Second-half goals from Gabriel Jesus and Granit Xhaka fired Premier League leaders Arsenal to a 3-1 win over 10-man Tottenham in an entertaining North London derby on Saturday.
Arsenal were rewarded for a bright start when Thomas Partey produced a stunning long-range finish after 20 minutes, but Harry Kane swiftly levelled with a penalty.
The impressive Gunners hit the front again when Jesus bundled home following Hugo Lloris’ mistake, and Tottenham’s hopes of a comeback were dashed when Emerson Royal was sent off.
Xhaka then drilled into the bottom-right corner as Mikel Arteta’s rampant side moved four points clear of Manchester City and consigned their fierce rivals to a first Premier League defeat of the season.
Both goalkeepers were called into action during a lively start, with Lloris tipping Gabriel Martinelli’s fierce volley onto his right-hand post before Aaron Ramsdale clawed Richarlison’s effort away from the bottom-right corner.
Arsenal enjoyed the better of the early exchanges and took a deserved lead when Partey curled an excellent first-time strike into the top-right corner from outside the area.
But the Gunners contrived to gift Tottenham an equaliser after 31 minutes, with Kane stroking home his 44th London derby goal from the penalty spot after Gabriel Magalhaes clumsily felled Richarlison.
Arsenal required just four minutes of the second half to move back into the lead, as Lloris pushed Bukayo Saka’s tame shot straight to Jesus, who gratefully prodded home.
Jesus missed a good chance to extend Arsenal’s lead when he failed to convert a header three minutes later, but Spurs’ task was made far more difficult when Emerson saw red for a reckless challenge on Martinelli.
Emerson’s dismissal allowed Arsenal to push forward in search of a third goal, and they made the points safe when Xhaka fired a low finish beyond Lloris from inside the box.
Energy. Commitment. Passion.
We did this together, Gooners pic.twitter.com/tfVAitYy8u
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) October 1, 2022
What does it mean? Arsenal make statement
Saturday’s North London derby was the first to begin with either side sitting top of the Premier League table since December 2007, when Nicklas Bendtner gave Arsenal to a 2-1 home win.
While Tottenham faced an uphill task after Emerson’s red card – Spurs’ fifth Premier League dismissal at the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal controlled the majority of the match to end their neighbours’ unbeaten top-flight record this season.
The Gunners have now won three consecutive home league games against Tottenham, the first time they have done so since September 2013.
Jesus stars in maiden North London derby
Striker Jesus’ form since arriving from City has been key to Arsenal’s outstanding start to the season, and he assumed a central role in his first North London derby.
Only Erling Haaland (11 goals and one assist) has recorded more Premier League goal involvements than Jesus (five goals, three assists) this season.
Kane record in vain
Kane’s spot-kick saw him surpass Thierry Henry as the highest-scoring player in Premier League London derbies with 44 goals.
The striker has now scored 14 league goals against Arsenal, but his efforts proved to be in vain as the Gunners seized the initiative after the break.
Key Opta Facts
– Tottenham have now failed to win any of their last 12 Premier League visits to Arsenal (D4 L8), their longest ongoing run in the competition.
– Arteta is just the third Arsenal manager in the club’s history to win each of his first three home games against Tottenham after George Morrell (1909-1911) and Terry Neill (1977-1979).
– Only twice in the Premier League have Arsenal had more points after their first eight games of a season than the 21 they have in 2022-23 – 22 points both in 2004-05 and 2007-08, with the Gunners finishing second and third respectively.
– Partey’s opener rounded off a 21-pass move for Arsenal. Since Boxing Day 2019, only Manchester City and Liverpool have had more 20-plus passing sequences that have ended in a goal than the Gunners (six).
Arsenal host Bodo/Glimt in the Europa League on Thursday, while Tottenham face a Champions League trip to Eintracht Frankfurt on two days earlier.
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