Arsenal moved eight points clear at the Premier League summit after a commanding 2-0 victory at rivals Tottenham on Sunday.
Hugo Lloris’ incomprehensible own goal and Martin Odegaard’s sublime first-half strike proved the difference at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, where a fan seemingly kicked out at Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale at full time.
Antonio Conte’s side improved after the interval but a largely uninspiring performance leaves Spurs five points off fourth-placed United, who have played a game fewer.
Lloris handed Arsenal the lead as he inexplicably parried into his own net after Bukayo Saka’s tame right-wing cross-shot deflected off Ryan Sessegnon towards goal.
Tottenham’s goalkeeper atoned somewhat by keeping out Odegaard’s fizzing drive, while Thomas Partey struck the right-hand post with a thunderous volley.
Yet those warnings were not heeded by Spurs, who were 2-0 down when Odegaard was again offered room outside the area. This time, he picked out the bottom-right corner.
Ramsdale denied Harry Kane’s header on the stroke of half-time before thwarting the Spurs striker and Sessegnon after the interval with impressive stops in quick succession.
Eddie Nketiah wastefully fired against the onrushing Lloris shortly after, though that mattered for little as Arsenal – despite a late flurry of Spurs pressure – eased to a potentially pivotal victory.
Tempers threatened to boil over at the end, when a Tottenham supporter kicked out at Ramsdale after a confrontation with Richarlison, though Mikel Arteta rushed across to drag his team away from a potential flashpoint.
Tottenham Hotspur player ratings
GK: Hugo Lloris – 2/10 – Completely inexcusable error changed the game.
CB: Cristian Romero – 5/10 – Precariously played on the edge while on a booking.
CB: Eric Dier – 5/10 – Not the worst offender. Not a happy birthday.
CB: Clement Lenglet – 4/10 – Though at times has looked belonging at the back for Spurs, his low-intensity style made it easy for Arsenal to press.
RM: Matt Doherty – 5/10 – Provided runs to free up space for Kulusevski. Not a good defender and doesn’t bring pace, however.
CM: Pape Matar Sarr – 5/10 – Thrown into the deep end on his full Premier League debut in conditions that were far from ideal. Fought til the end.
CM: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg – 5/10 – Swept up in the frantic second half but was so far off the standard technically.
LM: Ryan Sessegnon – 4/10 – Spurned various good crossing opportunities. Slowed Saka down but not much.
RF: Dejan Kulusevski – 6/10 – Spurs’ best player, particularly in the second half. Demanded the ball but needed more help.
LF: Son Heung-min – 4/10 – Barely involved at all.
CF: Harry Kane – 5/10 – Dropped deep to try and get involved but found it difficult to make a difference.
Arsenal player ratings
GK: Aaron Ramsdale – 9/10 – Produced several stunning saves to keep Arsenal in front.
RB: Ben White – 8/10 – Kept Son and Sessegnon quiet with relative ease. Another understated but excellent display.
CB: William Saliba – 7/10 – A little sloppy in playing from thr back at times but did his primary job well.
CB: Gabriel – 9/10 – Seemed to win every duel and get his head on every cross into the Arsenal box.
LB: Oleksandr Zinchenko – 7/10 – Enjoyed an excellent first half but was put to work by Kulusevski after the break.
CM: Thomas Partey – 7/10 – Controlled the midfield battle.
CM: Granit Xhaka – 6/10 – Kept the ball well, though Spurs found it easier to attack on his side.
RM: Bukayo Saka – 7/10 – Not his busiest game but Saka’s pace and trickery forced Spurs to defend with caution.
AM: Martin Odegaard – 8/10 – Picked apart Tottenham at will in Arsenal’s dominant first half.
LM: Gabriel Martinelli – 7/10 – A bit rough around the edges, but like Saka, Spurs seemed scared of Martinelli.
CF: Eddie Nketiah – 6/10 – Pressed well, though was a bit wasteful in front of goal.
Kieran Tierney (79′ for Martinelli) – 5/10
Takehiro Tomiyasu (85′ for Zinchenko) – N/A
Fabio Vieira (90′ for Odegaard) – N/A
Emile Smith Rowe (90′ for Nketiah) – N/A
Mikel Arteta – 9/10 – Arsenal were head and shoulders above their rivals.