Bukayo Saka celebrates after adding the third after the half hour mark on Sunday. (Photo credit: Premierleague.com) Derbies are different ...
|Bukayo Saka celebrates after adding the third after the half hour mark on Sunday. (Photo credit: Premierleague.com)|
Derbies are different in all ramifications, the spirit behind some performances are still being investigated but form and history fly out the window when neighbors with fierce intentions square up, an example in case you’re wondering… The latest installment of the North London Derby!
Arsenal hosted Tottenham on Sunday in the first north London derby of the season and not many expected the outcome, both sides were expected to fight tooth and nail and while a stalemate was the most predicted outcome, no one expected the kind of embarrassment Arsenal heaped on the visitors.
Let’s tell you what you probably heard from us over the weekend or probably elsewhere that the advantage Spurs had over Arsenal with three wins from three in the opening games was usurped by the Gunners just before the hour mark.
Arsenal beat Spurs 3-1 in front of the boisterous Emirates Stadium fans and it was a joy for them after enduring harsh start to the season with three losses and no goal scored in the first three games, but if the wins over Norwich and Burnley were nothing to drool over, beating Spurs hands down works fittingly.
Mikel Arteta made just one change to the team that beat Burnley at Turf Moor, Granit Xhaka returned from suspension and that meant there’s no place in the starting eleven for Nicolas Pepe while Spurs rang a few changes as well, Gio Lo Celso made way for Lucas Moura and Taganga replaced Emerson Royal.
From the blast of the whistle, Arsenal went rioting and showing who wants it more, it didn’t take long before they were rewarded as a neat cut back by Bukayo Saka landed at the feet of Emile Smith-Rowe and it was 1-0… A goal made at Arsenal’s Hale End.
Aaron Ramsdale’s pass to Xhaka under pressure was well maneuvered by the Swiss and a deft flick by Pierre Emerick Aubameyang to Smith-Rowe eventually turned back to the captain who swept one past Hugo Lloris for Arsenal’s second, a goal that got everyone on their feet and also lifted Arsenal above Spurs on the table.
There was still time in the first half for Arsenal to add the third, Thomas Partey won the ball from Harry Kane very close to Arsenal’s area and fed Martin Odegaard, the Norwegian linked up with Saka who danced into the Spurs area and was lucky to get a bounce off Kane before firing past Lloris.
At that point it all went away from Spurs and it was about damage limitation, Nuno Espirito Santo threw on Oliver Skipp and Emerson Royal in place of Dele Alli who was a passerby in the game and Taganga, that steadied the ship and helped them get a grip in the midfield.
Tottenham did find the net in the 79th minute, a Sergio Reguillon cross was diverted home by Heung Min Son but Arsenal players protest with Xhaka on the turf having been brought down by Kane in the build up to the Spurs goal.
Lucas Moura thought he’d scored moments later but Ramsdale stretched almost out of his own skin to save with his finger tips before Takehiro Tomiyasu cleared for corner kick.
The win took Arsenal to 10th on the table with Brighton next for the Gunners, it was a win that meant Arsenal can now be taken seriously in the race for an European place finish; for Spurs it’s the time to reflect, should Kane have been sold? Is the former Wolves coach the right fit for them?