Football, Premier League

Tottenham vs Arsenal: Gunners go survive late scare to win North London derby

The Premier League’s top team, Arsenal, held off a scare in the second half against Tottenham to win the north London derby 3-2 and secure their position at the top.

The Gunners dominated the first half for 23 minutes, scoring three goals in that time: a header by Kai Havertz, a Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg own goal, and a Bukayo Saka finish.

However, with Arsenal in complete control, Cristian Romero pulled one back thanks to a gaffe by custodian David Raya in the 64th minute.

Heung-Min Son’s penalty in the 87th minute then set up a nerve-wracking finale for the Gunners, who held on to pull four points clear of Manchester City despite late pressure from Spurs.

In contrast, Tottenham lost for the second straight game, dropping them seven points behind Aston Villa in fourth place and jeopardising their Champions League chances.

How the Gunners defeated ferocious rivals to maintain their title hopes


After hammering London rivals Chelsea midweek, Arsenal made the short trip to the Tottenham Hotspur stadium full of confidence. However, in front of an electrifying crowd, Spurs got off to a promising start.

However, the Gunners withstood the early onslaught and took the lead when Hojbjerg headed Saka’s cross into his own net in the fifteenth minute.

Five minutes later, Spurs made a strong response when Cristian Romero headed against the crossbar. Then, in the 22nd minute, the home team felt they had equalised when Micky Van de Ven slammed in, but VAR rejected the goal for a close offside call.

In the 27th minute, Spurs were refused two penalty requests in short succession. First, James Maddison was tackled by Declan Rice, and then Dejan Kulusevski was hurt by a trip by Leandro Trossard.

Arsenal’s spectacular counterattack, which saw Havertz beautifully pick out Saka, who clinically finished low beyond Guglielmo Vicario, compounded the home team’s displeasure instantly.

Arsenal’s dominance at set pieces paid off once more when Havertz headed in Rice’s corner for the side’s 16th corner goal of the Premier League season. This is the most goals a team has scored from a corner in a single season since West Brom under Tony Pulis in 2016–17 (16).

Spurs attempted to get back into the match as Arsenal was in complete control, but the home team was unable to muster a shot on goal and skipper Heung-Min Son fired over shortly before halftime.

Seven minutes into the second half, Saka’s close-range shot was stopped by a superb save by Vicario, keeping Arsenal from scoring a fourth.

Vicario’s opposite Then, as Raya passed directly to Romero, who shot past the humiliated Spaniard, Tottenham was given a way back into the match.

For a brief while, Arsenal appeared to be holding off Spurs’ onslaught, but then Rice kicked Ben Davies in the box, prompting referee Michael Oliver to go to the pitchside monitor and reverse his initial call of a penalty for the home team.

On May 4, Arsenal will host Bournemouth, while on Thursday, May 2, Tottenham will play Chelsea in a London derby.

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