Post-Match Report

Report: Tottenham Hotspur 2-3 Arsenal

Kai Havertz celebrates scoring against Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur -

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Premier League
Premier League
  Tottenham Hotspur
              C. Romero (63)
               Son Heung-Min (86 pen)
Tottenham Hotspur
C. Romero (63) Son Heung-Min (86 pen)
2 - 3
                  P. Højbjerg (14 og)
                   Saka (26)
                   Havertz (37)
P. Højbjerg (14 og)
Saka (26)
Havertz (37)

In a north London derby day to remember, we beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 to remain on top of the Premier League with three games to play.

A sensational opening 45 minutes provided the platform for the points, as we led by three going into the interval. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s own goal set us on our way before Bukayo Saka and Kai Havertz added their names to the scoresheet.

However Spurs mounted a comeback and Cristian Romero pulled one back before a penalty from Heung-min Son five minutes from time made it a grandstand finish, but it couldn’t prevent us from recording back-to-back wins at the home of our biggest rivals for the first time since 1988, as well as hand Mikel Arteta his 100th Premier League win as our manager.

Early lead

Much was made pre-match of Spurs having 15 days to prepare while we had played four games in that period, but any concerns about fatigue were blown apart in a devastating opening half that blew our neighbours away.

The ball was first in the back of the Spurs net 13 minutes in when a beautiful pass by Thomas Partey released Martin Odegaard who teed up Havertz to power a shot past Gugliemo Vicario but our skipper was flagged offside in the build-up, however just two minutes later the net rippled again - and it did count.

After Declan Rice saw a shot blocked for a corner, Saka sent a teasing delivery towards the near post which tempted Hojbjerg just enough to flick it on, and it ended up past his own goalkeeper to reward our early positivity.

Just like last season, a helping hand from Spurs had put us in the ascendency, and Ange Postecoglou’s team quickly tried to respond. Firstly, Romero got his head on the end of a James Maddison corner and struck the outside of the post, and then on 24 minutes VAR came to our rescue.

Another set-piece was cleared out to Pedro Porro who struck a hopeful low blast goalwards, and it fell kindly into the path of Micky van de Ven to tuck past David Raya, but the video officials got the lines out and found the Dutch defender to be marginally offside.

Two more before the break

That proved to be a huge turning point, and within three minutes what could have been 1-1 was suddenly 2-0 to the visitors. After some penalty appeals from Tottenham were waved away by Michael Oliver, we pounced to spring a counter attack to devastating effect.

Saka found Havertz, and the German waited before pinging a delightful pass back over the charging winger, who showed great composure to beat Ben Davies and fire past Vicario, becoming the first Englishman to score 15 league goals for us in a campaign since Ian Wright in 1997.

That sent Gooners packed into the away end into dreamland, and it got even better on 38 minutes when Rice swung a corner into the area, and Havertz took advantage of some static defending to nod the ball past Vicario to score his third goal in five days, and put us in a commanding position at the break.

Hosts rally

The second half began with us looking likely to really make a statement, and Takehiro Tomiyasu nearly added a fourth when he headed just over before Romero did the same at the other end. Then having already reached a seasonal high for Premier League goals, Saka had a glorious chance to add to that tally when Havertz clipped a ball to the back post, but Vicario kicked away his volley.

However on 64 minutes we allowed Spurs to claw one back. William Saliba played the ball back to Raya who misjudged his pass and saw it fall straight into Romero’s path, who slotted home to end our club-record longest run without conceding on the road at six matches.

That got the home fans excited that their team could try and attempt a comeback, and while we initially weathered the storm well, with five minutes VAR evened the score when they adjudged Rice to have kicked Davies inside the area, allowing Son the chance to step up to fire the ball past Raya from 12 yards and ensure a nervy ending for Arteta’s side.

Postecoglou’s team threw everything at us in the final five minutes and another six of additional time, but we saw out the barrage of crosses into our area and prevented a shot at goal to ensure our dreams of winning a first Premier League crown in 20 years are maintained.

Facts and stats

We have won consecutive top-flight away games against Spurs for the first time since September 1988 (a run of three under George Graham). Prior to winning there in the last two seasons, we had only won two of our previous 17 away games against Spurs in the Premier League (D6 L9).

This was the second-earliest 3-0 lead in a north London derby in the Premier League (38th minute), with the only quicker instance also being under Mikel Arteta (3-0 after 34 minutes in September 2021).

Tottenham are the 16th different team to concede 50+ Premier League goals this term (52) – this is now the most sides to concede 50+ in an English top-flight season consisting of 20 clubs since 1909/10 (17).

We have scored 16 goals from corners in the league this season, the most by a team in a single campaign since West Bromwich Albion under Tony Pulis in 2016/17 (16).

Three of our last seven goals in this fixture in the Premier League have been own goals by Spurs players (Hugo Lloris in January 2023, Cristian Romero in September 2023 and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg today); since the start of last season, Spurs’ three own goals against Arsenal in the competition are the most by a side against any opponent.

Bukayo Saka has scored 15 goals in the Premier League this season, his most in a single campaign. With his strike today, he also became the first English player to score home and away for us against Spurs in a league campaign since Ian Wright in 1993/94.

Kai Havertz has scored and assisted in four different Premier League games this season; the most by an Arsenal player in a single campaign since Alexis Sanchez in 2016/17 (4).

What's next

We return to Emirates Stadium on Saturday when we host Bournemouth in a lunchtime kick-off, before we head to Old Trafford for a meeting with Manchester United on Sunday, May 12. The season then wraps up a week later when Everton head to north London.

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