Tottenham played very badly and were comprehensively beaten by an impressive Arsenal in the North London FA Cup derby
There's no bright side here for Tottenham. It was a poor team performance, with several terrible individual displays at the heart of it. They did win at Old Trafford a week ago, so there's no need to get too glum, but this was not a side that will trouble any trophy-engravers this season. Their wretchedness will be the outstanding memory of this match, most emphatically embodied by Rose's horrible gift-wrapping of the second goal, and by the dismal displays of their attacking players, particularly the hapless Emmanuel Adebayor. Arsenal didn't just beat Spurs here, they broke them. The Gunners, brilliantly polished as they are at looking magnificent mid-season and humdrum by its close, look ever more convincing. If they can solve their lack of strikers this month, their future seems bright indeed. Anyway, ITV have already finished with football and started their diving-based game show, and that's enough from me. Thanks for your emails and your company. Bye!
Tomas Rosicky has spoken!
I think that we played very collectively, and tactically very well, and we always have the quality to score goals. Obviously it means a lot to us, to the fans, so it's a great win for us. For my goal, I try to put the opponent under pressure. It's my first of the season and against out main rival it feels good. We want to win the league, we know we are a good side.
90+5 mins: Adebayor has the ball, and space. It's the last chance for Spurs to do something positive. He looks left. He looks right. He hits the ball straight out of play. And that, fittingly, is the day's last action.
90+4 mins: Monreal goes over as Bentaleb challenges, and wins a free-kick. Bentaleb stamps hard, but if he was aiming for Monreal he – not untypically, for a Spurs player this afternoon – misses.
90+3 mins: Spurs attack, a bit. Rose cuts in from the left and unleashes a shot which didn't look very good even before it hit Bentaleb and spun out of play for a goal-kick.
90+1 mins: There will be at least five minutes of gloating time here for Arsenal.
90 mins: An Arsenal throw-in has Gnabry haring towards the Spurs goal, and his pass sets up Özil for a low shot that Lloris touches wide. Just go back to the start of that sentence. A throw-in.
89 mins: Adebayor lazily surrenders possession on the edge of the penalty area. How he has remained on the pitch for the entire match is a bit of a mystery.
87 mins: They don't. Eriksen nudges the ball towards Chadli on his right, but the pass is underhit, giving Arsenal's defenders time to race out and block the eventual shot.
86 mins: Özil pushes Rose over, and Spurs have a free-kick just outside the left-hand edge of the penalty area. No pressure, but they really must score from this.
83 mins: Clearly not in much pain, Walcott leaves with a smile and a two-finger salute to the Spurs fans – a reminder of the score, rather than an internationally-recognised encouragement to go elsewhere. In response, his stretcher is pelted with rubbish from the stands.
82 mins: Walcott is now being strapped to a stretcher, and Arsenal will end this game with 10 men.
80 mins: Walcott has spent the last few minutes on the floor clutching his leg, then up and moving freely, then on the floor and clutching his leg again. This time looks worse than the last.
79 mins: Walker gets into the Arsenal penalty area and is closed down by two men. The ball pops up and hits one of them – Rosicky – on the arm. The referee waves away the penalty claim.
77 mins: Ooooh! Chiriches wins the ball and then gives it away again, just outside his penalty area. Gnabry passes to Walcott, whose low shot is curled just wide.
76 mins: Cazorla shoots from the half-way line, with Lloris perched precariously on the edge of his penalty area. The ball flies wide.
74 mins: "Tim Sherwood's a Gooner!" trill the home fans. Arsenal bring on Mezut Özil, and take Arteta off. "Can we take it from Adebayor's performance today that the negotiations on his new contract have been successfully concluded," asks David Wall. "Any announcement yet on the Spurs website?"
72 mins: Arsenal bring on Flamini for Wilshere.
71 mins: Walker takes on Monreal, and was going to win as well, until Monreal took him out. The referee takes a very charitable view of proceedings.
70 mins: Another fine pass from Wilshere is just too long for Walcott, who might have quite a lot of fun as Spurs push forward seeking, well, something.
67 mins: Arsenal break, Wilshere's lovely chipped pass finds Monreal bursting into the penalty area, and he collapses the moment Walker approaches. Goal kick.
64 mins: Chadli replaces Soldado, who has not had a particularly good afternoon.
Oh dear. dear dear dear. Danny Rose has the ball on the halfway line, and plenty of space. Rosicky closes him down, Rose dawdles and is dispossessed, and the Arsenal man sprints clear, draws the goalkeeper, holds off Walker, and pops the ball into the net.
60 mins: Chance! Gnabry passes the ball inside to Walcott, who takes the ball round Lloris but leaves himself with a hugely unpromising angle, and hits the side netting.
59 mins: Arsenal attack, and when the move peters out Spurs generously give the ball straight back, and Arsenal attack some more. Eventually Cazorla overhits a pass and the pressure lifts.
56 mins: Chance for Spurs! Lennon crosses from the right, and Adebayor controls the ball magnificently, spins and then … totally mishits his shot. Barely hits it at all, in fact.
55 mins: Chiriches stands on Walcott's foot, but defender and attacker escape unbooked and uninjured, respectively. In other football news, Bayern Munich announce the signing of Robert Lewandowski.
52 mins: The corner leads to some penalty area scrapperoo and a free-kick to Spurs.
51 mins: Another fine Arsenal move ends with a chipped pass to Sagna, whose header back across goal is deflected behind.
47 mins: Eriksen hits his second corner over the heads of the throng in the middle to Soldado, lurking on the edge of the penalty area. Had the volley flown into the top corner it would have had me on my feet. It does not.
46 mins: Spurs win a corner, which hits Monreal's shoulder and flies not far wide of the near post. Spurs have another.
46 mins: The second half has begun. Yes it has.
The goal was one of those that looks considerably better because there's a camera stuck behind the goal which allows you to perfectly appreciate it's lovely, curling journey into the net. But there's no doubt that the ball's progress there was very much helped both by Tottenham's decision not to stick a defender within 30 yards of Cazorla, and Hugo Lloris's decision to leap out of the way and fall the floor before the shot was taken, when had he simply stood still the ball would have hit him in the stomach. Still, a fine shot and a nicely timed and weighted pass from Gnabry to set it up. Eriksen, who had Tottenham's one good chance, should have shot across goal from four yards further back, rather than at the near post from an unpromising angle. The FA Cup might be a great equaliser, but Arsenal are five places better than Spurs in the Premier League table, and look it. They will start the second half with Mertesacker on the pitch and Vermaelen off it.
45+2 mins: Peeeep! That's it for half one, which ends with Arsenal gratefully clutching a lead they probably deserve. Spurs are outnumbered in midfield and Adebayor, after a bright start, appears to have decided that this won't be one of his good games. Sherwood has some work to do.
45+1 mins: We'll have one minute of stoppage time, during which Walcott steals the ball from Chiriches but sees his attempt to set up Cazorla bounce unkindly for the Arsenal chap.
45 mins: A shot from Spurs! Walker taps the ball back to Soldado, whose low shot zips across goal and wide.
44 mins: There's a long wait for an Arsenal free-kick, which Cazorla curls towards the far post, where Sagna flings out a leg but can't make much contact.
40 mins: The corner is headed half-clear by Rose at the near post and flies to Walcott, lurking at the edge of the box, whose volley flies over the bar. Further replays show that Dembele attempted a rarely-spotted backward headbutt on Wilshere, but made very little contact, which is probably just as well for all involved.
40 mins: Arsenal have been on top since the goal, though Theo Walcott was a little optimistic to shoot from a 40-yard free-kick. It deflects off a defender and wins his side a corner.
37 mins: Replays suggest there wasn't much to that reported aggro. Meanwhile in actual football news, a decent spell of Arsenal pressure ends when Lloris claims Wilshere's cross.
34 mins: "Santi Cazorla looks disturbingly like Keith Harris, especially when contemplating taking a set-piece," writes John Davis. "It's the look that Keith used when Orville said something superficially stupid but, on reflection, incredibly insightful – almost a look of envy. Lovely finish though." I'm so busy looking at picturs of Orville that I miss some apparent aggro involving Dembele and Wilshere.
Bah! Arsenal work it from right to left, where Cazorla is in acres of space. All Gnabry had to do is find him, and the goal was wide open. That's a serious marking failure right there. Anyway, the finish is first-time, left-footed and emphatic.
31 mins: That last post was destined to be followed either by an immediate goal, or by three minutes of totally-out-of-keeping midfield tedium. I get the latter.
28 mins: Sagna gives the ball away, Eriksen carries it forward, and then his pass into the path of Adebayor clips a defender and rebounds to safety. This game is perpetually a moment away from a goal. It could come at any time.
25 mins: Brilliant chance for Arsenal! Walcott passes to Rosicky and then sprints onto the return pass, beyond the Spurs defence, but his shot isn't up to much and hits Lloris, while a simple square ball would have left a team-mate with a tap-in.
24 mins: Chiriches' 60-yard pass magnificently picks out Fabianski. This is helter-skelter stuff, it really is.
20 mins: A very fine challenge it was too, replays reveal. It certainly inspired Arsenal, who sprinted away to the other end of the pitch, where Rosicky shot over the bar.
20 mins: Vermaelen slides in to challenge Soldado, who crumples to the ground. The referee points to the ball, which is just as well as the alternative was a red card.
18 mins: Eriksen shoots over the bar.
17 mins: Lennon streaks into Arsenal's half, but then takes a heavy touch and Arteta simply steps across and collects the ball. Moments later Dembele is fouled by Vermaelen in a similar position to the one Arsenal just had a free-kick from, only at the other end of the pitch, and Vermaelen is booked for his pleasure.
16 mins: Bentaleb shoulder-charges Rosicky, who tumbles and wins a free-kick, six yards outside the right-hand corner of the penalty area. Cazorla's cross is headed clear.
14 mins: Ooooooh! The corner comes in, the ball pings in and around the penalty area a bit, before Gnabry jinks onto his left foot and slams a shot that flies a foot over the bar.
14 mins: Another chance for Walcott, who tries to curl the ball into the far corner with his left foot from just outside the penalty area, but it's deflected wide.
13 mins: "I'm sure I'm going to be pilloried, but why is Arsenal v Tottenham on TV?" moans Alec Cochrane. "I can watch this game twice a year in the league. Surely the FA cup magic is about teams from different divisions playing each other. And more importantly a lower division team could do with the £144k that the TV companies give each team. Southampton v Burnley was always going to be more exciting as well." So speaks a man who isn't employed selling advertising on a commercial television network.
12 mins: Arsenal break, and Walcott carries the ball diagonally across goal, left to right, before shooting low, right-footed, from 25 yards. Lloris touches wide.
9 mins: Great chance for Spurs! An Arsenal pass hits Eriksen's shins and suddenly the midfielder is roaring down on goal. The angle's not great, but he's in loads of space, but his attempt to sidefoot the ball inside the near post hits the goalkeeper's leg.
8 mins: A patient move from Arsenal ends with Gnabry giving the ball to Rose, and then fouling him.
5 mins: A high-tempo opening continues with Lennon picking up the ball and running down the wing until he runs out of pitch and gives Arsenal a goal-kick.
4 mins: Half-chance for Arsenal! Gnabry gets to the byline, pulls the ball back and Walcott scuffs his effort from wide of the near post, and it trundles wide of the far.
3 mins: Bentaleb gives the ball away, then wins it back and releases Adebayor, who can't outsprint Koscielny and wins only a throw-in.
2 mins: Spurs start on the front foot, but Dembele's apparently goalbound shot hits a defender. "I see that Holtby is not even in the squad," writes Richard Tucker. "Is he injured or are the rumours of differences between him and Sherwood being played out?" It's the third successive Spurs match which he hasn't featured in, and word is he's grumpy and wants out.
1 min: Mr Clattenburg puts the whistle to his lips, blows lustily and Theo Walcott taps the ball to get us started.
For avoidance of doubt: it's not orange, it's mango.
The players are in the tunnel, Arsenal in their kit, and Spurs in their fetching zip-up training tops. Action imminent!
Tim Sherwood had this to say, to ITV's Gabriel Clarke:
This is a bigger game (than Old Trafford), so we've got to put a good display on and hopefully we can get a result. We need to pass it a little bit better and hopefully we can get our offensive players on the ball in the correct areas. I wish I was playing. It's a lot easier to play because you can actually do something about it. All I can do is throw them over that line and hope they perform. I'm confident we can do the job.
While Arsène Wenger says something quite a bit like this:
It's exactly the same with Tottenham or someone else. Just there's a bit more tension before the game. We want to dictate the game and of course one of the ingredients to be successful today is to keep their strikers quiet. We want to win every game always, because every win makes you stronger.
Arsenal fans have prepared a special welcome for Tim Sherwood, who notoriously and embarrassingly 'loves to see them do well'. Not today, presumably.
A thick slice of Stilton sharing a plate with a generous scoop of avocado and tomato ketchup ice cream; Robin Thicke forming a supergroup with Phil Collins and Black Lace; Tottenham and Arsenal in the third round of the FA Cup. Many people would want them kept apart, certainly those who actually have to experience the combination – in this case the players and fans of the two clubs. Only one of Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspurs will be in the fourth round of this year's Football Association Challenge Cup, and how it will pain the losers to see Stevenage and Southend and Burton Albion take their place in tomorrow's fourth-round draw (speaking of which, "Mad Dog" Martin and Paul Allen will be doing the drawing, and Arsenal, Spurs or both Arsenal and Spurs will be represented by the number 27) in the knowledge that they certainly or possibly will not. 'Tis the grizzly glory of a truly free draw, and we're all richer for it. Unless our team loses annoyingly, in which case we're not.
The teams are in, and Tottenham's is strong while Arsenal's is slightly wobbly. Lukasz Fabianski, Serge Gnabry and Thomas Vermaelen start, with Theo Walcott leading the line with both Olivier Giroud and Nicklas Bendtner injured. Tottenham make one change from the team that beat Manchester United at Old Trafford on New Year's Day, with Nabil Bentaleb starting and Capoue benched. Those teams in full:
Arsenal: Fabianski, Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Monreal, Wilshere, Arteta, Gnabry, Cazorla, Rosicky, Walcott. Subs: Mertesacker, Podolski, Ozil, Viviano, Flamini, Jenkinson, Park.
Spurs: Lloris, Walker, Dawson, Chiriches, Rose, Lennon, Bentaleb, Dembele, Eriksen, Adebayor, Soldado. Subs: Capoue, Chadli, Friedel, Fryers, Kane, Fredericks, Obika.
Referee: Mark Clattenburg.
Simon will be here shortly.
In the meantime here are some north London derby FA Cup memories …
There is more to Arsenal versus Tottenham cup ties than loaded emotions and local antipathy. The north London clubs have met five times in the FA Cup, and on each of the last four occasions the survivor has gone on to reach the final - three times winning the trophy.
David Hytner and Amy Lawrence track down some of the players who took part in these tussles who remember how it felt to have a cup run and bragging rights on the line simultaneously, and reflect upon how much is at stake at the Emirates on Saturday evening.