Arsenal turn game around to beat 10-man Tottenham
Alexandre Lacazette scored the winner as Arsenal came from a goal down to deservedly beat 10-man Tottenham 2-1 in the north London derby.
Mikel Arteta dropped captain Pierre Emerick Aubameyang for disciplinary issues but it didn’t affect Arsenal’s performance as the Gunners dominated the ball and had the better of the play.
The influential Emile Smith Rowe hit the bar from long range, while Cedric Soares’ shot struck the post.
However, Erik Lamela – who replaced Son Heung-Min after the South Korean pulled up with a hamstring injury – executed a a magnificent and outrageous rabona in the 33rd minute that went through the legs of Thomas Partey and into the corner.
It was the first time Spurs had touched the ball in Arsenal’s box in the first 33 minutes.
Arsenal found themselves level on the stroke of half time. Kieran Tierney breezed past Matt Doherty and set up Martin Ødegaard, his shot was deflected and went into the back of the net.
In the second half, it was more dominant Arsenal football and went ahead from the penalty spot. Hugo Lloris’ wayward clearance was intercepted and Nicolas Pepe played an incisive pass to Lacazette, who was cleaned out by Davinson Sanchez when about to shoot.
The Frenchman converted the penalty to put the hosts ahead.
Then after a string of fouls, Lamela was on thin ice. He went from hero to villain within an hour as he caught Tierney with a hand in the face and was given his second yellow.
Predictably but frustratingly for Tottenham fans, they started to push Arsenal back and force the initiative when they went a goal down.
Harry Kane was anonymous for most of the match but he struck the post with a free kick and had a goal chalked off for a narrow offside. Arsenal defender Gabriel made a vital clearance with Davinson Sanchez’s shot heading into the net.
What it means
Arsenal remain 10th, but are four points behind Spurs in seventh. It was a damaging result for Tottenham who were passive and too timid. They are still in the top-four battle though with Chelsea, Everton and West Ham also failing to win. Jose Mourinho’s side are six points behind fourth-placed Chelsea with a game in hand.
Spurs have now lost six and drawn four of their past 10 Premier League games at Arsenal. They have dropped 45 points from winning positions against Arsenal in the Premier League – the most of any team against a specific opponent in the competition.
Jose Mourinho’s side have lost their last eight matches against a top-half side since they beat Arsenal in December (1 in the FA Cup).
Tottenham have been beaten in nine league games this season, the joint most Mourinho has lost in a campaign in his career.
Featured image: Alexandre Lacazette of Arsenal celebrates after scoring their side’s second goal from the penalty spot during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)