The North London derby, much like it seems to be every single year, was an incredible contest. Another four goals were added to the history of the fixture and also took it 25 derbies since we last had a 0-0 between the two sides, as per 11v11, with the last coming in February 2009.
Part of the reason for that is the scintillating attacking options that both sides had on the day, but here we’ll be focusing on one of the players who didn’t get a look in as the two North London sides battled it out for three points and local bragging rights.
Ahead of the North London derby last December, a highly charged affair in which Arsenal won 4-2 at The Emirates, Lucas Moura, Tottenham’s Brazilian livewire, was vocal about his time playing under Arsenal manager Unai Emery whilst he was at PSG, and The Mirror ran his quotes as the player vowed ‘to show’ his ex-manager with his ability on the pitch.
Last season, in that 4-2 defeat, Lucas got the chance to do but failed to take it, although he was given just 11 minutes off the bench to try and make an impact as his side succumbed to defeat. This season, though things should have been very different given the way the game went.
The Lilywhites had Erik Lamela and Heung-Min Son whilst the Gunners had Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe as the second half of the clash turned into a battle of counter-attack against counter-attack, and if Lucas is in his element anywhere, it’s running at pace against a retreating defence.
One of his most remembered goals last season, aside from that magnificent Ajax hat-trick, came at Old Trafford. The Brazilian weaved his way through a Manchester United defence constantly backing off before slotting past David De Gea, and that kind of incision and decisiveness could easily have been the difference at The Emirates.
Instead, Pochettino opted to use just two of his three substitutions to bring on Dele Alli and Giovani Lo Celso into the fray, although in hindsight, Lucas looked to be the smartest option as an attacking substitute with the lack of any kind of midfield domination and space aplenty for him to bomb into.