Pires impressed with the performance of Arsenal’s Matteo Guendouzi

Arsenal legend Robert Pires has appreciated the performance of Matteo Guendouzi in the aftermath of the north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur. The Gunners were culpable for individual defensive mistakes during the first period and that cost them dearly with Spurs scoring twice within the opening 41 minutes.

Alexandre Lacazette managed to reduce Spurs’ advantage before the break and the comeback draw was sealed in the second half where Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored off a sublime assist from Guendouzi. The Frenchman did not have the best of beginnings to the encounter but he picked up his performance shortly after the Gunners went 2-0 down.

Guendouzi was partly responsible for Lacazette’s strike after grabbing possession of the ball higher up the field. Thereafter, he came close to scoring by himself but it was not meant to be with goalkeeper Hugo Lloris in fine form throughout the game. Nonetheless, he made the most notable difference after delivering a sublime defence-splitting pass for Aubameyang’s leveller.

Speaking after the encounter, Pires praised the mentality of the young Frenchman, who impressed with his workrate, tackling, passing and ability to hold onto possession of the ball for longer periods, he told: “He does his job, patrolling defensive midfield, winning the ball, tackling well, and then playing the ball quickly and simply. That’s why he is an important player for Unai [Emery] and for Arsenal. I liked the reaction of the team to going 2-0 down, the manner of the response.”

Despite the 2-2 draw, a section of the supporters should feel disappointed with the outcome of the game, considering Spurs were struggling with fresh injury concerns. With the stalemate, Unai Emery’s side see themselves in the fifth position and just behind the Champions League places on goal difference. They are scheduled to take on Watford on the road after the international break.