It was one of the biggest, most anticipated and possibly most consequential north London derbies in over a decade. Tottenham Hotspur hosted Arsenal in a rare midweek NLD, with Spurs needing a win to stand a chance of finishing in the top four at the expense of their arch-rivals. Spurs took a hit when centre-back Cristian Romero was left out of the team after suffering a thigh contusion against Liverpool and Davinson Sanchez replacing him.
Fans don’t have to worry. Tottenham conceded an (admittedly soft) first-half penalty which Harry Kane converted, Kane added another late in the first half, Arsenal’s Rob Holding was sent off for two yellow cards and Son Heung-Min scored his 21st .Season goal seconds into the second half as Spurs rolled over the Gunners. The final result was 3:0.
NORTH LONDON IS WHITE! time to celebrate! Here are my notes from the game.
- The atmosphere at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was positively ELECTRIC.
- Paul Tierney let the match spiral out of control early on in the Rob Holding vs. Sonny confrontations. In truth, while Holding could have had two yellows, Sonny also appeared to throw an elbow.
- Spurs’ first-half penalty was a strange call from Paul Tierney. He first appeared to indicate it was a handball, then settled on a shove from Cedric in Son’s back. Arsenal fans probably have a right to be upset over the call; It’s a punishment, but it’s almost never actually pronounced. But VAR confirmed it and Kane left no doubt from the spot, so I’m not arguing.
- Arsenal fans can complain about the penalty but not about the red card on save. This is a clear red, notwithstanding Holding’s previous yellow. I have no idea what Holding did, but it was 100% deserved.
- What a header from Bentancur to find Harry at the back post! Beautiful.
- After Holding was sent off (and to steal a joke from Alasdair Gold), there was no Holding Son. Great follow up from Kane and great work from Sanchez leading up to that third goal.
- Both Son and Kane were great tonight. No notes. (But Kane loves a good North London Derby, doesn’t he?)
- You don’t normally see Sonny this upset on the sidelines, but he was ANGRY that he was substituted. Pretty clear he thought he could catch up with Salah for the Golden Boot race against a demoralized ten-man arsenal. As of now, he is within one.
- They don’t celebrate or cheer on opposing players’ injuries, but if Gabriel really did hurt his hamstring, that’s very bad news for the Gunners, who without him AND would be waiting for the next game and possibly longer. And good news for Tottenham.
- Another excellent defensive play from Emerson Royal and had some really nice chances on goal, none better than that header in the second half. Will he make the squad for 2022-23?
- Honestly I was hoping Alfie Devine would be the Cigar of Human Victory but I agree that this role goes to Joe Rodon, he probably deserves it just as much.
- big win. Enormously. Firmly. But it’s not over yet. Spurs are yet to win their next two against Burnley and Norwich, and Arsenal have points to drop somewhere along the line. But that’s for tomorrow. Today NORTH LONDON is WHITE!!