Unlike their match against Bournemouth where they couldn’t record a single shot on target for 90 minutes, Tottenham‘s Lucas Moura tested Arsenal’s goalkeeper, Emiliano Martinez in the first 30 seconds of the match. From that point, it was clear that Tottenham didn’t come to play but to win.
The host structured themselves as a typical Mourinho team that was ready to soak in all the pressure by sitting back to wait for a chance for a counter-attack. While the manager of Arsenal football club, Mikel Arteta, played a typical Arsenal football by dominating Tottenham throughout the match.
In fact, at the end of the match, Arsenal had 62.9 per cent of the possession while the host made do with 37.1 per cent of the possession. In terms of attack, Tottenham had 60.0 per cent shooting accuracy while Arsenal had 30.8 per cent shooting accuracy. Tottenham had 9 shots on target while Arsenal had 4.
Despite the attacking threats from Tottenham, it was the visitors that opened the score chart. Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette scored the first goal of the match in the 16th minute through a powerful shot from outside the box-eighteen. Tottenham’s goalkeeper, Hugo Lloris, stretched all he could but the shot was too hot to be stopped.
Just when Arsenal’s fans thought it was their day to conquer Tottenham, Sead Kolasinac decided to give a poor back pass to David Luiz which he couldn’t get to before Tottenham’s Heung-Min Son took advantage of the error and scored the equaliser in the 19th minute.
As a classic Jose Mourinho side, Tottenham locked up the defence and allowed Arsenal to continue to dominate the match while they wait for a defensive error. No perfect one came until in the 79th minute when Tottenham won a corner kick. Toby Alderweireld headed in the ball in the 81st minute to give Jose Mourinho his 3rd win in 6 matches.
Tottenham vs Arsenal: Watch the full Highlights Here
Tottenham vs Arsenal: the relevance of the outcome
Tottenham’s win over Arsenal had extended Mourinho’s unbeaten Premier League home record against the Gunners to 10 matches. The match has made Mikel Arteta the first Arsenal’s manager to lose a North London derby since 1995.
Most importantly, the outcome of the match has reignited Tottenham’s hope of making it to a Europa League spot. The 2-1 win has taken Tottenham from the 9th spot to the 8th spot with 52 points in 35 games. While Arsenal has returned to the 9th spot with 50 points in 35 matches. They both have three more games to play in the league.
What next for Arsenal and Tottenham?
Mikel Arteta has another big test three days from now as the Premier League Champions, Liverpool, will pay them a visit on Wednesday night. It is a must-win match for Arsenal if they are still serious with the ambition of making it to a Europa League spot.
While Jose Mourinho and his men will visit Newcastle on Wednesday. They are also condemned to win if they want to go higher on the league table.
What Jose Mourinho said after Arsenal the match:
“The game was more tactical than anything. I think Mikel [Arteta] found a way for them to play, to be stable and to improve – they are improving and we felt that we should adapt slightly to them and I think we did it very well.
“I think during the game nobody thought about it, even myself I didn’t, but Arsenal had 48 hours more than us to rest, so it was hard but come from their hearts this effort, this battle.
“Even in the last minutes of the game after 2-1, zero problems, everything under control so we are happy. We are happy because we made the fans happy, we are happy because we are still in the fight to win a Europa League position.”
What Mikel Arteta said after the match:
“We are really sad, we wanted to give our fans a moment of glory and happiness. We tried our best, I am really proud of my players. I’ve never seen us play like this before, dominating an opponent as much as we did today.
“But we gave them a goal again, conceded at a set-piece and at that level you cannot do that. The game was ours, we had total control. They didn’t generate anything. But the small details cost us and that is the biggest part we have to address as a team.
“It’s a massive blow, the players are gutted. You saw the effort they put in. We came here to win, that is game plan we had. To lose it, it will take a few days to swallow that one because we know how much it means to our fans.”