Arsenal extended their lead at the top of the Premier League table with a comfortable 3-1 victory over north London rivals Tottenham on Saturday.
Thomas Partey’s long-range strike opened the scoring, but Harry Kane’s penalty equalized before the break. Gabriel Jesus restored Arsenal’s lead soon after the break and after Emerson Royal was sent off, Granit Xhaka’s strike finally secured all three points.
Arsenal started the game on top and almost had the opener within minutes when Gabriel Martinelli curled in a header from the outside of Hugo Lloris’s post.
The Gunners’ pressure was relentless but Spurs almost took the lead against the run of play when Richarlison nudged the keeper from a free-kick and drew an impressive reflex save from Aaron Ramsdale.
At the other end, Xhaka’s low drive whizzed agonizingly wide of Lloris’ far post before Partey let off a screamer from range, curling the ball into the top corner and drawing first blood.
Spurs responded quite well and were awarded a penalty just before the half-hour mark as Richarlison was tripped by Gabriel and Kane stepped up to level things up again.
The goal obviously fired Spurs up and they almost had a second after a fine piece of play finished by Kane at the back post, but Ramsdale equalised.
It was all square at half-time but Arsenal almost snuck in through Jesus, who combined well with Martin Odegaard in the box to see his effort well blocked by Lloris.
Just like the first half, Arsenal came out hot and needed just four minutes to take the lead this time. Bukayo Saka’s strike spilled over Lloris and Jesus did brilliantly to force his way past Cristiano Romero and bundle the ball over the line.
Jesus should have had a second almost immediately after sending an unmarked header wide of Lloris’ goal under very little pressure.
Spurs tried their best to get back into the game but their case was damaged by a red card shown by Emerson on the hour mark. The Brazilian caught Martinelli high on the ankle with a challenge that didn’t immediately appear red, but VAR had no problem confirming the decision and off he went.
Xhaka killed off the game just moments later when he headed home from close range to give Arsenal an unassailable lead.
They continued to push for more, but Spurs opted for damage limitation and sat deep to try and avoid further trouble, allowing the Gunners to cruise to a massive win.
Arsenal vs Tottenham player ratings
1. Arsenal (4-2-3-1)
GK: Aaron Ramsdale – 5/10 – A nice save to stop Richarlison early on but looked a little uncertain after that. Played by Kane for the penalty.
RB: Ben White – 6/10 – An awkward first half but a minor tactical switch saw White improve after the break. Impactful at both ends of the field.
CB: William Saliba – 7/10 – Had enough composure to go around. Regularly made the right decision and never let his team down.
CB: Gabriel – 6/10 – Another impactful mistake as he gave away the penalty. Did a decent job of bouncing back from that though.
LB: Oleksandr Zinchenko – 5/10 – The stats were kind to him but the eye test was not. Zinchenko was caught out of position a lot in the first half. Looked a little rusty on his return from injury.
DM: Thomas Partey – 7/10 – A glorious goal to open the scoring. His love of a long-range strike finally paid off.
DM: Granit Xhaka – 7/10 – A little sloppy in the first half but really stepped it up after the break. A nice goal.
RM: Bukayo Saka – 6/10 – Felt a little isolated at times but put in a real shift at both ends of the field. Made an impact when he finally got away from his defenders.
AM: Martin Odegaard – 5/10 – Couldn’t get on the ball as much as he would have liked.
LM: Gabriel Martinelli – 7/10 – Some really nice dribbling and caused havoc whenever he ran at Spurs’ back line.
ST: Gabriel Jesus – 7/10 – A massive threat up against Spurs’ back line, and deserved the goal he ended up with.
SUB: Albert Sambi Lokonga (73′ for Partey) – 6/10 – Played with refreshing confidence.
SUB: Kieran Tierney (73′ for Zinchenko) – 6/10 – Enjoyed his cameo as an inverted full-back.
SUB: Fabio Vieira (80′ for Odegaard) – N/A
SUB: Eddie Nketiah (80′ for Jesus) – N/A
SUB: Takehiro Tomiyasu (89′ for White) – N/A
Manager: Mikel Arteta – 7/10 – Struggled to find a way through Spurs’ stubborn defence in the first half but figured out how to free up Saka at half-time and reaped the rewards.
2. Tottenham (3-4-2-1)
GK: Hugo Lloris – 4/10 – A couple of nice saves to go along with some absolutely honking passes. Really poor for the second goal as well.
CB: Cristian Romero – 5/10 – Incredibly fortunate not to get booked in the first half. Didn’t cover himself in glory for the second goal either.
CB: Eric Dier – 5/10 – Kept his composure up against the two Gabriels but lost it immediately after the red card.
CB: Clement Lenglet – 6/10 – His job was to neutralise Saka and he did a decent job of that.
RM: Emerson Royal – 1/10 – Was having a rotter even before he was shown a red card on the hour mark for a nasty challenge. Might have already spent £1m to get better this season but probably needs to spend another £1m.
CM: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg – 4/10 – Lost his battle against Partey. Didn’t look comfortable at either end of the pitch.
CM: Rodrigo Bentancur – 6/10 – Another solid performance from Bentancur. Marshalled the midfield well and made a significant impact yet again.
LM: Ivan Perisic – 5/10 – Did a good job on Saka in the first half and then didn’t do a good job on Saka in the second half.
AM: Richarlison – 5/10 – Felt like he wanted to play too centrally. Couldn’t get in the game that much.
AM: Son Heung-min – 6/10 – A nice threat on the counter but found it hard to get as many touches as he would have liked.
ST: Harry Kane – 7/10 – Took his penalty well and played some really nice passes when he did get the chance.
SUB: Davinson Sanchez (71′ for Lenglet) – 6/10 – Did a decent job but the game was already gone by this point.
SUB: Yves Bissouma (71′ for Perisic) – 6/10 – His presence alone helped in the midfield battle.
SUB: Ryan Sessegnon (71′ for Richarlison ) – 5/10 – Got very few opportunities to do anything.
SUB: Matt Doherty (71′ for Son) – 6/10 – Actually not that bad.
SUB: Oliver Skipp (75′ for Hojbjerg) – 4/10 – Could hardly get on the ball but that was almost certainly because of the numerical deficit.
Manager: Antonio Conte – 4/10 – Spurs’ midfield two struggled against Arsenal when Zinchenko and Tierney came inside but the boss didn’t act until it was too late. Bringing Bissouma on earlier may have changed things.