Arsenal extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to eight points as they defeated Tottenham 2-0 in the north London derby at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday.
The league leaders burst into a commanding first half performance, profiting from a Hugo Lloris own goal before a stunning Martin Odegaard strike put daylight between the two sides. While Spurs recovered in the second half, their improved performance remained futile — failing to score versus Arsenal for the first time since 2017.
Spurs had a scare on seven minutes as Lloris took too long to clear his lines with Gabriel Martinelli expeditiously bearing down. Eddie Nketiah won the ball after a flick on from Martinelli but the striker could only fire against Lloris.
Antonio Conte’s side and Lloris in particular did not heed the warnings of their slow start and Arsenal took the lead on 14 minutes through an own goal by the France goalkeeper.
A long ball over the top by Thomas Partey found Bukayo Saka free on the left. The 21-year-old’s relatively tame cross deflected into the torso of the flailing Lloris and over the line.
Arsenal had not beaten their north London rivals away from home since 2015, but they were rampant in their first half display and inflicted wave-upon-wave of attacks on the hosts’ backline.
“It is about time. It felt amazing,” Arsenal captain Odegaard told Sky Sports. “We remembered what happened here last time and we wanted to play a better game and show a different side to us. We enjoyed the game.
“We are in a good position, there is no doubt about that. We’ve got to stay humble and keep working hard. You saw the difference in the first and second half today so we have things to improve. We have to keep going.”
Partey was inches from doubling the lead for Mikel Arteta’s side in spectacular fashion as he lashed a volley from outside the area against the right post.
The visitors’ incessant pressure resulted in a second goal as Odegaard scored for the eighth time this season on 36 minutes in spectacular style.
Arsenal had the measure of Spurs in every department, and as Saka again found space on the right, he set the ball through to Odegaard in space in the centre, who took time before striking a low effort into the far corner from 20 yards.
Aaron Ramsdale was forced into a save by Harry Kane on the stroke of half-time as Spurs scrambled their second chance on goal.
“I’m very happy for two reasons,” Arteta said. “One because I saw a lot of determination, quality and that we really wanted today to come here and win the game.
“And the other one because we have a job where we are really privileged we can make a lot of people happy. Celebrating the victory with the fans was a great feeling and the suffering makes a lot of sense when you have moments like this.
“It’s great and to go in the dressing room and just feeling the joy and the togetherness around the team and how much it meant for them is special.”
Conte’s side have regularly been rescued by good second half performances this season and they were quick out of the blocks soon after half-time.
Kane saw an effort well saved by Ramsdale before Ryan Sessegnon’s strike from a tight angle was also kept out.
But Spurs’ forward efforts remained without a finishing touch as Arsenal’s defense stood firm in keeping the hosts at bay despite a late spell of pressure.
After the full-time whistle, goalkeeper Ramsdale appeared to be kicked by a Spurs fan behind the goal, sparking a melee between both teams.
Arsenal are top of the Premier League with 47 points from 18 matches, capitalizing on Manchester City’s defeat at Manchester United on Saturday to extend their lead at the summit. Spurs remain fifth, now five points from the top four.
Despite the advantage over their chasing rivals, Arteta stated that Arsenal were a long way off from thinking about winning the Premier League, suggesting 90 points was the minimum number the Gunners would need to lift the trophy at season’s end.
“One hundred percent. Yes I do,” Arteta said when asked about the 90-point mark. “I don’t want to do too much calculation, it’s just how we’re going to prepare for Manchester United and play well to win. But if you ask me about the points, yeah it’s happened in the last few seasons, so it will demand almost perfection.”