Tottenham 2-3 Arsenal: Gunners claim North London bragging rights despite late Spurs comeback

Tottenham’s hopes of a top-four finish were dented on Sunday, as Ange Postecoglou’s men were defeated on home soil in the North London Derby.

With Arsenal pushing for the Premier League title, their trip to N17 had the potential to bring a bitter end to their pursuit of silverware – but a truly dominant first half saw the Gunners take advantage of poor defending to establish a three-goal lead before the break.

It wasn’t plain sailing for the visitors though, with a David Raya error granting the Lilywhites a lifeline shortly after the hour mark. The tension would ramp up further in the dying minutes, when Tottenham reduced the deficit to just a single goal.

Arsenal held on to claim victory though, remaining at the helm of the Premier League table with three games left to play.

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As it happened

With the three-team title race whittled down to just a two horse race following Liverpool’s crushing defeat against Everton, Arsenal were keen not to suffer the same fate and let their title hopes slip away at the home of their fiercest rivals.

Mikel Arteta’s side roared into the lead after fifteen minutes, with Pierre-Emile Højbjerg finding the back of his own net following a Bukayo Saka corner delivery.

Tottenham thought they’d drawn level soon after, but were left furious when Micky van de Ven’s leveller was disallowed for a fractional offside.

Salt was rubbed into Lilywhite wounds minutes later as Saka capped off a counterattack with Arsenal’s second goal of the afternoon, with claims that Leandro Trossard had fouled Dejan Kulusevski in the buildup falling on deaf ears.

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Kai Havertz completed the first half rout with seven minutes remaining before the interval, nodding home from yet another corner and leaving the hosts chasing an almost insurmountable three-goal deficit.

This title race has already experienced countless twists and turns, and there looked destined to be another one in the second half when a woeful clearance from David Raya fell to Cristian Romero; the Argentine slotting home and igniting late hopes of a comeback.

The atmosphere at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was nothing short of electric when Ange Postecoglou’s side reduced the deficit again with three minutes of regulation time remaining, as Heung-min Son converted from the penalty spot following Declan Rice’s foul on Ben Davies.

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Despite their spirited second-half comeback, Tottenham were forced to succumb to a painful North London Derby defeat – one that not only prolongs Arsenal’s pursuit of the title, but also dents their own hopes of UEFA Champions League qualification.

Post-match reactions

The lineups

TOT: Vicario; Davies, van de Ven, Romero, Porro; Højbjerg, Bentancur; Werner, Maddison, Kulusevski; Son

ARS: Raya; Tomiyasu, Gabriel, Saliha, White; Rice, Partey, Ødegaard; Trossard, Havertz, Saka