There was delight for Tottenham on Sunday as they won the final north London derby at White Hart Lane 2-0 thanks to goals from star men Dele Alli and Harry Kane. There were just 146 seconds separating the two strikes in a crucial game for both sides. Here are the main talking points…
1. The title race is still on – just about
When the full-time whistle blew at Goodison Park this afternoon, the title race looked very much over. Chelsea had once again stretched their lead to seven points with an impressive 3-0 win over Everton. However, Tottenham again responded emphatically with victory over Arsenal that keeps the gap at four points with four games left to play. While the Blues look to have the easier run-in on paper, it’s not quite over yet and Tottenham, now with nine wins in a row, will push Antonio Conte’s side every step of the way. In fact, if Spurs beat West Ham on Friday, Chelsea will kick off against Middlesbrough, just one point ahead.
2. Arsenal’s top four hopes take huge hit
Before kick-off the weekend was turning out nicely for Arsenal with Manchester City and Manchester United both dropping points after draws against Middlesbrough and Swansea. However, defeat at White Hart Lane leaves Arsenal facing an uphill task when it comes to securing Champions League football for next season. The Gunners remain six points off fourth spot, albeit with a game in hand, and must win all their remaining games, and hope their rivals stumble if they are to play in Europe’s top competition next season.
3. Kyle Walker’s Tottenham is future in doubt
After being left out of the FA Cup semi-final clash with Chelsea, Kyle Walker was again left on the bench for the visit of Arsenal with Kieran Trippier preferred. The full-back’s future has been the subject of plenty of speculation recently with Manchester City being linked with a big-money summer bid and the decision to leave him out again will only add to those rumours. To compound matters further Trippier had a superb game and although Walker was given a few minutes at the end, doubts over his future will remain.
4. Tottenham will miss White Hart Lane next season
Spurs confirmed in midweek they will play their home Premier League fixtures at Wembley next season and Sunday proved once again what a miss White Hart Lane will be as Mauricio Pochettino’s men convincingly beat Arsenal to ensure they remain unbeaten at home in the league this season. Tottenham’s final home game of the season is against Manchester United on 14 May and few would bet against them going through the whole season unbeaten. Considering their struggles in the Champions League at Wembley, it is a record they look unlikely to match next year.
5. Question marks remain over Arsenal’s 3-4-3
Arsenal once again lined up with a back three but the system which has seen them win their last three games in a row came well and truly unstuck at White Hart Lane. Speaking ahead of the match Wenger insisted the formation brings the best out of his players, but that was certainly not the case against Spurs, who could have had a hatful if it were not for some poor finishing and some good goalkeeping from Petr Cech. Questions will be asked about Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s part in the opener, while Gabriel conceded the penalty for the second and Granit Xhaka was substituted after yet another ineffective performance. In attack Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil barely saw the ball and there are very few positives for Arsenal to take from this match.
Tottenham Lloris 6; Trippier 8 (Walker 6), Alderweireld 7, Vertonghen 8, Davies 8; Dier 7, Wanyama 7; Son 7 (Dembele 6), Eriksen 8; Dele 8.5 (Sissoko n/a); Kane 8.5.
Subs: Vorm, Wimmer, Nkoudou, Janssen.
Arsenal: Cech 8; Gabriel 5 (Bellerin 6), Koscielny 6, Monreal 5; Oxlade-Chamberlain 5, Ramsey 6, Xhaka 5 (Welbeck 6), Gibbs 6; Ozil 5, Sanchez 5; Giroud 4 (Walcott 6).
Subs: Ospina, Coquelin, Holding, Iwobi
Referee: Michael Oliver
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