With all eyes falling on north London on Saturday lunchtime, Arsenal laid down a real marker at the Emirates as they claimed a 3-1 victory against bitter rivals Tottenham.
Hoping to extend their stay at the top of the Premier League table after returning from September’s international break, the Gunners couldn’t have wished for a better afternoon on home soil.
With goals from Thomas Partey, Gabriel Jesus and Granit Xhaka wrapping up all three points for Mikel Arteta’s youngsters, Arsenal also extended on what has been a stunning start to the 2022/23 campaign.
While Harry Kane might have converted from the penalty spot as both sides made their way into the interval, Tottenham saw their unbeaten start come to an abrupt end thanks to a downbeat display across the capital.
Clearly not helped by Emerson Royal’s straight red card just 15 minutes after the break, we have taken a look at the main talking points from Saturday’s showdown at the Emirates.
Are Arsenal really title contenders?
While Arsenal might have seen their 100% start to the season come to an end away at Old Trafford on September 4th, the Gunners have certainly proven that was just a minor blip.
Heading into September’s international break with a thumping 3-0 romp away at Brentford, Arteta had made it clear that he was calling on his young squad to keep up that momentum here.
Flying out of the traps on Saturday lunchtime and more than deserving of north London bragging rights thanks to another thumping display, some in Arsenal’s camp could even have their sights set on mounting a remarkable title charge.
Although the one-time Premier League champions might have simply had a top-four return at the top of their agenda when opening the 2022/23 campaign, the Gunners have now mustered 21 points from their opening eight top-flight appearances.
With it looking like the mood around the Emirates is at the highest it has been in recent memory, Arteta’s side have also continued to gain a string of plaudits from across Europe.
Briefly extending their buffer at the top of the table to four points before Manchester City welcome Manchester United to the Emirates on Sunday afternoon, Arsenal will undoubtedly have one eye on proceedings.
Gabriel Jesus – The Premier League’s signing of the season?
Although Arsenal might have really broken the bank this summer as they welcomed the likes of Oleksandr Zinchenko and Fábio Vieira to north London, it is another new signing who has really hit the ground running.
Pouncing on Hugo Lloris’ fumble and poking home from close range just four minutes after the restart, Jesus has already cemented his spot as Arteta’s MVP.
Making the move from Manchester City back in July in a deal worth £45million, the Brazilian international has played a crucial role in Arsenal’s stunning start to the 2022/23 campaign.
Appointed one of Arteta’s vice-captains before the new season had even got underway, the 25-year-old once again impressed on Saturday lunchtime.
Causing a string of issues for Tottenham’s three central defenders, Jesus’ second-half strike was the fifth Premier League goal that the ex-City striker has recorded since making the move to north London.
Likewise, also notching three top-flight assits, the 56-cap international has also formed an eye-catching relationship with fellow Brazilian, Gabriel Martinelli.
Receiving a host of praise from Arteta following Saturday’s 3-1 victory, there is no doubt that Jesus will now be looking to book his World Cup ticket come November.
Tottenham come crashing back down to earth
Heading into September’s international break with an action-packed 6-2 win at home against Leicester, Tottenham would have been desperate to spring an upset here.
However, despite claiming a 3-0 romp when they last faced off against their local rival back on May 12th, Antonio Conte’s side came crashing back down to earth across the capital.
While they might have opened Saturday’s showdown at the Emirates as one of just two Premier League teams who could boast an unbeaten start to the 2022/23 campaign, the one-time Chelsea boss will now be calling on an immediate response from his side.
Although Spurs might have another top-four finish at the top of their agenda this season, Tottenham have largely failed to find top gear with much stability on either side of the international break.
While Kane might have broken another record as the England skipper contravened from the spot minutes before the interval, Conte was far from amused by a lacklustre display here.
Not helped by Emerson’s straight red card following a reckless challenge on Martinelli early in the second-half, Spurs fans will know that some much-needed stability is key.
Arsenal: Ramsdale, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Parety, Xhaka, Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli, Jesus
Subs: Nketiah, Vieira, Lokonga, Tierney, Tomiyasu
Tottenham: Lloris, Romero, Dier, Lenglet, Perisic, Bentancur, Hojberg, Royal, Richarlison, Son Heung-Min, Kane
Subs: Skipp, Sanchez, Doherty, Bissouma, Sessegnon
Goals: Arsenal: Partey (20′), Jesus (49′), Xhaka (67′) – Tottenham: Kane (31′ pen)
Yellow Cards: Arsenal: Martinelli, Saliba – Tottenham: Dier
Red Cards: Royal (62′)
Referee: Anthony Taylor
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