A spirited Tottenham Hotspur took all three points in an entertaining North London Derby, the first at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Arsenal were the in-form team going into the match but Tottenham dug deep to edge their rivals out of the game and leapfrog them in the Premier League table.
Spirited Tottenham Hotspur Show Fight and Quality to Take Points
Game That Could Have Gone Either Way
Both teams started well but it was Tottenham who were noticeably better than they had been for a long time. High pressing, Son Heung-min in a free role, and Lucas Moura in good form all contributed to a much needed and morale-boosting win for fans and players alike at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Tottenham had more shots on target in this game in the first 60 seconds than they did in 90 against Bournemouth. But it was Arsenal who drew first blood. Serge Aurier lost the ball and then ducked out of his challenge to allow Alexander Lacazette to win the ball. What followed, no keeper would have stopped. Lazazette unleashed a rocket of a right foot strike into the top corner.
Lucas Moura Spurred on the Spirited Tottenham Hotspur Team
A major criticism of Spurs has been a lack of fight and spending too much time going backward. Lucas Moura was instrumental in changing that tune against Arsenal. He played one imperious pass over to Harry Kane who just couldn’t quite beat the onrushing Martinez.
Son’s freedom meant he was all over the park and looked a much happier player. Harry Kane worked hard but it is fair to say he still looks some way from being fully fit.
Arsenal Deserved Something
It would be harsh to suggest that Arsenal deserved to lose. They had more possession and were pushing for a goal in the second half as Spurs sat deep in a familiar Jose Mourinho tactic.
Mikel Arteta will not be judged on this season and will know that it is in defence that he has the biggest issues. David Luiz is a liability and despite signing a contract extension, must be replaced ahead of the new season.
The Europa league is the best that both can really aim for. For Arsenal, today was a learning experience. For Jose Mourinho, he learned which players are up for the fight and which must go.
Ben Davies and Serge Aurier are surely heading for the exit door. Aurier was out of position and his passing was wayward. Ben Davies hit a pile driver against the bar but was poor otherwise. Diving into tackles and out of position. Simply nowhere near good enough if Tottenham Hotspur are to challenge for honours in the coming seasons.