• By Charlie Stong at Emirates Stadium

Brilliant Gunners blow sorry Spurs away in emphatic 3-1 derby win


A wonderful display of attacking football saw Arsenal blow Spurs away at the Emirates this afternoon.


The Gunners raced into a 3-0 lead at half-time thanks to strikes from Emile Smith Rowe, skipper Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang and the brilliant Bukayo Saka.


And although Spurs responded through Son Heung-Min with little over 10 minutes remaining, the Gunners were not to be denied victory in an emphatically one-sided north London derby.


Where Arsenal were brilliant, Spurs were pathetic and the pressure is now heaped on visiting boss Nuno Espirito Santo.


Spurs, in fact, had the first gimmer of an opportunity. Harry Kane involved before Dele Alli played in Son whose shot was weak.


But at the other end Hugo Lloris was soon being forced to earn his wages, saving low down to his left from Aubameyang.


And the Gunners’ early possession was made to count when Smith Rowe gave them the lead on 12 minutes. Saka twisted and turned his defender down the Arsenal right and his cross found Smith Rowe completely unmarked who had the simplest job of side-footing home from 10 yards.


And Lloris had to be at his acrobatic best to stop it from becoming 2-0 on 16 minutes – palming away a pile driver from Thomas Partey – who is improving with every game.


Spurs responded with Son, who turned Arsenal right back Takehiro Tomiyasu before unleashing a shot with his left foot which was brilliantly pushed over the bar by Aaron Ramsdale. Japhet Tanganga headed the resulting corner harmlessly over.


The Gunners had kept Kane quiet in the opening exchanges – the Spurs striker limited to one effort way over the bar from range midway through the half.


And the home side were two up on 28 minutes after a flowing move was finished off by Aubameyang.


Arsenal broke up the field following some Spurs pressure and the skipper set Smith Rowe free down the left. The youngster then made his way into the box before finding Aubameyang with a return pass which was expertly finished into Lloris’ bottom right-hand corner for 2-0.


And the Gunners were three up on 34 minutes, this time Saka turned scorer. Smith Rowe’s pass found him in the right wing position, and although Kane tracked back to block Saka’s first effort, the ball fell kindly to the Arsenal man, who made no mistake from inside the box.


By now the Emirates was rocking like it has not often done in its entire history.


Kane had a great chance to reduce the deficit six minutes before the break, but saw his header from Son’s right-hand corner go wide to the right of Ramsdale’s goal.


He then forced Ramsdale into a diving save on the hour. The keeper palmed Kane’s effort out but Tomiyasu was first on hand to clear the danger.


Then came Spurs’ best chance thus far. A long ball forward found Kane free, and when he controlled the ball the expectation was for the net to bulge from his next touch but, under pressure from defenders and the onrushing Ramsdale, his effort was wide – and summed up Spurs’ afternoon.


The Emirates fans were loving it. Not often do you hear chants of ‘ole’ in a north London derby, but given the Gunners’ dominance the home fans were in their element. ‘Are you Tottenham in disguise?’ rang out at one stage – others were not quite as neighbourly – as more Spurs fans headed for the exits.


Saka forced Lloris into a scrambling save as Ian Wright and Thierry Henry lapped it up from the stands.


But Spurs were not quite done. Son gave them some form of hope with just over 10 minutes left, turning home a left wing cross to reduce the deficit to 3-1.


Granit Xhaka was forced off after being injured in the build-up to Son’s goal, and soon after the ever-impressive Kieran Tierney saw a shot fly wide of the Spurs right hand upright.


Lucas Moura almost made it an interesting final couple of minutes of stoppage time, but Ramsdale expertly pushed his effort on to the bar and the Gunners held on for a very well-deserved victory – their third in a row in the Premier League.


Teams:

Arsenal: Ramsdale, Tierney, White, Partey, Gabriel, Saka (Maitland-Niles, 87), Odegaard, Smith Rowe (Tavares, 87), Aubameyang, Tomiyasu, Xhaka (Sambi Lokonga, 81)

Tottenham: Lloris, Reguilon, Hojbjerg, Sanchez, Son, Kane, Dier, Alli (Skipp, h/t), Tanganga, Moura, Ndombele (Gill, 70)

Referee: Craig Pawson