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  • Writer's pictureBy Yann Tear at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Well-beaten Spurs have no answers as dominant Arsenal complete double over their rivals

Tottenham (0) 0

Arsenal (2) 2 Lloris og 14, Odegaard 36

North London is theirs.

With Man City having slipped up in their own derby, this has been some weekend for the Gunners, though, having played less than half their matches for the season, they are in no position to get too excited just yet.

That said, this was a hugely impressive statement win. They played like champions, having a swagger and an understanding of their game plan which ran Spurs ragged at times.

So often in recent times, this has been a day for Harry Kane to wreak havoc, but here he was largely subdued by an excellent defensive performance that owed much to a superb midfield as well as a solid back line.

Another goalkeeping calamity from Hugo Lloris was the last thing Spurs could afford with the derby still in its infancy.

But on 14 minutes, the Tottenham skipper was badly at fault when Bukayo Saka’s drilled cross from the right was spilled over the line by the keeper, with no Gunners player in sight.

Saka had been picked out by Partey who had an outstanding first half, bossing the midfield alongside Martin Odegaard and who almost scored with a shinned volley from outside the box which came back off an upright.

Antonio Conte had implored home fans to recreate the febrile atmosphere of last season which played a part in Spurs sweeping the Gunners aside on their way to clinching a Champions League spot, but after just 14 minutes, the mood felt flat.

The Gunners were monopolising the ball and leaving their hosts chasing shadows.

Tottenham’s frustrations were epitomised by a yellow given to World Cup winner Cristian Romero for three late tackles in the opening 35 minutes.

Lloris did better with an Odegaard shot from outside the area which followed a sweet passing raid by the Gunners – the keeper dived to his left to keep out the drive. But he got lucky when Partey’s volley crashed back off a post.

Arsenal’s dominance looked as though it must gain greater reward and when Spurs defenders backed off on 36 minutes, Odegaard, taking the ball from Saka on the right, had all the room he needed to ping a low shot low into the corner past Lloris’ left hand.

The nearest Spurs came before the break was when Ryan Sessegnon found Heung-Min Son with a reverse pass and a shot on the turn was kept out by Ramsdale’s legs. They also almost scored when Kane’s glancing header just before the interval also drew a sharp near-post save.

A goal then, just before the break might have changed everything.

As it was Spurs, who simply had to raise their game, almost got a toehold in the game through the returning Dejan Kulusevski, who has missed recent games through injury.

He fired just over and then set up Kane for a shot that the excellent Ramsdale clawed to safety.

Then Kane fed Sessegnon for a charge in from the left flank, but again the Gunners keeper was equal to it.

The greater urgency was a sign that Conte had clearly done his bit to stir up some much-needed energy at half time. Richarlison was thrown on to add more to the mix.

But the promise of those early moments after the break soon fizzled out for Spurs.

Eddie Nketiah missed a chance to wrap things up in a breakaway when his first touch took him too wide after a fine angled pass from Granit Xhaka had picked him up on the edge of the area. Lloris was able to smother.

In the end, it did not matter. Arsenal soon reasserted their composure and dominance.

The match ended with Ramsdale turning to his tormentors in the home end and offering a victory fist-pump. Richarlison took exception to that and manhandled the keeper, pushing a hand into his face, before a fan from the South Stand leapt up onto the hoardings to kick out at the keeper.

It resulted in an unseemly melee between both sets of players which may have ramifications. Arsenal, lest we forget, have an FA charge against them for failing to to control their players.

But the celebrations from Mikel Arteta's men were understandable.

With Man United next up for them and Man City on the horizon, this will be a momentous few weeks, whatever happens.

Spurs: (3-4-2-1) Lloris – Romero, Dier, Lenglet (Davies 88) – Doherty (Richarlison 71), Sarr (Bissouma 76), Hojbjerg, Sessegnon (Perisic 76) – Kulusevski (Gil 88), Son – Kane. Subs not used: Forster, Skipp, Sanchez, Emerson

Gunners: (4-3-3) Ramsdale – While, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko (Tomiyasu 85) – Odegaard (Vieira 90), Partey, Xhaka – Saka, Nketiah (Smith Rowe 90), Martinelli (Tierney 79). Subs not used: Turner, Holding, Lokonga, Marquinhos, Smith

Attendance: 61,870


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