Arsenal move four points clear with 3-1 win over Spurs at the Emirates
Tottenham Hotspur 1
Tottenham’s miserable record at the Emirates continued this afternoon as Arsenal opened up a four-point gap at the top of the Premier League with a 3-1 win over their fierce rivals.
Thomas Partey’s goal midway through the first half was cancelled out by Harry Kane’s penalty – his 14th in this fixture to level things at the break.
But an horrendous error from Hugo Lloris gifted Gabriel Jesus a goal before Granit Xhaka made it 3-1. Spurs misery was complete when Emerson Royal was dismissed for a nasty foul on Gabriel Martinelli.
Spurs have now won just one of the last 30 games at either the Emirates or Highbury.
In signs reminiscent of this game last year, the Gunners started brightly. Lloris was forced into an early save low down to his right before Xhaka almost got to a long ball from the right.
Spurs were playing out from the back but only succeed in giving the ball to Thomas Partey twice in successive attempts as Arsenal’s pressing game dominated the early exchanges.
But having hardly had a touch in their opponent’s box in the first 15 minutes, Spurs produced the best chance thus far.
Son Heung-Min’s free-kick in from the right was poked on by Eric Dier, but Richarlison’s shot was excellently saved by Aaron Ramsdale.
Arsenal responded. First Ben White shot over from distance before Xhaka kept his long-range effort down but saw it flash inches wide of Lloris’ right-hand post.
Then Partey struck. Saka, with two men on him, decided to pass infield to White, who laid it off to Partey who curled a beauty into the top right corner of the Spurs goal to give the Gunners the lead after 20 minutes.
The goal led to a further period of Gunners’ dominance of possession, with the visitors relying on the speed of their forward payers during their limited number of breakaways - one such move ending with a poor effort from Ivan Perisic which flew high and wide of Ramsdale’s goal.
But after half an hour, and with their first shot on goal, Spurs were level, Harry Kane dispatching a penalty after Richarlison was brought down in the box by Gabriel.
The equaliser gave Spurs confidence and led to their first sustained period of possession in the match – Kane soon again forcing Ramsdale into action from a header.
Two minutes before the break Arsenal could have been back in front. Gabriel Jesus, until now relatively quiet, twisted and turned on the left before getting a shot away which was saved by Loris.
But Arsenal were back in front through Gabriel Jesus three minutes after the restart, following Lloris’ moment of madness. Bukayo Saka cut in from the right and unleashed a fierce shot which was saved at the first attempt by the Spurs goalkeeper.
But as it bounced away Lloris attempted to smother the ball but succeeded only in inexplicably jumping over the ball, and Jesus beat Emerson Royal to the ball to poke home for 2-1.
While the Gunners again dominated possession, Spurs were increasingly relying on breaks – and were still looking dangerous when doing so. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg curled a shot over on the hour from the exact spot where Partey had opened the scoring in the first half.
But the writing was on the wall for the Lillywhites just two minutes later, when Emerson Royal stamped on Gabriel Martinell’s Achilles and Anthony Taylor had no hesitation in dismissing the Spurs man.
Saka then fired a shot wide of Lloris’ goal before the Gunners extended their lead – Granit Xhaka, so often the target of the fans’ anger in the past – sometimes justifiable so – sidestepped two Spurs defenders and finished calmly beyond Lloris for 3-1 – and once again the Gunners prevailed in N5.
Arsenal: Ramsdale, White (Tomiyasu, 89), Partey (Lokonga, 73), Gabriel, Saka, Odegaard (Vieira, 79), Jesus (Nketiah, 79), Martinelli, Saliba, Xhaka, Zinchenko (Tierney, 73).
Spurs: Lloris, Hojbjerg (Skipp, 75), Son (Doherty, 72), Richarlison (Sessegnon, 72), Kane, Royal, Perisic (Bissouma, 72), Dier, Romero, Bentancur, Lenglet (Sanchez, 72).
Referee: Anthony Taylor