A superb first-half display saw us record a first league double over Tottenham Hotspur since 2013/14 and more importantly move us eight points clear at the top of the Premier League.
Things started perfectly when a bizarre own goal from Hugo Lloris put us in front after just 14 minutes, and that lead was doubled on 36 minutes when Martin Odegaard fired in from long-range.
We required some fine stops from Aaron Ramsdale to keep our lead intact on either side of the break, but his heroics between the posts ensured we claimed a first victory at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium at the fourth attempt, and our first success in the league at Spurs since 2014.
Taking the lead
The first half was one that Gooners around the world would have savoured as we enjoyed complete domination over our rivals, with the majority of the first 45 played in and around their box.
Eddie Nketiah had a good early chance when Gabriel Martinelli pressured Hugo Lloris into a poor clearance and the ball was clipped back into the striker, who watched it come down onto his foot before striking but the Spurs keeper made the block.
However the Frenchman wouldn’t be so lucky on 14 minutes. A long ball from Thomas Partey released Bukayo Saka down the right, but when he got into the box the angle was tight. That meant his cross-shot should have been easily collected by Lloris, but instead he inexplicably fumbled it beyond his own goalline to hand us the lead.
Three minutes later, that was in jeopardy when Ramsdale was forced to produce the first of his excellent saves when he used his feet to deny Heung-min Son after he was slipped in, but we kept pressing for a second and Lloris made a more positive contribution when he did well to push away a long-range effort from Odegaard.
Skipper adds the second
He was left clutching thin air soon after when Partey smashed a volley from around 25 yards with tremendous power, which fizzed towards the top corner but the post denied one of the great derby day goals.
A two-goal lead wouldn’t have flattered us at that point, and eventually it arrived on 36 minutes. As he had too often in the opening half, Odegaard was given too much time and space to get a shot off, and his drive from outside the box flew into the bottom corner to net his eighth goal of the season.
We were indebted to Ramsdale again though in first-half stoppage time when on a rare foray forward, Harry Kane saw a clever header spin towards goal but his England international colleague showed great reactions to push it away and maintain our healthy lead going into the break.
Ramsdale to the rescue
Unsurprisingly, Antonio Conte’s team came out fired up and began causing us much more problems, and Kane again tested our number one when he turned and fired goalwards, forcing Ramsdale into flying stop.
Two minutes later he was called into action again when Ryan Sessegnon scampered down the left and got into a shooting position but Ramsdale got a toe to his effort which was enough to deflect it past his far post, and Dejan Kulusevski bent a shot just wide as the hosts pressed hard to get back into the contest.
With us in control of the scoreline, we didn’t venture forward as much as in the opening half but there was a great chance for us to put extra gloss on the win when Nketiah was put through one-on-one by Granit Xhaka but Lloris made himself big to smother the chance, but two goals were enough to ensure the north London bragging rights remained with all Gooners.
Facts and stats
We have won 47 points from 18 Premier League games this season – the most points we've won at this stage of a season in our league history.
We are eight points ahead of second-place Manchester City in the Premier League table, our biggest lead in the competition when playing the same number of games as the side below since the final day of 2003/04, when we won the title by 11 points.
Tottenham have conceded 2+ goals in five consecutive home league games for the first time since August 1992, conceding 11 goals across these last five home matches.
Antonio Conte has seen his side lose four home Premier League games this season, his joint-highest tally of home losses in a single league campaign in his managerial career.
Martin Odegaard has been directly involved in 13 goals in 23 appearances in all competitions this season (8 goals, 5 assists), one more than he registered in 40 games in 2021/22 (7 goals, 5 assists).
Bukayo Saka has provided seven assists in 18 Premier League games this season, equalling his joint-best tally in a single season, set last term (7 in 38 apps).
Hugo Lloris scored his first ever Premier League own goal in what was his 354th appearance in the competition. In fact, all three own-goals scored in Premier League north London derbies have been netted by Spurs players (also Chris Armstrong in March 2000 and Kevin Wimmer in November 2016).
We take on Manchester United next Sunday at home in another big clash at the top of the Premier League table, before we turn our attentions to the side on the other half of the city when we return to FA Cup action with a fourth round tie at City on Friday, January 27.
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