Arsenal came from behind to beat ten-man rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the latest instalment of the North London derby at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Erik Lamela looked like he’d set Tottenham on the path to a third consecutive win against the Gunners with a stunning rabona finish. However, Martin Odegaard equalised just before the break with a deflected effort. Alexandre Lacazette then won and scored a penalty with just under half an hour to remaining to put the hosts in front.
Spurs’ task then got even more difficult late on as the hero of the first-half Lamela, was sent off for two bookable offences as the hosts sealed the three points and closed the gap to Spurs to just four points.
Here are five things we learned from the game:
Stunning substitute strike
Jose Mourinho couldn’t have asked for a better impact from one of his substitutes, with Lamela striking the opening blow of the game. His exquisite finish with his right boot was a fantastic piece of individual skill and improvisation.
It was ironic then that he may well have not had been on the pitch had Heung-Min Son hadn’t been withdrawn through injury mid-way through the first period.
From hero to zero
After sparkling in the first-half, Lamela continued to have an impact throughout the game but in a negative vein instead. After a number of petulant and mistimed challenges, the Argentine became the latest player to be sent off in a North London derby.
It was silly for Lamela to keep flying into challenges considering that he was playing with fire and an attitude that will hugely disappoint his manager.
It’s been a somewhat slow start to life for Martin Odegaard at Arsenal, however the Norwegian has certainly arrived at the Emirates Stadium. He now has goals in back-to-back games in all competitions following his strike against Olympiakos.
His form will be surely be key to the Gunners for the remainder of the season, and Mikel Arteta will hope he remains in a positive way.
Having already scored 11 goals against Arsenal throughout his career, the Gunners will surely have been wary of Harry Kane throughout the clash. However, the striker was uncharacteristically quiet all evening, having three shots, all of those coming towards the closing stages.
Despite having what was an off day by his hugely lofty standards, he could have rewritten all of the headlines late on with a low free-kick that bounced back off the base of the post.
The Gunners will be delighted that they have silenced the scourge of the North London derby, albeit possibly only temporarily.
Spurs struggle at the Emirates
Coming into the meeting at the Emirates Stadium, Spurs will have been in more confident mood to potentially secure three points. Indeed, they had managed to score 15 goals and conceded just one in their last five matches in all competitions.
They looked a completely different side against Arsenal though; struggling to create chances and looking defensively vulnerable. Indeed, Jose Mourinho’s men could only produce six shots throughout the 90 minutes, whilst conceding 13.
Jose Mourinho will be very disappointed that the slight inconsistency that has hampered his team throughout the vast majority of the campaign appears to have reappeared again. Spurs are now available at a price of 6/1 with Betfair to finish in the top four come the end of the season.
Arsenal: Leno (7); Tierney (7), Gabriel (7), David Luiz (6), Soares (6); Partey (6), Xhaka (6), Smith-Rowe (6) (Willian (N/A), 78′), Odegaard (7); Saka (6) (Pepe (6), 45′), Lacazette (7) (Elneny (N/A), 88′).
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris (6); Reguilon (6), Alderweireld (6), Sanchez (5), Doherty (5); Hojbjerg (6), Ndombele (6) (Alli (5), 62′); Moura (5), Son (5) (Lamela (6), 19′), Bale (5) (Sissoko (6), 57′), Kane (5).
Goals: Lamela (33′), Odegaard (44′), Lacazette (64′ PEN)
Referee: Michael Oliver
Yellow Cards: Reguilon (40′), Alderweireld (63′), Lamela (69′, 76′)
Red Cards: Lamela (76′)
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