Manchester United legend and Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville has claimed that had Declan Rice played the whole 90 minutes, Tottenham would have lost the game.
The game ended up in a 2-2 draw which was perhaps a fair result on a whole. Tottenham started the game slow with Arsenal being the better side for the first 30 minutes.
They took the lead through a Romero own goal but Tottenham responded almost immediately with Heung-min Son scoring the equaliser. And the goal injected the confidence into the Tottenham side as they became the superior team for majority part of the game.
Arsenal won a penalty in the second half which Saka slotted in but just a minute later Son had equalised again after James Maddison took advantage of a Jorginho mistake before assisting Son who expertly finished.
There were several more chances for both teams but the game ended in a fair draw.
But Gary Neville believes Declan Rice’s injury was the turning point. He emphasises the importance of the midfielder and how much of a loss he would be if he does not return in time for the game against Manchester City in two weeks.
He claimed that had Rice played the 90 minutes for Arsenal against Spurs, they would have come out as winners.
Discussing the defensive midfielder on The Gary Neville Podcase, he said:
“It will be interesting in two weeks’ time when they’re [Manchester City] without him [Rodri] if Arsenal are without Declan Rice, as that’s the other big thing that’s happened today to Arsenal.
“The biggest problem for Arsenal today is not dropping two points, it’s if [Bukayo] Saka and Rice have got four, five-week injuries because they are two very important players.
“And Rice is a monster in there, I think they win that game with him out there until the 90th minute.
“I think he’s that type of player that just drives them forward, that those corners at the end he’ll get something.
“He’s that type of player that I just feel has that in him to will a team on, to just get that result.”
Rice is no doubt a key player for Arsenal and must have been a huge miss for them in the second half.
But that does not necessarily mean that they would have won the game if he was on the pitch.
Spurs were the better team for most part of the game and while both Arsenal and Spurs had decent chances, the game could have went either way.