Tottenham Hotspur reclaimed top spot in the Premier League with a 2-0 win against Arsenal in the North London derby on Sunday evening.
Heung Min-Son gave Jose Mourinho’s men the lead early on with an absolutely blitzing right-footed drive from outside of the area. Harry Kane then predictably added to his highly impressive derby record with a clinical finish off of the crossbar just before the half-time whistle.
For all of their effort, Arsenal were not able to find a route back into the game, falling to another defeat.
Here are five things we learned from the game:
Kane makes history against the Gunners
Coming into the most recent instalment of the North London derby, Kane already had a stunning record against Arsenal. The 27-year-old had netted ten goals in just 13 appearances against the Gunners and added to that with another brilliant finish that crashed in off of the woodwork.
The goal also meant that he became the outright leading goalscorer in the fixture in the Premier League era, as well as it being his 250th strike for club and country. The records then just keep tumbling for Kane and indicates how much of a world class forward he is and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.
Counter-attack the way again
Jose Mourinho seemingly has his team playing a style of football that suits them perfectly – counter-attacking. The current league leaders have been lethal thus far throughout the 2020/21 campaign, breaking with pace and then having two lethal finishers in the form of Kane and Son to polish those attacks off.
That style of play really was evident against Arsenal once again. Having seen off the Gunners’ forward momentum for both of their goals in the first off, Spurs broke in numbers, overwhelming the Gunners’ backline, leaving them with little answer. It really was a perfect game plan from Mourinho.
Defence a base for Spurs
Tottenham’s attack was of course exhilarating when it had the chance but a huge reason behind their ability to flood forwards was a rock solid defence behind them.
Between the back four of Sergio Reguilon, Toby Alderweireld, Eric Dier and Serge Aurier, there was 31 clearances produced, considerably higher than the 10 from the whole Arsenal team combined. That anticipation of danger was a huge reason behind the hosts notching their fourth consecutive clean sheet in the Premier League.
Top-half battle for Arsenal?
Whilst their rivals are flying high with a defined style of play, Arsenal are completely the opposite. Under Mikel Arteta, the Gunners have had an absolutely horrendous start to the campaign and now have only one win out of their last seven Premier League matches, with five defeats.
Whilst they improved after the break at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, they still never looked capable of getting back into the match. For a club the size of Arsenal, with the resources that they have, that really is poor. It is no surprise then to see odds as high as 12/1 for the Gunners to earn a top four finish come the end of the campaign.
One of Arsenal’s main problems this season has of course been a lack of goals. It is forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who has been the most impacted having only netted two goals in the league thus far.
However, his xG sits at just over two which suggests that the Gabonese is still performing but just simply not getting the amount of service that he previously was. He did manage to have another two shots against Tottenham, neither were on target though. If Arsenal want to get their team, and indeed Aubameyang firing again, they simply have to create more.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris (7); Reguilon (7), Dier (6), Alderweireld (7), Aurier (6); Sissoko (6), Hojbjerg (7), Lo-Celso (6) (Davies (6), 72′); Bergwijn (6) (Rodon (N/A), 90+1′), Son (7) (Moura (N/A), 88′), Kane (7).
Arsenal: Leno (6); Tierney (6), Holding (6), Gabriel (6), Bellerin (6) (Nketiah (5), 75′); Xhaka (5), Partey (6) (Ceballos (6), 45+2′), Saka (6); Willian (5), Lacazette (6), Aubameyang (5).
Goals: Son (14′), Kane (45+1′)
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Yellow Cards: Lo Celso (41′), Xhaka (75′), Lacazette (80′)
Red Cards: N/A