Arsenal blew Tottenham away in the North London Derby as the Gunners produced a collective effort to grab all three points.
Arsenal have answered their critics in style after a splendid win over Tottenham in the North London Derby. The packed Emirates crowd witnessed what Mikel Arteta’s team might look like in their pomp, with all their attacking, midfield and defensive talents playing as one.
The Gunners started the game on the front foot, and Spurs found it difficult to handle the pressure right from the first minutes. In the 12th minute, a quick move saw Martin Odegaard giving the ball to Bukayo Saka, who teed up a free Emile Smith Rowe to slot it past Hugo Lloris and open the scoring.
Arsenal then led a lightning-fast counter-attack from the back, as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang played a crucial role in creating and then finishing the move. 2-0 Gunners. Harry Kane was then guilty of losing the ball in his half, which led to another counter-attack, and this time Saka was fortunate to finish his effort past Lloris.
With a commanding 3-0 lead to protect, Arsenal sat behind in the second half and displayed a solid defensive performance to give Tottenham no chance of a comeback. Heung-min Son found the back of the net in the 79th minute, but it was only a consolation as the Gunners’ backline did not lose their composure and saw the game out.
The win eases some pressure off Arteta’s shoulders while piling more on Nuno Espirito Santo’s head. At the end of Gameweek 3, Tottenham sat on top of the table, and Arsenal were rock-bottom. After this North London Derby, Arsenal sit above Tottenham on goal difference, showing Arteta’s vast improvement. Here’s how Arsenal and Tottenham stars fared in the game.
Aaron Ramsdale: 8.5/10
A performance that probably proves beyond any doubt why he is the new Arsenal no.1. Ramsdale made some classy saves, especially one right at the end from a Lucas Moura shot. Unfortunate to concede the late goal from Son, but Ramsdale commanded his area with assuredness and was first to react over any balls flying into his zone.
Takehiro Tomiyasu: 9/10
Takehiro Tomiyasu had more touches (67) and made more ball recoveries (8) than any other Arsenal player against Tottenham.
He is yet to be dribbled past by an opponent in the Premier League this season. pic.twitter.com/hKY5AqxUVq
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 26, 2021
Tottenham attackers found it difficult to get past Tomiyasu, who won every aerial duel, header or challenge thrown at him. Completely nullified Harry Kane first, then Son, to prevent Tottenham’s most dangerous players from getting anything out of this clash. Proving to be a top signing.
Ben White: 8/10
If last weekend’s somewhat shaky display was a concern, Ben White dispelled those with a masterful performance at the heart of the Arsenal defence. He provided some exceptional balls out from the back and looked calm in possession, preventing any substantial moves coming from Spurs’ attackers. Might have conceded a penalty, but the referee waved it away.
Gabriel Magalhaes: 9/10
Gabriel was the leader at the back for Arsenal, with some assured time in possession and keeping total control of the defensive line. He nullified any possible threat from Spurs’ attackers while making some crucial interceptions, blocks and tackles.
Gabriel for Arsenal against Tottenham:
◉ Most successful passes (43)
◉ Most clearances (5)
◉ Most blocks (1)
Forming a strong connection at the back. 💪 pic.twitter.com/U3tOjoZRXL
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 26, 2021
Kieran Tierney: 8/10
Tierney, by far, had the most difficult task of the other defenders. He dealt with the threat of Lucas Moura and Japhet Tanganga, and took the game to the opposing defence, with his left-sided runs as well as the communication with Smith Rowe being crucial.
Thomas Partey: 8.5/10
If he was slowly getting back to top form, this was Partey at his best. Bossed the midfield as the manager would have wanted, giving Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg no chance whatsoever in central areas. He was adept in cutting passing lanes and was a joy to watch for his one-touch movements and play progression.
Granit Xhaka: 8/10
For all the pre-game talk casting doubts at his immediate inclusion, Xhaka proved his critics wrong with a top draw performance. Calm in possession and had full control of how the Gunners kept the midfield ticking. Unfortunately, he got injured late on and looks likely to miss a few games.
Martin Odegaard: 9/10
Arsenal’s new no. 10 was too hot to handle for Spurs’ defence. Controlled the tempo of the game and played a crucial part in the first and third goals. Odegaard got crowded for most parts but always found a way out and ensured his attack moved forward with intent.
Bukayo Saka: 9.5/10
Aged 20 years and 21 days, Bukayo Saka became the youngest player in #PL history to score and assist in a north London derby 👊
— Premier League (@premierleague) September 26, 2021
A tremendous performance from the 20-year-old, getting a goal and assist to cap off a brilliant North London Derby. He proved his manager right in his decision to replace Nicolas Pepe on the right side and will only grow into an important star for the future.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 8.5/10
Aubameyang’s performance was captain worthy. With the striker getting into full form, he was a key part of the attack. After that delicious flick to Smith Rowe, he then ran into the box to finish the move. Capped it off with a legendary celebration.
Emile Smith Rowe: 9.5/10
A dream game for Smith Rowe; decisive and key to Arsenal’s attack. A goal and assist to show for his cause. Spurs found it hard to handle his movements and quickness. He later described it as the best day of his life, and rightly so. Tremendous from the 21-year-old.
⭐️ Man of the Match, @Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe
Completed 23/26 passes
6x possession won
2 chances created
1 shot, on target
1st time both scored & assisted in a PL game pic.twitter.com/UqrxthYufi
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) September 26, 2021
Albert Sambi Lokonga: 8/10
Lokonga came on to fill the big boots of the injured Xhaka when Spurs were piling some pressure on their defence. Helped the Gunners see out the game in style.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles: N/A
Maitland-Niles came on late to provide some steel in midfield as Arsenal were defending their lead. Spurs were ineffective during this period, and it was hardly any time to rate Maitland-Niles.
Nuno Tavares: N/A
Tavares was on the pitch for a short period to provide defensive cover, and not long to get a rating.
Hugo Lloris: 5.5/10
Lloris was the most helpless player on the field, reduced to picking the ball out of his net three times in the first half. Had no control over organising the defence, and his teammates might have let him down. If not for him, the half-time scoreline might have looked much worse.
Japhet Tanganga: 3/10
Tanganga initially showed a spirit to fight off the challenge posed by Smith Rowe and Tierney on his side but ended up being culpable of at least two Arsenal goals. Nuno Espirito Santo recognised the problem and his ineffectiveness to replace him at half-time.
Davinson Sanchez: 3/10
Sanchez was all over the place as Smith Rowe ran riot on his side. Like Tanganga, he was at fault for the first two goals, particularly the opener, as he got caught ball watching when he should have tracked Arsenal’s No.10.
Eric Dier: 4/10
Spurs lacked defensive organisation, and Dier was often seen screaming at his colleagues to get back in shape. However, on a personal level, Dier never was good positionally in the game, as Aubameyang and Odegaard got the better of him.
Sergio Reguilon: 5/10
Arsenal attackers often got much joy on Reguilon’s side as the Spaniard usually got found out of position. He also failed to contribute with a lack of forward runs but did get the assist for Heung-min Son’s consolation strike in the second half.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg: 3/10
It was quite surprising to see Hojbjerg reduced to a passenger as Partey and Xhaka ran the midfield. There was no desire coming out of the Dane to get stuck in or show his usual fighting spirit.
Dele Alli: 2.5/10
Alli was a clueless passenger, constantly chasing the ball as he looked out of sorts in the deeper midfield role. He belongs in the final third, where he could influence the game better; taken off at half-time for Oliver Skipp.
Tanguy Ndombele: 4.5/10
The only player who looked energetic in that Spurs midfield, as Ndombele constantly tried to create something. It often felt his ideas on the pitch did not suit the game plan and he became ineffective as the game wore on.
Lucas Moura: 6/10
Moura gets the highest possible rating for a Spurs player, along with Son, for trying to be brave when everyone else went hiding. He caused a few problems to Arsenal’s defence, but nothing alarming. Saw his goal-bound, deflected shot being saved superbly by Ramsdale.
Harry Kane: 3/10
Kane’s threat level was alarmingly disabled by Arsenal’s defence, and he continued his below-par form in the North London Derby. To make matters worse, he lost the ball in the build-up to the Gunners’ third goal. Woeful.
Harry Kane’s game by numbers vs. Arsenal:
46% pass accuracy
33% aerial duels won
20% ground duels won
11 x possession lost
4 shots [1 on target]
1 big chance missed
0 chances created
His slow start continues. 😳 pic.twitter.com/qiepUN6wyA
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) September 26, 2021
Son Heung-min: 6/10
Another spectator, for the most part, as Son failed to get past Tomiyasu on his side. Had one decent effort saved by Ramsdale in the first half and got Spurs’ consolation goal in the second period.
Oliver Skipp: 5.5/10
Skipp replaced Alli in the second half and brought about a degree of control to the midfield. His possession stats were decent and showed the Tottenham manager why he should have started in the centre.
Emerson Royal: 3/10
Nuno replaced Tanganga with Emerson Royal to attack from the right side, but the former Barcelona man looked awful and failed to deal with Tierney on his side. The pressure of this game and Arsenal’s established lead was hard for him to cope with.
Bryan Gil: 6/10
Gil was one of the bright spots in this woeful Tottenham side, as he showed some assuredness in possession and tried to make things happen. Crucial in Spurs’ consolation goal, but he will learn and probably have a more prominent role to play from here on.