We observed three things as Arsenal took the honours in the North London Derby with a 3-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur, with goals from Thomas Partey, Gabriel Jesus and Granit Xhaka ensuring Arsenal stay first in the Premier League.
Thomas Partey, who was also passed fit to start scored a stunner. Harry Kane’s equalizer for Spurs saw him set more scoring records, but his side were not up to the quality as their 12-year wait for a league win at the Emirates Stadium continued.
Emerson Royal was red-carded for a reckless foul on Gabriel Martinelli soon after Jesus’ goal. Xhaka in his new attacking midfield role, then put the three points in the bag when he wrong-footed Eric Dier from Martinelli’s flick and powered a low effort beyond Hugo Lloris.
1. Red Card Killed The Intensity Of The Game
Emerson’s challenge on Martinelli looked clumsy, rather than malicious, but when studs connect with the ankle, the referee has no option. Spurs have now been shown five red cards at the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League; their most at any away venue in the competition.
Antonio Conte told BT Sport:
“I think we had the opportunity to do much better in the first half. Instead, we kept the game in balance. I think we made big, big mistakes in the last pass, also easy passes. We could do much better [with Arsenal’s second goal] and the red card ended the game, it was difficult for us.”
Despite their fantastic start to the season, many had assumed Arsenal as a side only capable of beating the teams they are expected to. After their defeat at Old Trafford, doubts were raised about their ability to beat rivals in the ‘big six’. With Antonio Conte’s Tottenham having pipped Arsenal to the fourth spot last season, this victory will prove Arteta’s doubters wrong.
2. Kane Sets New Records
Kane’s penalty means that he is now the leading scorer in London derbies, scoring 44 goals in those matches. His goal for Spurs meant that he surpassed Thierry Henry’s record of 43. The goal also made the England captain the first player in Premier League history to score 100 goals away from home.
🏴Harry Kane holds the record for most goals scored by any Premier League player against Arsenal;
— Champions League Stats (@alimo_philip) October 2, 2022
3. Xhaka Enjoying His New Found Role Under Arteta
Fans wanted Xhaka out of the team due to his recurring disciplinary and behavioural issues. But the Swiss star has gone some way in redeeming himself. With Thomas Partey acting as the defensive midfielder, Xhaka was allowed to charge from deep and cause Spurs’ midfield and defence all kinds of problems.
The Swiss made marauding runs into the Spurs’ box to support Jesus and the ploy proved particularly effective. He is proving to be an effective link between the Gunners’ midfield and attack, alongside Odegaard. His goal was spectacular as well, completely blindsiding the Spurs’ defence.
Granit Xhaka to BT Sport:
“We didn’t have a lot of weeks to prepare, but we knew exactly what we wanted, and from the first second, I thought we were the better team.
“My first derby goal in England, I am more than happy, but the most important thing is the team.”
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Mikel Arteta’s side have now won seven of their opening eight games and stay at the top of the Premier League leading 2nd-placed Manchester City by a point.
Arsenal came into the game seeking to exact revenge for their 3-0 loss last season which saw them lose out on Champions League qualification. Arsenal host Bodo/Glimt in the Europa League on Thursday at 8 pm, while Tottenham travel to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Champions League.
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