Tottenham vs Arsenal: Top-four race takes another crazy turn
Tottenham vs Arsenal: The Premier League’s top-four race took another crazy turn on Thursday, as Spurs hammered the Gunners 3-0 in the 191st north London derby.
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Harry Kane scored the first and second goals (his 14th and 15th of the Premier League season), with Rob Holding earning a pair of yellow cards for fouls against Son Heung-min, who added goal no. 3 just seconds into the second half (his 21st, one behind Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah in the Golden Boot race).
The result leaves Tottenham (65 points) one point behind Arsenal (66 points) in the race for a top-four finish in the Premier League. With two games left for each side, it’s all to play for and looking likely to go all the way to Championship Sunday (May 22).
Tottenham will face relegation-battling Burnley (home) and already-relegated Norwich City (away), while Arsenal have 14th-place Newcastle United (away) and relegation-battling Everton (home) still to come.
Tottenham vs Arsenal final score, stats, results
Final score: Tottenham 3, Arsenal 0
Goal scorers: Tottenham (Kane 22' - PK, 37, Son 47'), Arsenal (None)
Shots: Tottenham 16, Arsenal 8
Shots on target: Tottenham 6, Arsenal 4
Possession: Tottenham 58%, Arsenal 42%
3 things we learned - Tottenham vs Arsenal
1. Tottenham players believe in Conte, and vice versa: In the early days of Antonio Conte’s reign, it was unclear whether the manager thought that all but a select few players were woefully unqualified to play for him, or if he was conditioning a squad of players, long criticized for being mentally weak, to take the next step in their progression. Six months later, it is quite clear that Conte has made a massive impact on the Tottenham players — both as individuals and collectively — to the point that they can just about flawlessly execute his game plan against the likes of Liverpool (no matter what Jurgen Klopp thinks of it) and Arsenal, in the biggest games of their season, with their entire season riding on the results. Now, imagine a world in which Daniel Levy hired Conte this first time he had the chance, rather than appointing Nuno Espirito Santo for 10 games.
2. Indiscipline in
a the big game: Speaking of big games, it’s not at all an exaggeration to say that Thursday’s north London derby was the biggest game Arsenal have played since celebrating their last St. Totteringham’s Day, in 2016. The chance to clinch their return to the Champions League, after four seasons in the Europa League and, shockingly, no European qualification whatsoever this season (despite the creation of a third-tier competition), proved too big of an occasion not just for the young Gunners, but most notably for one of the longtime veterans in the squad, Rob Holding. From the opening whistle, Holding appeared intent on targeting and riling up Son Heung-min with cleverly disguised cheap shots from behind. The home fans quickly got on his case and were utterly delighted when Holding was shown a second yellow card for delivering an elbow to the face of — you guessed it — Son in the 33rd minute.
3. And yet, Arsenal still hold all the cards: As euphoric as Thursday’s derby drubbing will have felt for Tottenham and their fans, it is still Arsenal who, should they take care of business in the final two games of the season, will qualify for the Champions League.
Tottenham vs Arsenal highlights
Harry Kane converts penalty kick to give Tottenham the lead (goal video)
Harry Kane heads home at the back post for 2-0 (goal video)
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