HomePremier LeagueTottenham 2-3 Arsenal: Gunners hold on for huge win in title race

Tottenham 2-3 Arsenal: Gunners hold on for huge win in title race

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Arsenal passed a massive test of their Premier League title credentials by surviving a late Tottenham onslaught for a 3-2 North London derby win on Sunday, piling the pressure on rivals Manchester City.

The Gunners were in dreamland as they raced into a 3-0 lead by half-time, showing their set-piece prowess as two corners led to a Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg own goal and a Kai Havertz header.

Bukayo Saka capped a ruthless counterattack with a composed finish in between those goals, with Spurs punished for missing several good opportunities – Cristian Romero the guiltiest party as he failed to net with three close-range headers.

Romero did take advantage of a glaring error from David Raya to bring Ange Postecoglou’s men within two, though, and Declan Rice’s clumsy foul on Ben Davies allowed Son Heung-min to make it 3-2 from the penalty spot.

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However, Arsenal stood firm amid a fiery atmosphere at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, moving four points clear of City ahead of the champions’ trip to Nottingham Forest – the first of their two games in hand.

Tottenham stay seven points adrift of fourth-placed Aston Villa with two additional matches to play, with the battle for Champions League qualification likely to go to the wire.

After a low-key start, Arsenal took the lead 15 minutes in. With Guglielmo Vicario being crowded out from a right-wing corner, Takehiro Tomiyasu’s near-post header deflected off Hojbjerg before hitting the net.

Romero then went agonisingly close to a swift equaliser on two occasions, sending one header bouncing past the right post before heading against the same upright moments later.

Fellow centre-back Micky Van de Ven was denied by VAR when he pounced to lash home after Pedro Porro’s shot deflected into his path. Replays showed Gabriel Magalhaes was close to playing him onside as he leaned back, but Van de Ven was ruled to have gone a fraction too early.

Dejan Kulusevski then went down in search of a penalty 27 minutes in, but none was given and Spurs’ woes were compounded as Arsenal countered at devastating speed, Saka cutting inside to stroke home a second.

Things went from bad to worse for the hosts after 39 minutes, some terrible marking from a Rice corner allowing Havertz to nod home when completely unmarked inside the six-yard box.

Romero sent another header wayward after the restart before Saka passed up a chance to kill the contest, Vicario turning his volley away with his right boot.

Raya then gifted Tottenham a route back into the game after 64 minutes, with Romero surprisingly finding himself on the edge of the box to intercept the goalkeeper’s pass and stroke home.

Another individual error saw Arsenal’s lead further eroded with three minutes of the 90 remaining, Rice catching Davies to concede a penalty which Son confidently blasted into the top-left corner.

Van de Ven kept Tottenham in it with a fine goal-line clearance as the game entered six minutes of stoppage time, during which the hosts laid siege to Raya’s area.

However, they were unable to carve out a clear-cut opening, and Mikel Arteta’s visitors could celebrate a potentially season-defining win.

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.

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