Arsenal v Tottenham

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‘We were ready to give everything out there’

What a performance, what a north London derby.

From front to back we were superb as we beat Tottenham 2-0 on Saturday, and Aaron Ramsey was right at the heart of it.

“It’s brilliant - we needed that,” the Wales international told Arsenal Player. “We wanted to capitalise on being at home and we had a good first half.

“We had the game wrapped up at half-time really, we just needed to be clever and smart in the second half and we managed to keep a clean sheet as well.

“I think everyone was ready to give everything out there today. We covered a lot of miles out there, so we really wanted to get that win and we gave everything we could to get that.

“We defended well, went forward well and attacked well. We created a few opportunities and  played at a good pace. It was an Arsenal performance.”

The Breakdown

How our defensive hunger defined the derby

It was an afternoon to savour on Saturday as we won the north London derby with a comprehensive 2-0 victory against Tottenham.

Adrian Clarke examines the match in details in the latest episode of The Breakdown, and also focuses on:

  • The appetite and aggression we showed as a team
  • Mesut Ozil's outstanding all-action performance
  • The flashpoint of Shkodran Mustafi's goal
  • Laurent Koscielny's ability to keep Harry Kane quiet

Click the 'Play' button to watch the The Breakdown and then check out the following:


Timelapse: The north London derby in 60 seconds

We won the first north London derby of the season thanks to goals from Shkodran Mustafi and Alexis at Emirates Stadium.

Click 'Play' on the video above to re-live every minute from Saturday's game in just 60 seconds, and then don't forget to check out more highlights below:

Post-Match Report

Arsenal 2-0 Tottenham: How it happened


Two first-half goals from Shkodran Mustafi and Alexis just 305 seconds apart helped seal a pulsating north London derby victory on Saturday.

It had been six long games since we had beaten our nearest rivals, but how we delivered here – a performance that owed as much to steel as the silk with which we are usually associated.

The match started with all the intensity and fire you would expect from a derby, and the way we harried and hounded the visitors soon had the fans on their feet.

Alexandre Lacazette had an early opportunity that he fired over the bar, before his opposite number, Harry Kane, tested Petr Cech from inside the area.

With 19 minutes on the clock we created the first clear-cut opportunity of a fiery affair, Aaron Ramsey releasing Hector Bellerin with a peach of a pass but Lacazette unable to slide on to the wing-back’s inviting cross.

Aaron Ramsey played a delightful ball in to Hector Bellerin early on in the game, which almost saw us score

We were on top, although Mauricio Pochettino’s side still posed a threat on the counter, with Christian Eriksen soon hitting the post and Kane’s header well held by Cech.

We kept knocking on the door though and eventually we made the breakthrough, Ozil curling in a free kick that Mustafi headed across goal and in via the far post.

Shkodran Mustafi headed home to break the deadlock in the first half

The goal spark jubilant scenes, and the noise levels increased even further when, moments later, Alexis doubled our advantage from close range after Lacazette picked him out at the near post.

As expected, Tottenham upped their game after the restart and we were soon indebted to Mustafi for a fabulous last-ditch tackle to deny Kane inside the six-yard box.

Cech made a fine save near the end to deny Eric Dier from close range, but in truth that was as threatening as the visitors got.

This was our day – and once again, north London is red.


See how the derby unfolded with our play-by-play commentary


Alexandre Lacazette leaving Dele Alli in his wake

Alexandre Lacazette experienced his first north London derby on Saturday – and he made quite an impression.

The French striker led the high press right from the front, and was at the heart of many of our most dangerous moments. Here are some of his key moments:

5 – Alexis pounces on a defensive error and feeds Lacazette to the left of the area, he cuts back on to his right foot but blasts his shot over the bar

19 – Ramsey plays a lovely pass in behind the Tottenham defence to Bellerin charging into the area, and his low ball across just evades Lacazette on the slide

27 – Sanchez plays a poor backpass and Lacazette chases it down but Lloris comes flying out and slides in to clear just before the striker

42 – Lacazette is played in and he picks out Alexis at the near post, with the Chilean firing into the roof of the net to make it 2-0

73 – Lacazette comes off for Coquelin, as Arsene Wenger loo


Victory puts us level with fourth-place Chelsea and just a point behind Manchester United and Tottenham


We head to Cologne on Thursday for Matchday Five of the Europa League, needing just a point to seal first place in Group H.

We beat the Bundesliga side 3-1 in the reverse fixture in September, with second-half goals from Sead Kolasinac, Alexis and Hector Bellerin sealing the points.


Watch the goals from our north London derby win

Shkodran Mustafi and Alexis scored within 305 first-half seconds of each other as we beat Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Mustafi opened the scoring, climbing highest to guide Mesut Ozil’s free-kick past Hugo Lloris, before Alexis smashed home from Alexandre Lacazette’s cross.

You can now watch all of the action from the game, including a bitesize clip, an extended cut above and the full match replay below, plus both goals.


‘We played with purpose, desire, solidarity’

It is almost 21 years to the day since Arsene Wenger celebrated his first north London derby win - and he says it remains as sweet a feeling as ever.

First-half goals from Shkodran Mustafi and Alexis sealed a pulsating victory on Saturday, and this is what the boss told Arsenal Media after the game:

on whether winning the north London derby is still as sweet as ever…
Yes, because it was a special game, especially on a day where we were questioned whether we can compete with Tottenham or not and we gave the right response. The perception is one thing, the performance on the pitch is another. We played with purpose, desire, solidarity and with the desire to be efficient as well, so overall we never dropped in our focus and I think we did very well.
on the high press the team employed…

We maintained that and we worked very hard from the front. We are an offensive team and of course that is needed for us to do this kind of job.
on scoring twice in the first half…
It’s always a worry when you are in a  big game and you don’t take your chances. We had a few in the first half we didn’t take, but the less expected maybe we scored and overall I believe going into half time with a cushion if 2-0 was very important.
on nullifying Tottenham…
They didn’t create a lot because I think we were compact as well, we had outstanding defensive performances today, but I would like to come back that the whole team was focused on defending together and that made a big difference.
on replicating it…
Of course, to take a positive aspect of the game and transfer it into the next one.


Mustafi - What I said to Ozil for the goal

Shkodran Mustafi scored his third goal for us on Saturday - and it could not have come at a better time as we won the north London derby.

The Germany international was delighted to get on the scoresheet - and said that when the chance arose, he only wanted one man to deliver the free kick.

This is what he said to the media afterwards:

on the performance…
I think we had a few good performances, but the only important thing is to keep it up. I think we did well today. It was a derby, it’s always a special game, but I think we showed character, we were there in all the important moments and when you do all of that you win games.

on his goal…
The thing is, as I was going up [Mesut Ozil] was on the other side of the pitch and I said ‘Mesut, please. Go to the ball and bring it in’. I know his left foot and I know his deliveries and if you have players that can put the ball in like that, you go in with belief. That’s the most important thing when you go up for corners and free kicks, the belief that you can score and with the team that we have and the quality that we have, you go in and try to get your head on the ball.

on potentially being offside…
Well, I was only happy that they didn’t blow the whistle. It happened to me against Chelsea, so this time I’m lucky to get away with it. This is football, we always get things against us and things for us at the end of the year it is always a draw, you get good things and bad things.

on getting bad decisions against City…
Yes, that’s what I’m talking about, I think you have to count it for the whole season and I think at the end of the year everyone gets something for their team and something against. In the end it’s fair.

Press conference

Wenger on Ozil and Alexis’ derby displays

In the biggest games, you need your biggest players to perform - and that’s exactly what Mesut Ozil and Alexis did on Saturday.

The German was almost unplayable at times in the north London derby, while his Chilean team-mate scored the second goal of our 2-0 win.

Arsene Wenger was asked about the pair after the match and this is what he said:

on Alexis and Ozil performing this well with a year to go on their contracts…
If you have to give me one credit, it’s that I’ve never questioned that. I know them well and I know that when these guys go on the pitch, they want to win the game. They’ve shown their commitment again today. I’ve never questioned their commitment. They can have bad games but the problem is that, when a player gets near the end of his contract and has a bad game, everybody says it’s because he’s going. Their interest is to play.

on whether days like today will help Alexis and Ozil sign new contracts…
I just said that I’ve been in this job long enough to know that’s not enough. The quality of the contract has to be good and enough for them as well. I am convinced that they love the club and they love the team. All the rest will be decided [soon]. When? I don’t really know. I’m not alone in mastering that.

on whether the quality of their contracts is the sticking point…
It’s part of it. The whole thing has to be right and they have to be happy. I believe that they love the club, they want to stay, but there are other top clubs out there who offer good contracts as well.

Press conference

‘We didn’t drop our focus for one minute’

Arsene Wenger was understandably delighted after we delivered arguably our best performance of the season to win the north London derby on Saturday.

The Arsenal manager faced the media after the game and this is what he had to say about how his side won a game of “absolutely through the roof” intensity:

on responding to defeat at Man City…
Yes, I think we played with purpose, good concentration, the desire to always be efficient and with great solidarity. From the first to last minute the quality of our concentration was very high, we never had a minute where we felt that we dropped a little bit of our focus. Overall it was a very intense game when you look at the physical performance of the two teams. It’s absolutely through the roof, so that means the with the distances the players produced, it was an immense performance on both sides.

on why this wasn’t there before the international break...
I feel we had a very good game at Manchester City and I analysed it very well, it was a very tight game. We had a few away games where our performances were good but, when you lose, people always go to definite conclusions without going further into any analysis and we were not as bad as people said, we have 22 points today. We are a few points short, but if you can analyse the games I can show you why.

on benefitting from some decisions today…
I don’t think so, no. Last week we conceded a goal that was not marginally offside, that was a yard offside and that nobody found a word to say. I watched the one again and I’m not sure it was offside and it was a foul, so suddenly when we concede the goals it’s absolutely normal, and when we are a yard offside maybe you have to answer that in a press conference.

on the players wanting to prove the doubters wrong...
We did not listen as much as you think to the national debate that is among you. We focus, we live inside our own club and we focus what is important for us and people have a perception about us, about the game and we have to live with that. We can only give one answer and it’s always on the football pitch.

on believing that his team deserves more trust…
I deserve nothing, no. I am here to produce a quality performance for people who come and pay their money and enjoy it and then go home happy or unhappy. That’s my job and I don’t think I deserve anything, I just try to produce what people expect, but I have to live with opinions. I can live with that without any problem, I am 35 years in the job so I know a little bit and can anticipate what happens.


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