front of the net for a tap-in.
Higuain struck from the penalty spot and Dybala hit on the counter to beat Emiliano Vivaldo at his near post, but it wasn’t enough for Juventus. The defensive frailty will need to be corrected moving forward, as they face a vital match at Napoli on December 1st, and a loss there could spell disaster for their title charge.
Bale, 28, was worth $112 million in today’s dollars when Real bought him in 2013. He has 70 goals and 55 assists in 159 matches for the Spanish outfit.
How much is he worth now? Certainly nothing near the same figure, as Romelu Lukaku went for $99 million this summer and Alvaro Morata went for $80 million.
The Express says Real expects $112 million right back for Bale, which seems insane. Bale has three goals and four assists in nine matches for Real this summer, and had nine and five in 27 outings last season.
Bale did, however, scored 19 goals in 23 La Liga matches two seasons ago, but he’s dealt with significant injuries on a near-annual basis.
Spurs transfer record is the $48 million it spent on Davinson Sanchez this summer. Whatever Manchester United, or anything suitor, will bid for Bale will likely be higher than that figure.
At one point would it make sense for Spurs to smash their record and wage structure to line up Bale, Dele Alli, Harry Kane, and Christian Eriksen in the same attack (I mean, holy smoke, just close your eyes and visualize that!).
Real reportedly wants to make the move happen in January, while United wants to do it in the summer.