Two Arsenal Players Accused of ‘”Wobbling” and Allowing Tottenham Fightback in the North London Derby

Two Arsenal players faced criticism following their near collapse of a three-goal lead against Tottenham on Sunday.

Gabriel and Declan Rice, key players for Arsenal, have been accused of “wobbling” in their performance in the north London derby on Sunday. Despite the Gunners’ initial 3-0 lead, they allowed Tottenham to claw their way back into the match, resulting in a tense 3-2 finish.

Arsenal have had an outstanding season, leading Manchester City by just one point at the top of the table before their showdown with Spurs.

The Gunners took the lead 15 minutes into the game as Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg inadvertently deflected a Bukayo Saka corner into his own net.

Saka extended Arsenal’s lead by controlling a pass from Kai Havertz, cutting inside, and firing a shot into the bottom corner. The visitors’ dominance continued when Havertz connected with a corner from Rice just before halftime.

Arsenal appeared to be comfortably leading, but a crucial mistake by away goalkeeper David Raya allowed the hosts to regain momentum. Cristian Romero capitalised on Raya’s misjudged clearance, scoring confidently.

Son Heung-min later secured a goal from the penalty spot in the final minutes after Ben Davies was fouled by Rice. Despite the late scare, the Gunners managed to secure the victory in the end.

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Even though Gabriel and Rice contributed to their team’s 25th league victory, Garth Crooks criticized them in his BBC Team of the Week feature.

Despite William Saliba’s consistent presence in Arsenal’s lineup, Crooks acknowledged his role in their title challenge, despite conceding two goals against Spurs in the north London derby.

After selecting Gunners centre-back William Saliba in his team, Crooks wrote: “It is no coincidence Arsenal are challenging Manchester City for the title and William Saliba has not missed a game all season. Although Arsenal conceded two goals against Spurs in the north London derby it took a special effort to come away with a victory.

“Saliba held his nerve when it appeared that Gabriel and, uncharacteristically, Declan Rice in particular seemed to wobble.”

Crooks then turned his attention to VAR after Micky van de Ven had an equaliser ruled out for offside. “However, the game seem to hinge on yet another VAR decision when Micky van de Ven was judged to have been offside,” Crooks added.

“Is it possible when the technology takes what appears to be an age to make a decision that the player might actually be level? The whole point of the offside rule was to stop players from gaining a material advantage – not whether one player has a bigger backside than the other.”

The Arsenal title race seems destined to go down to the wire, especially after Manchester City’s victory against Nottingham Forest on Sunday. Additionally, the Citizens hold a crucial advantage with a game in hand over the Gunners.

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