The final whistle goes and Arsenal hold on for the win that their performance has certainly merited. The Gunners remain 10th in the table, but move within four points of their local rivals. This loss is a significant blow to Tottenham’s hopes of a top four finish.
- 2nd Half
- Smith RoweWillian77'
- Lacazette (P)64'
- 1/2 Time
- 1st Half
Arsenal - Tottenham Hotspur
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Kane’s shot flies over the bar and that is surely game over now.
Lucas Moura weaves through the Arsenal midfield with a brilliant run and is hacked down. It’s a free-kick in shooting distance again for Spurs...
There will be five minutes of added time. FIVE. Can Spurs grab an equaliser? They are pushing hard for one now, despite being down to ten men.
OFF THE POST! Kane’s free-kick is sensational, but it cannons off the far post and back into the mixer, and Gabriel does brilliantly to deny Sanchez’s goalbound shot on the follow-up.
It's a free-kick to Spurs and Harry Kane is lining up a shot...
Elneny replaces Lacazette for the final few moments. That means no appearance for Aubameyang today.
Arsenal are caught in two minds here, some looking to go and finish it and some intent to play it out. The Gunners certainly deserve all three points, they’ve been the better side for most of the game.
NO GOAL! Kane tucks a brilliant header into the far bottom corner from a free-kick cross, but he was offside when the set-piece was taken and it’s chalked off.
Spurs push forward and win a corner, but the set-piece flies across the box without a touch and it remains 2-1.
Spurs are really up against it now. They've struggled to get going in attack all game and now have to get back into this game with a man light and both Son and Bale off.
- Red cardErik LamelaTottenham Hotspur
RED CARD! It’s a second yellow for Lamela and he’s off! You can’t say it wasn’t coming.
Lamela goes in hard on Xhaka down by the touchline and Arsenal appeal for a second yellow. It’s not given though.
Lamela flicks a header towards goal but it’s a comfortable save for Leno.
Kane curls an absolute peach of a cross into the Arsenal box, but no Spurs player can get a touch and it slides across the face of goal and away to safety. It remains 2-1 to Arsenal.
Lamela goes into the book for a foul on Partey. For all of the Argentine's involvements that one is perhaps a tad harsh for a yellow, but for accumulation alone he deserves one.
Arteta will be delighted with how his team have played here. They've controlled midfield and brilliant exploited the space down their left.
How can Spurs respond to that? They've made all of their changes and are without two of the vaunted front three - can they get back into the game? On the balance of play Arsenal fully deserve their lead.
- Goal by penaltyAlexandre LacazetteArsenal
GOOOAAALLL!!! Lacazette sends Lloris the wrong way and slides his penalty right into the corner. 2-1!
Penalty for Arsenal! Lacazette makes an absolute hash of a chance, but Sanchez, stretching to try and block the effort, catches the Frenchman and it’s a spot-kick. That is very unfortunate for the centre-back in truth, but it is a foul and Lacazette has the chance to put Arsenal ahead.
- OffTanguy N'DombeleTottenham Hotspur
- OnDele AlliTottenham Hotspur
Ndombele has struggled to dominate this game as he often does for Spurs and the Frenchman is withdrawn. On comes Dele Alli.
Arsenal continue to press but Partey’s shot from range doesn’t trouble Lloris.
Tierney has Doherty in a tangle down the Arsenal left again and wins his side a corner. Gareth Bale may well be sat on the bench thinking that he’s been sacrificed due to the defensive struggles of the Irishman playing behind him (and if he is thinking that then he’d be right).
- OffGareth BaleTottenham Hotspur
- OnMoussa SissokoTottenham Hotspur
Those defensive concerns mean that Bale’s afternoon is over and on comes Sissoko to try and sure things up a bit for Spurs. That is as far from a like-for-like change as you can pretty much get. It will now by Lamela on the right, with Ndombele pushed higher in central midfield.
Lacazette unleashes from range, but it’s straight down the throat of Lloris and a comfortable save.
Doherty puts Lloris in trouble with a stray header, but the keeper does well to prevent a corner, punching the ball out for a throw.
Bale is back on the right now, so maybe I spoke too soon, or maybe Spurs are alternating between the two shapes. We’ll wait and see.
Mourinho has made a slight tweak to the team for this second half by the looks of things. Bale, who was largely uninvolved in the opening 45 minutes, is now playing central alongside Kane, with Lamela out on the right. That could potentially also help Spurs shield Doherty a bit down that side, which is where Arsenal had much of their attacking joy in the first half.
Bale does well to keep an attack alive and burst into the box, but his cross on the stretch is slightly too high for anybody to get on the end of it.
Spurs have woken up. They were so lacklustre in the first half but it’s been a much higher tempo from them since the restart, and Ndombele’s excellent weaving run almost sees the Frenchman get in behind the Arsenal defence.
Spurs start the second half well but Reguilon can’t quite squeeze a pass through to the unmarked Kane inside the box. That’s more like it from Tottenham!
- OffBukayo SakaArsenal
- OnNicolas PépéArsenal
Arsenal make a change for the second half, with Pepe replacing the quiet Saka.
- 2nd Half
We’re back underway at the Emirates.
The half-time whistle goes and we’re all square. Lamela’s goal will live long in the memory, but Arsenal have been the better side in this opening 45 minutes and that equaliser shortly before the break sets it up nicely for the second half. Catch you in 15!
That's Odegaard's first league goal for Arsenal, coming just days after he opened his account for the club in the Europa League.
- GoalMartin ØdegaardArsenal
GOOOAAALLL!!! Odegaard equalises for Arsenal. Tierney bursts past Doherty and puts in a cross that Odegaard turns towards goal. It looks harmless enough, but the effort takes a deflection off the heel of Alderweireld to leave Lloris stranded and nestle in the bottom corner. It’s fortunate, but Arsenal deserve it on the balance of play. 1-1!
We’ve barely seen Harry Kane so far today, Spurs are really struggling to get the ball up to their front three and credit has to go to Arsenal for largely controlling Tottenham’s biggest threat. That being said, Mourinho will be happy enough with a 1-0 lead going into the break.
Reguilon takes a chance as Saka bursts into the box, but the full-back’s touch is a good one, poking the ball away from the Arsenal youngster and behind for a corner.
- Yellow cardSergio ReguilónTottenham Hotspur
Reguilon claims he got the ball, and he may well have done, but the left-back got a bit of Saka too and it’s a yellow card.
Arsenal really should have equalised there. Lacazette must have thought there was somebody unmarked behind him, but there wasn’t and Cedric in many ways spared his blushes by keeping the move alive.
Smith Rowe has been superb for Arsenal and opens Spurs up. He pulls the ball back but Lacazette strangely opts to leave it rather than go for goal. It almost turns into a goal anyway thanks to the efforts of Cedric, who busts a gut to get onto the loose ball and crunch a shot onto the post from the edge of the box. Another big let-off for Spurs.
That was quite the goal from Spurs. Bale’s raking pass found Reguilon on the left, who volleyed it expertly back into the box. Lucas brought it down rather than attempt a shot and set it slightly behind Lamela for the shot, but the Argentine sorted his feet out and bent a beautiful rabona nutmeg curling into the bottom corner. That’s one for the highlight reel!
GOOOAAALLL!!! Oh my word, what a finish! Erik Lamela opens the scoring for Spurs with a stunning rabona into the far corner. That’s beautiful skill. 1-0!
Spurs enjoy their best spell of possession of the game, which will come as welcome relief after an opening half hour camped inside their own half.
Lamela gets involved in another little altercation off the ball with Luiz. He must be an absolute nightmare to play against.
Lamela and Xhaka get involved in some handbags and the game is paused while the ref has a chat to them. Not like that pair to get all fired up…
Arsenal are having some real joy down their left, targeting Doherty as the weak link in Spurs’ defence and forcing Hojbjerg to drop in and cover… which in turn is leaving the visitors short in midfield.
The ball is turned back to Lacazette, unmarked, inside the box, but he doesn’t get his finish right and slides the ball wide of the far post. That should have been the opener.
Lamela has been a right nuisance since coming on and wins a free-kick inside the Arsenal half. Spurs take it quickly, but Lucas is beaten to the ball by Leno.
Partey goes for goal from range, but he slices it well wide.
Other than a goal I don’t think Arsenal could have asked for a much better start to this game, they’ve been outstanding and have now seen one of the visitors’ biggest threats hobble down the tunnel.
- OffHeung-Min SonTottenham Hotspur
- OnErik LamelaTottenham Hotspur
Lamela has moved into the central role behind Kane, with Lucas switching to the left. Losing Son is bad news, not just for Spurs but also for the Premier League in general, he’s such a wonderful player to watch. Let’s hope it was just a twinge and nothing more serious.
Son is going to have to go off, which is a major blow for Spurs. On comes Erik Lamela.
Alderweireld looks long for Son and the South Korean pulls up slightly as the ball runs through to Leno. He looks concerned about his hamstring and may not be able to continue.
What a hit that is! Smith Rowe is given time and space to line up a shot from range and he rattles the crossbar with a terrific effort that Lloris was getting nowhere near.
Lloris comes charging out of his box and does well to mop up the danger, but his sliding clearance does leave him way out of his area with the ball in play. Spurs do well to prevent Arsenal getting an attempt away before their captain is back between his sticks.
It’s interesting from Spurs this – are they sitting off on purpose (and if so is that a good idea)? Or are they being forced to play deeper than they’d like by Arsenal’s decent start? It’s very hard to tell at this stage.
Xhaka looks for Saka, but his cross his overhit and Spurs clear again. It’s pretty much all Arsenal at the moment – the home side have had close to 80% of possession so far.
Tierney does well down the left and whips in a dangerous cross, but it’s well handled by the Spurs defence. Bale takes a knock as the attack continues, but it looks like he’s okay.
Arsenal have seen more of the ball in the opening stages, but in truth that’s probably what you’d expect from the way the two sides are likely to want this game to go.
Bale bends a clever cross into the box with the outside of his left foot, but it’s too close to Leno and the keeper claims.
Bale looks long for Kane but it’s a tricky ball and Leno does well to come out and beat the forward to it on the edge of the box.
Odegaard whips in a lovely free-kick, but it’s met by the head of Sanchez, and it’s the centre-back who again meets the follow-up cross as Luiz tries to keep the move alive.
Smith Rowe makes a nice run down the left as Arsenal start brightly, but his cross is cut out by Sanchez.
- 1st Half
Arsenal get the game underway.
The camera pans to a rather grumpy-looking Aubameyang in the stands. His absence for a disciplinary reason could yet be the big talking point of the afternoon, let’s see how that story develops.
Both teams are wearing their traditional colours for this match, no need for away strips when it's red vs white.
The players emerge into an empty Emirates stadium as the wind whistling around the ground. It’s games like these that really make you miss supporters, imagine the atmosphere!
Quarter of an hour until kick-off. Anyone else excited?!
As Mourinho helpfully pointed out, Tottenham start this game seven points ahead of their local rivals and with games in hand over all of the top-four clubs (with Chelsea, Leicester City and Manchester United the only ones Spurs can realistically still catch, and even then it’s a long shot).
Yeah, “respect”. Sure sounds like it Jose…
Jose concluded that little point by saying: "Like us they’re trying to build a better future. I have total respect for them."
" I look up, I don’t look down. If Arsenal were seven points ahead of us I would look to them, but because we have seven points more than them I don’t look down. We feel we’re better than the position we have in the table and we want to improve our position so we need points for that. It doesn’t matter the opponent, doesn’t matter if it is a derby. It’s a Premier League match, three points are there to fight for and that’s what we’re going to do."
Jose Mourinho has taken a very different approach with his pre-game comments...
Arteta isn’t wrong; this is a Spurs attack fully firing right now. But today’s hosts have one of the best defensive records in the division and will surely arrive in this game with a plan. Whether that plan is enough contain BASK (or whatever ridiculous acronym we’re going with) we will see.
" The level of quality, precision, understanding and chemistry that they have between them makes them probably one of the most special attacks in Europe. They are able to create their own chances, they are able to link as a team. They are a really organised team, a big threat in every counter-attack situation, good individual skills and great organisation."
The Arsenal manager spoke ahead of this game about the threat he experts the Spurs strike force to pose for his defence.
And one of the more mouth-watering prospects in store (for Spurs fans particularly I’d imagine) is how the Arsenal defence will cope with Tottenham’s in-form front three. Gareth Bale, Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son is arguably the best front-line in the division right now, particularly threatening when give space to exploit on the break. Will Arsenal adapt their tactics and sit a bit deeper to contain those three, or will they trust in Arteta’s blueprint? It’s going to be fascinating to find out.
Quite an interesting development with the Arsenal team news as Arteta has revealed that Aubameyang has been left out of the starting XI for disciplinary reasons. That won’t be the last we hear about that I’m pretty sure!
Both teams go into this game on the back of convincing Europa League wins, although the Gunners did have to travel back from Greece on Thursday evening, which isn’t exactly ideal preparation for a game against their local rivals.
There have certainly been meetings between these two clubs with greater implications for the league, but there’s still something riding on this one. Spurs in particular would benefit enormously from three points as they hunt down the European qualification spots. For Arsenal it’s going to take quite a conclusion to the season if they are to climb high enough to make even the Europa League berths, but a win today would at least keep those hopes alive.
Spurs name largely the side expected with six changes in total from the starting XI in midweek, although Doherty is preferred to Aurier at right-back which will raise one or two eyebrows. The attacking unit of Bale, Son and Kane all start, with Lucas again preferred to Dele and Lamela in the No 10 role.
So Arteta makes three changes for Arsenal, with Bellerin, Willian and Aubameyang settling for a place on the bench and Cedric, Smith Rowe and Lacazette replacing them in the XI.
Good afternoon. It’s North London derby time!