Arsenal 3-1 Tottenham: Saka, Smith Rowe star; Gunners win North London Derby | EPL 2021-22

Takehiro Tomiyasu of Arsenal battles with Son Heung-Min of Tottenham Hotspur
Takehiro Tomiyasu of Arsenal battles with Son Heung-Min of Tottenham Hotspur - IMAGO / Shutterstock

Arsenal recorded an impressive win over Tottenham in the North London derby on Sunday.

The hosts raced to a three-goal lead in the first half to see off a sorry Tottenham side who extended their winless run to five games in all competitions.

Mikel Arteta’s side began the game on the front foot, pressing their North London rivals and giving them no space on the ball.

They got their first goal of the game in the 12th minute via a Smith Rowe after good work from Bukayo Saka.

The Gunners piled on the pressure and doubled their lead in the 27th minute through Aubameyang, who finished off a quick counterattack to double his side’s lead.

The third goal came four minutes later through Bukayo Saka, who beat Lloris from a tight angle after bursting into the box.

With Arsenal three up in the first half, Nuno Espirito Santo was forced to make some changes. He replaced the ineffective Dele Alli and Japheth Tanganga with Oliver Skipp and Emerson Royal. Although the changes helped Spurs control more of the ball, they could not get past the Arsenal defence for much of the game. 

Their breakthrough finally came in the 79th minute when Son Heung-Min scored from a Sergio Reguilón cross. But the goal was only a consolation as Arsenal held on to record their third Premier League win in a row. 

Here are four observations from the match

Arsenal find their spark

After scoring just two goals in their first five league games of the season, Arsenal came to life in this game, scoring goals for fun and looking sharp in attack.

They had been accused of playing it safe in recent times after winning their last two league games by a one-nil scoreline.

But against Tottenham on Sunday, they recorded seven shots on target and looked like hurting their opponents whenever they got in front. 

Arsenal defence and youngsters impress 

Arsenal’s win against Tottenham was built on the steady hands of Aaron Ramsdale and the solidity of Kieran Tierney, Ben White, Gabriel Magalhaes and Takehiro Tomiyasu, who all had a good game.

The Gunners have discovered their winning backline and will be hoping for more of this in subsequent games. They did not allow their opponents any sniff at their goal and repelled everything that was thrown at them.

Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka carried the ball with purpose and played like very established players in attack.

Mikel Arteta will be pleased with the contributions of every player on the pitch, but the players mentioned above had the best game and won Arsenal this game.

Spurs looking a shadow of themselves

Although Arsenal were brilliant and deserved their win, Tottenham were poor and made it easy for their rivals.

Especially in the first half, they looked like a team bereft of ideas and were wayward in their passing and movements. When they had the ball, they could not penetrate their host’s backline failing to string together meaningful passing moves.

But they improved in the second half and only really tested Arsenal after the break, with Harry Kane and Lucas Moura the only players to test Ramsdale.

Kane struggles continue

Harry Kane had another game to forget on Sunday. The striker won the golden boot last season, but his performance this season has been below par. 

Once again, he looked like his mind was not in the game and struggled to affect the game positively.

It was his mistake that led to the Gunners third goal after the England captain lost the ball in front of Arsenal’s box.

His wait for a goal continues this season after his transfer to Manchester City fell through in the summer. He will be hoping to kick on when his side play NS Mura in the Europa Conference League on Thursday.