North London Derby: Arsenal End Spurs’ Unbeaten Run

Saturday’s North London Derby saw Arsenal end Spurs’ unbeaten run to the start of the Premier League campaign, with the Gunners running away 3-1 victors over the 10 men of Tottenham.

The 206th North London Derby ended in a similar fashion to the majority of them, with the home team picking up the three points. However, Arsenal were good value for the win, pinning Spurs back and dominating large parts of the game.

Thomas Partey opened the scoring with a stunning curling effort just before the 20-minute mark, his first goal of the season. Not too long after, indecisiveness cost the Gunners as a lapse in communication in the defence led to Gabriel bringing down Richarlison for a Spurs penalty.

None other than the man who’s scored the most goals against Arsenal in Harry Kane stepped up and converted the spot-kick as both teams went into halftime level.

But it was Mikel Arteta’s men that came out from the interval in better shape, grabbing a goal in the 49th minute after a Hugo Lloris error was pounced on by Gabriel Jesus, who bagged his fifth PL goal of the season.

Arsenal squad celebrating a goal during the North London Derby

The Gunners grabbed a third through Granit Xhaka, who looks like a player reborn this campaign in his new role. The Swiss International was monstrous in midfield for the Gunners in the derby. Despite him being partly at fault for the concession of the penalty, Xhaka was still awarded Man of the Match, such was the impressiveness of his performance.

However, the game firmly slipped away from Spurs in the 62nd minute after Brazilian right-back Emerson Royal was sent off following a dangerous tackle on compatriot Gabriel Martinelli.

Antonio Conte practically accepted defeat after this as the Spurs coach made a quadruple substitution, withdrawing Son, Richarlison, Perisic and Lenglet, only to bring on defensive minded players in Doherty, Sanchez, Sessegnon and Bissouma. This eliminated Spurs’ entire attacking threat, effectively surrendering their unbeaten start to their fiercest rivals.

The win puts Arsenal four points ahead of Spurs and Man City, who host rivals Man United on Sunday. The Gunners needed the win to build some momentum ahead of their clash against Liverpool at the Emirates next weekend.

For Spurs, on the other hand, questions should be asked regarding the manager’s negative setup, as it is uncanny for any North London side to surrender at any point during a derby. The Lilywhites will be looking to bounce back next weekend, but face a tough trip to Brighton next weekend after a midweek match against Eintracht Frankfurt.

Antonio Conte, Spurs manager