North London is red as Arsenal win bragging rights over rivals Spurs
- Credit: PA
Arsenal put Tottenham to the sword in a 3-1 victory at the Emirates on Sunday, overtaking their North London rivals in the Premier League table.
It was an electric first half from the Gunners, blowing Spurs away with relentless pressing, free flowing movement and ruthless finishing.
Mikel Arteta summed up the victory perfectly, stating: “We saw a team that convinced from the beginning, with good energy and high rhythm, with a lot of quality, great cohesion and understanding of what we wanted to do with and without the ball.
“Then we were super efficient. That is something we have been lacking in the final third, the right pass, the shot to hit the target.”
What we saw were shades of the Arsenal that finished last season.
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A team built on a solid defence, seeking to control the ball and play through opponents, posing a threat without undue risk.
We saw two additions to this, however: high energy in the press to force turnovers high up the pitch, and lightning fast, clinical counterattacks.
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These additions were spearheaded by the ever-impressive Hale End duo of Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe, who both scored and assisted each other on the day.
Their energy and effort is infectious, inspiring those around them, especially Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The Arsenal captain is a showman, always looking to bring joy and wonder. When he is in the mood, he is a game changer.
For the first goal, Aubameyang is the only one of the front four not to touch the ball, but his role is so crucial. Dragging each of Tottenham’s defenders out of position, he allowed Arsenal’s other attackers to deliver the opener.
The spectacle of Aubameyang is far more noticeable in the second goal, flicking a ball round the corner on the counterattack before receiving the return pass and coolly finishing with his weak foot.
His celebration? The famous Thierry Henry knee slide, commemorated in a statue outside the stadium.
Aubameyang and Arsenal are in the mood after their derby victory. Let us see if they can keep this run going.