Arsene Wenger admitted his side could not afford to lose the north London derby after Harry Kane’s winner for Tottenham left Arsenal clinging onto their top-four ambitions.
Spurs got the better of their neighbours as Kane headed home after half-time to secure a 1-0 Wembley victory which moved the hosts seven points clear of the Gunners in the Premier League table.
Arsenal could be eight points off the top four, and a return to the Champions League, if results go against them over the weekend.
“It’s a game we couldn’t afford to lose, of course,” manager Wenger said. “That makes it much more difficult now but we have to fight for as long as we have a mathematical chance. There was more at stake than just the derby. That’s why it’s so disappointing to lose the game in the way we lost it.
“I think the game should have been finished at half-time for me. We missed opportunities on counter-attacks that are not missable at our level.
“In the second half, we should have lost the game by more than one goal at the start of the second half. We were destabilised by the goal they scored and they had two or three more opportunities that they could have scored.”
There was some gurning chump of Spurs fan on the TV earlier who punctuated every line he spoke with ‘power shift’ as if he was a mobster that had just witnessed the JFK assassination.
Truth be told, Arsenal have pretty much failed to survive the transition from from small ground winners to big stadium megastars. If you think Spurs have been unconvincing over the last few decades the indignity of following that lot has become far greater.
Tactically Poch was lacking yet again, but Wenger’s decisions made Mauricio look like Pep today.
I’m delighted we won, just a acutely aware that this Arsenal team is a dull as dishwater. Spurs should have scored more, but it doesn’t matter in the greater scheme of things, other teams will sore more against them before this season is over and perhaps then they can look at their big soulless stadium and admit to themselves they’ve tried really hard to throw their football club away.