By Isaac Moore at White Hart Lane
Ten-man Arsenal slipped to a battling 2-0 defeat at Tottenham on Friday night.
Isaac Hayden was sent off for a professional foul midway through the first half and Souleymane Coulibaly converted the resulting spot-kick to put Spurs ahead.
The Gunners battled manfully from then on and kept Spurs at arm's length for the majority of the second half, but Harry Winks blasted home with six minutes remaining to seal the points for the home side.
SETTING THE SCENE
Steve Gatting made three changes to the side that beat West Ham 5-3 on Monday. Matt Macey replaced Deyan Iliev in goal, Glen Kamara came in for Kris Olsson, who was sidelined through illness, while Austin Lipman started instead of the injured Chuba Akpom.
Arsenal came into this game knowing a win would take them above their neighbours and into the top half of the league.
As kick-off at White Hart Lane approached one side of the ground started to fill up and the teams were greeted by a relatively noisy atmosphere from both sets of supporters.
Both sides began quickly and had chances to show for it. Thomas Eisfeld was given time and space by the Tottenham defenders before unleashing a left-foot drive straight at Jordan Archer.
Coulibaly then combined with Ruben Lameiras before shooting wide of Macey's far post.
The hosts were starting to grow in confidence and Arsenal's defenders were forced to make a couple of well-timed challenges to keep Spurs at bay. First Nathan Oduwa burst free in the area before his cross was intercepted by the sliding Semi Ajayi. Hayden was then forced to make a last-ditch tackle to prevent Coulibaly from having a free run on goal.
The game swung in Tottenham's favour on 27 minutes. The impressive Lameiras beat two Arsenal defenders before he was hauled down by Hayden in the area, giving the referee no choice but to point to the spot and give the Arsenal captain his marching orders.
Coulibaly duly stepped up from the spot and sent his effort into the roof of the net.
Unsurprisingly, Tottenham were now in control. Winks sent two efforts over before Lameiras' cross flew across the face of goal when all it needed was a touch to beat Macey.
But to their credit, Arsenal defended well for the majority of the half and went in at the break up against it, but still in it.
The pattern of play in the second half was much like the first. Spurs dominated possession without really creating many clear-cut chances.
In the 53rd minute, Kenneth McEvoy was released down the right-hand side and his low cross found Lameiras in the middle. The forward blazed his shot over from close range.
Two minutes later Arsenal went close to equalising when Eisfeld's dipping free-kick flew inches over the bar.
The game was becoming more stretched now as Arsenal started to creep forward in search of a leveller. Spurs should have doubled their lead when Lameiras found McEvoy in space with just Macey to beat, but the Arsenal stopper was quick off his line to block. The ball crept under him and, much to Macey's relief, rebounded off the post.
In the 65th minute, substitute Zak Ansah forced Archer to push behind at his near post after combining well with Jon Toral.
Spurs kept streaming forward in search of that killer blow but they couldn't find a way past the outstanding Macey.
First Oduwa tried to bend an effort into the far corner but the Englishman scrambled across his goal to tip behind. Then, Vlad Chiriches made a rare burst into the box before seeing his drive pushed away by Macey.
But Spurs did eventually find their second to put the game beyond Arsenal. Winks combined with Lameiras and curled an effort past Macey from the edge of the box.
- Hayden Red Card
- Alex Iwobi 80
- Lipman 62
- Jebb 80
- Ansah 62
Tottenham Hotspur U23
- Alex McQueen 82
- Ball 76
- Winks Goal!
- Souleymane Coulibaly Goal!
- Ruben Lameiras
- Nathan Oduwa
- Liam Priestly
- Stewart 76
- Giancarlo Gallifuoco
- Aaron McEneff 82