Arsenal 2-1 Tottenham: Gunners fight back to dent 10-man Spurs’ top-four Premier League hopes

Report as Arsenal fought back from a goal down to beat Tottenham; Erik Lamela’s Rabona gave Spurs the lead; But Martin Odegaard and Alexandre Lacazette completed the turnaround; Lamela picked up two bookings in eight second-half minutes as Arsenal secured win

Sunday 14 March 2021 18:55, UK

Arsenal sealed their first north London derby win since December 2018 after fighting back from a goal down to beat 10-man Tottenham 2-1 on Super Sunday.

The Gunners, who were without captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after he was left out of the starting line-up due to a disciplinary breach, dominated much of the first half as Emile Smith Rowe and Cedric Soares both saw strikes hit the woodwork.

However, they were behind in the 33rd minute when Erik Lamela, who replaced the injured Heung-Min Son after 19 minutes, produced a spectacular drilled Rabona (33) to beat Bernd Leno and find the bottom corner.

The hosts did finally get some reward just before the half-time interval when Martin Odegaard (44) swept home Kieran Tierney’s cutback and they turned the game around midway through the second half when Alexandre Lacazette scored from the spot (64) after being scythed down by Davinson Sanchez.

Lamela’s afternoon turned sour 15 minutes from time when he threw out a stray arm to catch Tierney to pick up his second yellow card in eight minutes, while Harry Kane, who had a late header disallowed for offside, struck the post with a free-kick before Gabriel Magalhaes’ brilliant block to deny Sanchez scoring from the rebound secured Arsenal all three points.


Defeat dents Spurs’ top-four hopes as Jose Mourinho’s side – whose five-match winning streak comes to an end – stay seventh in the Premier League table, six points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.

Meanwhile, Arsenal, who boosted their own European qualification hopes, stay 10th, four points behind Tottenham.

9 – Spurs have now lost nine games in the Premier League this season; the joint-most José Mourinho has ever suffered in a single league campaign in his managerial career (also nine in 2015-16 with Chelsea). Diminishing.

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How Arsenal secured the north London bragging rights…

Tottenham sat off Arsenal in the opening stages and they were almost punished for a sluggish start when Smith Rowe’s curled effort from 25 yards beat Hugo Lloris but crashed back off the crossbar.

Spurs’ tricky opening continued when Son, making his first real forward run of the game, pulled up clutching his hamstring, and he was replaced by Lamela before the game had reached the 20-minute mark.

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Smith Rowe was heavily involved again as the Gunners created another excellent opening, breezing past Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg before cutting the ball back for Lacazette, but the Frenchman snatched at his finish from 12 yards, failing to test Lloris.

Arsenal failed to capitalise on their dominance and Spurs, who eventually grew into the game, took the lead following a moment of magic from Lamela. The ball dropped to the Argentine on his weaker foot in the penalty area and he produced a Rabona, drilling a low finish straight into the far corner with Spurs’ first shot of the game.

Arteta would have been wondering how his side were behind and their frustration continued as Soares’ powerful strike from the edge of the penalty rattled the upright, but they did manage to get back on level terms just before the break.

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Arsenal attacked down the Spurs left again as Tierney got the better of Matt Doherty before pulling the ball back for Odegaard, who, with the help of a deflection, swept the ball past Lloris to give the Gunners a deserved equaliser.

The hosts made a change at the break with Nicolas Pepe replacing Bukayo Saka and they had the first effort of the second half as Lacazette turned and got a shot away from 20 yards, forcing Lloris into a comfortable save.

Gareth Bale, who had been on the periphery all game, was replaced by Moussa Sissoko before Tanguy Ndombele made way for Dele Alli just after the hour mark, but Spurs found themselves behind in the 64th minute.

Pepe’s pass released Lacazette, who took an air shot at the ball before being wiped out by a lunging Sanchez. The referee pointed to the spot – with VAR agreeing with the decision – before Lacazette picked himself up off the floor to send Lloris the wrong way to give the Gunners the lead.

Spurs’ frustrations were summed up when Lamela went from hero to villain, picking up two yellow cards in eight minutes, the second of which came in the 76th minute after his stray forearm caught Tierney in the face.

Despite the numerical disadvantage, Spurs burst into life as they tried to find an equaliser and Kane headed home Lucas Moura’s free-kick, but the flag was correctly raised for offside against the England captain.

The late drama wasn’t over as Kane’s powerful free-kick struck the foot of the post and Arsenal needed a brilliant headed clearance from Gabriel to keep out Sanchez’s goal-bound strike from the rebound as the Gunners held on to hand Arteta’s first north London derby win as a manager.

Opta stats – Arsenal’s unbeaten home run vs Spurs continues…

  • Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 10 Premier League home games against Spurs (W6 D4), while Mikel Arteta is the third consecutive Gunners boss to win his first home league meeting with Spurs, following Arsène Wenger and Unai Emery.
  • Since losing his first London derby at the Emirates in the Premier League (1-2 v Chelsea in December 2019), Arteta is unbeaten in his last five such games, picking up four victories (D1).
  • Spurs 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.
  • Spurs have conceded seven penalty goals in the Premier League this season, the most by a José Mourinho team in a single campaign in the competition.
  • Erik Lamela became just the fifth substitute in Premier League history to score and be sent off in the same game, after David Lee (1993), Bobby Zamora (2007), Ivan Klasnic (2010) and Hal Robson-Kanu (2017).

📊 Arsenal extend their unbeaten home PL run v Tottenham to 10 games
📊 The Gunners have won 6 of the last 21 PL North London derbies when conceding the 1st goal
📊 Jose Mourinho is beaten for only the 2nd time in 19 PL games v Arsenal

What’s next?

West Ham United

Aston Villa
Tottenham Hotspur

Arsenal face Olympiakos in the second leg of their Europa League last-16 clash on Thursday (kick-off 5.55pm), leading 3-1 from the first leg, before facing a trip to West Ham next Sunday, March 21, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 3pm.

Meanwhile, Tottenham face a trip to Dinamo Zagreb in the second leg of their Europa League last-16 tie on Thursday (5.55pm), leading 2-0 from the first leg, before travelling to Aston Villa on Sunday March 21 (kick-off 7.30pm), also on Sky Sports.

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