Arsenal move four clear after derby win over ten-man Spurs

This was a powerful statement in a dramatic north London derby by an Arsenal side in no mood to surrender their leadership of the Premier League
Arsenal move four clear after derby win over ten-man Spurs

TAP IN: Arsenal's Gabriel Jesus scores their side's second goal of the game during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Pic: Zac Goodwin/PA Wire

This was a powerful statement in a dramatic north London derby by an Arsenal side in no mood to surrender their leadership of the Premier League - and certainly not to their neighbours. Instead they extended their lead at the top of the table to four points over Manchester City, who play their own derby tomorrow.

Thomas Partey put the Gunners ahead after 20 minutes with a spectacular strike. Harry Kane equalised 11 minutes later from a penalty, his 14th goal in 16 Premier League appearances against the Gunners. But Arsenal kept their nerve and belief and top scorer Gabriel Jesus restored their lead after an error by Spurs captain and France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. A reckless challenge by Emerson Royal reduced Tottenham to ten men shortly before man of the match Granit Xhaka made it 3-1.

It was Tottenham’s first defeat in 14 Premier League games and they have now not won at the Emirates Stadium since 2010, their only success on Gunners turf in 30 attempts. Mikel Arteta became only the third Arsenal manager to win his first three home games against Tottenham, but the three points will have been much more important.

His team started on the front foot and Gabriel Martinelli lashed a shot off the outside of a post after four minutes. But despite the home side’s territorial superiority, Aaron Ramsdale, the Arsenal goalkeeper, was forced to dive to his right to turn aside a half-volley by Tottenham’s Richarlison following a controversially-awarded free kick taken by Heung-Min Son.

That was a reminder of the potency of Tottenham’s front three, but Arsenal continued to dominate and they took a deserved lead in the 20th minute. At the end of a 22 pass move, Bukayo Saka and Ben White worked the ball in from the right and as the defence stood off, Partey curled a first-time shot between Hugo Lloris and his near post and into the top corner of the net at the Clock End.

It was his first goal of the season and Xhaka, his partner in central midfield, gathered his teammates around him before the match restarted. But if he was making the point that the lead must not be easily surrendered, it was ignored. On the half-hour, careless defending of a Tottenham break led by Son resulted in Gabriel tripping Richarlison and Kane coolly converted the resulting penalty.

How would Arsenal respond? Jesus provided the answer. Little had been seen of the Brazilian until he took the ball from Martin Odegaard on the corner of the penalty area two minutes before the break, shimmied past Royal and Cristian Romero and hit a shot that Lloris blocked at his near post.

But only four minutes into the restart he had his first goal in the fixture and his fifth of the season. It was a disaster for Lloris, who could only parry a low shot by Saka and then fumbled the ball through his hands when it rebounded back to him off Romero. Jesus had the simplest of tasks to tap the ball over the line.

Jesus should have had another, heading wide when unmarked from a cross by White, and Tottenham’s task became even harder when Royal was shown a red card for a studs-first challenge on Martinelli. It was the fifth red card in as many games in the fixture, and before Spurs manager Antonio Conte could respond, Xhaka took the ball from Martinelli and drove a low left-foot shot past Lloris.

Perhaps with an eye on the midweek Champions League tie away to Eintracht Frankfurt, Conte made a quadruple substitution that looked like an admission of defeat. Lloris made a good late save from Kieran Tierney but his expression showed that he knew it did not make up for his earlier error.

Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Ramsdale 6; White 7 (Tomiyasu 89), Saliba 7, Gabriel 6, Zinchenko 6 (Tierney 73); Partey 7 (Lokonga 73), Xhaka 8; Saka 7, Odegaard 7 (Vieira 80), Martinelli 8; Jesus 7 (Nketiah 80).

Not used: Turner, Holding, Nelson, Oliveira.

Booked: Saliba, Martinelli.

Tottenham Hotspur (3-4-3): Lloris 6; Romano 6, Dier 6, Lenglet 6 (Sanchez 72); Emerson Royal 3, Hojbjerg 7 (Skipp 75), Bentancur 6, Perisic 5 (Bissouma 72); Richarlison 7 (Sessegnon 72), Kane 6, Son 6 (Docherty 72).

Not used: Gil, Forster, Spence, Sarr.

Booked: Dier; sent off: Royal.

Referee: Anthony Taylor.

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