Arsenal came from behind to beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 at the Emirates on Sunday to win a north London derby game for the first time in three years.
Spurs lost Son Heung-min to a hamstring injury on a costly afternoon for their hopes of a top-four finish as Jose Mourinho’s overly conservative approach negatively affected his side’s flow in the game.
Arsenal’s afternoon did not start well with captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang dropped to the bench for a breach of discipline, reportedly after turning up late for the squad’s pre-match meeting.
Mikel Arteta’s men did not miss their skipper as they dominated early on with Emile Smith Rowe’s effort crashing back off the crossbar.
Erik Lamela was introduced to replace Son early on and the Argentine opened the scoring in sensational style as he wrapped his left foot around his right to fire into the bottom corner with a ‘Rabona’ finish.
Cedric Soares hit the post as Arsenal almost hit back immediately and the hosts finally got their reward just before half-time when Martin Odegaard’s shot deflected in off Toby Alderweireld for his first Premier League goal.
Alexandre Lacazette captained the Gunners in Aubameyang’s absence and also took the Gabon international’s duties from the penalty spot after the French striker was brought down by Davinson Sanchez inside the area.
Lacazette sent his international teammate, Spurs goalkeeper, Hugo Lloris, the wrong way from the spot to give the Gunners the lead for the first time in the game.
Lamela turned from hero to villain with two unnecessary yellow cards to be given his marching orders 15 minutes from time.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, though, Tottenham’s best spell came with 10 men as Harry Kane had a goal ruled out for offside before the England captain hit the post, and Sanchez’s follow-up effort was cleared off the line by Gabriel Magalhaes.
Arteta’s side are now 10 points behind fourth-placed Chelsea with a game in hand, while Spurs remain six points behind the Blues in seventh.
Additional reporting from AFP