Arsenal thrash Tottenham 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium, Smith Rowe opened the
scoring for the Gunners in the 12th minute before Captain Aubameyang doubled
the lead while Saka made it 3 in the 34th Minute
On the touchline Spurs, head coach Nuno Espirito Santo looked stunned as he has
switched from the manager of the month in August to, probably, the Premier League
coach now under the most pressure to be sacked, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was
completely overrun and Harry Kane looked completely shell-shocked even though he
should have scored twice and could have had a penalty. That showed that Arsenal still
Spurs won their first three league matches without conceding a goal. They have now
conceded 13 in five games in all competitions while Arsenal’s campaign is up and
running with a fourth successive win.
At times their head coach Mikel Arteta has looked like a man whistling in the wind, a
King Canute trying to turn the tide but he will believe this was the most compelling
case so far that Arsenal is surely heading in the right direction.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang looked back to his best against Spurs
The Arsenal fans were delirious. They have waited a long time for this kind of
dominant display and although it was not sustained over the whole game they will
relish and savor that it came in the north London derby even if it only takes Arsenal
into the top half of the table and only above Spurs on goals scored.
Those first-half goals came thick and fast and were slickly executed by Arsenal with
exciting patterns weaved by Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, and Emile Smith Rowe
and with Granit Xhaka restored to the side and excelling. Did anyone see this
coming? Maybe Arteta will argue he did.
They went in front when Ben White beat Kane in the air with Xhaka flicking the ball
on to Odegaard who fed it out wide to Saka. He took on Sergio Reguilon and crossed
low with Smith Rowe meeting it to side-foot home. On the edge of the penalty area
stood Ndombele with Alli also watching as he ran back.
The lead was doubled with the pick of the goals as Arsenal broke away. It started with
Xhaka holding off Hojbjerg and finding Smith Rowe who picked out Kieran Tierney.
The left-back played it infield to Aubameyang with Smith Rowe continuing his run
and being released by the striker. Smith Rowe ran on and pulled the ball back with
Aubameyang sweeping it first time past Hugo Lloris.
The third came as Kane stumbled deep in the Arsenal half and fell over the ball with
the home side quickly pouring forward and with Smith Rowe finding Saka who
dribbled at Eric Dier. Kane got back and slid in but it still dropped for Saka who beat
Lloris with a low cross-shot.
Bukayo Saka was industrious throughout for Mikel Arteta’s side Amid all of this, there
were – somehow – two good chances for Spurs with
Son Heung-min winning possession back from Odegaard at halfway and running
at the Arsenal defense before forcing Aaron Ramsdale to push over a powerful near-
post drive. Then from a corner Kane, unmarked, directed a header narrowly wide. He
should have scored although it would have been hugely flattering to Spurs but he
should also have been awarded a penalty early in the second half after being caught
by White just inside the area. Play carried on.
There was far more urgency and cohesion from Spurs after half-time but then there
could barely have been any less with Kane forcing a smart one-handed save from
Ramsdale even if his shot was probably steering wide of the far post. The striker then
lifted the ball past the other post after running onto Dier’s lofted pass and shrugging
off Takehiro Tomiyasu.
Finally, they did pull a goal back. Substitute Bryan Gil did well to stretch and play the
ball to Reguilon whose low cross was met by Son. Ramsdale got a hand to it but could
not keep the ball out.
In injury-time Spurs went close again with Lucas Moura’s deflected shot, after he
held off challenges, brilliantly tipped onto the bar by Ramsdale. As poorly as Spurs
had played they had chances and amid the Arsenal euphoria at the final whistle that
has to be a concern for Arteta if they are really on their way back.