The race for the last spot for a place in Europe’s most elite competition will go down the wire thanks to the ravaging duo of Harry Kane, who netted twice, and Son Heung Min, who is in contention for the Premier League golden boot.
In the potential top-four deciding North London showdown, Tottenham Hotspur wreaked havoc on their next-door neighbor as they ran out 3-0 winners to reignite their push for Champions League qualification. It was their biggest league win against Arsenal since 1983. Spurs have extended their impressive unbeaten streak at home against their city rivals to eight games.
In one of English football’s fiercest rivalries, the pace of the early proceedings was ferocious. It was a high tempo start to the derby, but it was expected. While it promised to be a physical contest, some aggressive tackles were deemed over-exuberant. Cedric Soares was judged to have fouled Son Heung-min in the box while both players were competing in an aerial duel, forcing the referee to award Spurs a penalty.
It was Harry Kane against Aaron Ramsdale from 12 yards out, and you can guess the outcome. 22 minutes in, 1-0. The home crowd went into a frenzy, advantage Spurs.
The gunners were down but not out. However, Rob Holding had other ideas. The Englishman was sent off in the 34th minute for two bookable offenses. The second came while he tried body-checking Son, who was attempting to make a run in behind the Arsenal backline, and as a result, the visitors had to play an hour of derby football with ten men.
The hosts made their numerical advantage count only two minutes later. Kane was lurking at the back post and latched onto a flicked header from Rodrigo Bentancur for his second of the night to double Spurs’ lead.
It was game set and match early in the second half as Arsenal’s makeshift rearguard failed to deal with a loose ball in the box. Son darted into space to stab home over the outstretched arm of Aaron Ramsdale, driving the final nail in the Gunners’ coffin.
Spurs spurned a flurry of chances that could have seen the hosts run the score up to humiliating levels for their neighbors, but some heroic saves from Ramsdale kept the scoreline at 3-0, sparing Arsenal’s blushes before the full-time whistle.
Arsenal imploded in the first half and it could cost them in the race for qualification. Their four-game winning streak has come to an abrupt end, and the loss means their bitter rivals move within one point of them in fourth place with just two Premier League games remaining.
With two games remaining for both sides in the Premier League this season, there is no more margin for error. Spurs host the endangered Burley before visiting already relegated Norwich, while Arsenal make the long journey north to newly-rich Newcastle in another tricky tie for Mikel Arteta’s men, before welcoming Frank Lampard’s dogged Everton side to the Emirates.