Thursday, May 23, 2024

Tottenham 2-3 Arsenal: What Were The Main Talking Points As The Gunners Cling To A Thrilling North London Victory?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, English Premier League 29 Apr 2024

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In what was a pulsating north London derby on Sunday afternoon, Arsenal dragged themselves over the finish line as they secured a 3-2 victory against Tottenham.

Keeping their title dreams alive and kicking as Spurs midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg glanced home into his own net after just 15 minutes, the Gunners quickly run rampant as they silenced the home support in a remarkable fashion.

With England international Bukayo Saka and Kai Havertz also converting before the half-time break, Mikel Arteta’s title contenders entered the interval with a commanding 3-0 lead away from the Emirates.

However, while Arsenal might have been breezing their way to a potentially season-defining victory here, Tottenham mounted a dramatic late charge as they almost completed a stunning comeback on home soil.

With Argentina international Cristian Romero calmly slotting home following David Raya’s costly mistake trying to play out from the back, Heung-min Son then converted from the penalty spot to set up a grand slam finish in the English capital.

Although Arsenal might have eventually been fortunate to head back to the Emirates with a crucial victory, the Gunners will be more than aware that they avoided what would have been remembered as an infamous collapse here.

On an afternoon when Arteta’s squad handed Tottenham a major blow in their bid to book a Champions League return, we have taken a look at all of the key talking points.

Arsenal keep their title dreams alive

While Arsenal might have suffered Champions League heartbreak away at German giants Bayern Munich on April 17th as they suffered a 3-2 aggregate defeat, the Gunners haven’t shown any signs of a hangover.

Now in what appears to be a two-horse race with defending champions Manchester City in the battle to get their hands on a first domestic crown since 2004, Arteta’s young squad have once again received a string of plaudits.

Making a major statement of intent earlier in the week as they breezed their way to a stellar 5-0 romp against Chelsea, Sunday’s guests should find the mood in their camp at a red-hot high.

Dragging themselves over the finishing line here and avoiding what could have been a season-defining collapse against their arch-rivals, Arsenal have now won all of their previous three Premier League appearances by an aggregate score of 10-2.

Continuing to gain a fearsome reputation for their clinical performances in the final third, the Gunners have certainly demonstrated that they aren’t showing any signs of a phycological wobble as they approach the finishing line.

Spurs’ defensive struggles

While Spurs might have almost completed what would have been an iconic derby comeback here, Sunday’s hosts have continued to gain a reputation for their glaring defensive issues.

Although Ange Postecoglou’s side might have received plenty of plaudits for their free-flowing approach under the former Celtic boss, Tottenham have now shipped seven goals in their back-to-back Premier League defeats.

Suffering a woeful 4-0 drumming at the hands of fellow European chasers Newcastle earlier in the month, the Lilywhites have remarkably recorded just a single clean sheet from any of their previous 13 domestic appearances across all competitions – a run that stems all the way back to January 5th.

Heading into March’s international break with a 3-0 loss against Fulham, Spurs have also registered just a sole clean sheet in front of their own supporters since the end of October.

With their Champions League chase taking a major dent on Sunday afternoon and still sat seven points adrift of Aston Villa heading into the final month, Postecoglou’s side are desperate to claim some crucial defensive steel.

Saka back to his best

Although Saka might have come under some mild scrutiny this season for his ineffectiveness in Arsenal’s most high-profile games, the England international was certainly at his tantalising best here.

Doubling the Gunners’ lead midway through the first-half thanks to a wonderful solo finish, Arsenal’s homegrown superstar has continued to spearhead Arteta’s title charge this year.

Causing Spurs’ leaky defence a string of issues and silencing the home support on Sunday afternoon, Saka has now notched 15 goals and a further nine Premier League assists this season.

Enjoying what has become his most fruitful domestic campaign, it is no secret that the 22-year-old has a leading role to play over the final few weeks.

Expected to play a leading role when the Three Lions arrive in Germany this summer for the 2024 European Championships, Saka appears to be hitting top gear at a crucial time.

Tipped as a leading contender to be claim consecutive PFA Young Player of the Year awards this season, the English ace has certainly blossomed into one of the Premier League’s most exciting stars.

Match Report

Tottenham: Vicario, Porro, Romero, van de Ven, Davies, Bentancur, Hojbjerg, Kulusevski, Maddison, Werner, Son

Subs: Sarr, Johnson, Lo Celso, Richarlison, Bissouma

Arsenal: Rayo, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tomiyasu, Rice, Party, Odegaard, Saka, Havertz, Trossard

Subs: Martinelli, Kiwior

Goals: Tottenham: Romero (64’), Son (87’ P) – Arsenal: Hojbjerg OG (15’), Saka (27’), Havertz (38’)

Yellow Cards: Tottenham: Kulusevski, Davies – Arsenal: Partey

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Michael Oliver

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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