Arsenal maintained their fast start to the Premier League season with a 3-1 win over a poor Tottenham Hotspur at a raucous Emirates Stadium.
The two sides headed into the lunchtime kickoff separated by just a point at the top of the Premier League, with Mikel Arteta’s side knowing that a win would keep them at the top of the Premier League until at least next weekend, while Tottenham could leapfrog their rivals with three points.
And the Gunners started the better side, with Gabriel Martinelli striking the post in the opening minutes as the home side dominated the ball.
Tottenham, who sat deep looking to hit their rivals on the break, forced a fine save from Aaron Ramsdale as Richarlison poked a free kick goalbound, but it was Arsenal who opened the scoring in fine style, with Thomas Partey curling a strike into the top corner from 25 yards out, handing Mikel Arteta’s side the goal that their early dominance deserved.
Tottenham grew into the half as the game became more end to end, however, and after Arsenal failed to clear their lines properly, Gabriel felled Richarlison in the box to hand the visitors a penalty, and a chance to level the score.
Harry Kane, so often Arsenal’s nemesis, duly converted, and it was Tottenham that looked the more threatening heading into the break.
The home side came out of the traps faster in the second half once more, but owed their second goal to a huge slice of fortune after Bukayo Saka’s cross-shot could only be palmed into the path of Gabriel Jesus by Hugo Lloris.
The game continued to swing in Arsenal’s favour on the hour, when Emerson Royal was shown red for a challenge on Martinelli 30 yards from the Arsenal goal, and five minutes later that was compounded as Granit Xhaka smashed home a third goal from 16 yards out after Martinelli ran into the space where the Tottenham right-back should have been.
The game petered out as Antonio Conte looked to shut up shop with four substitutions, and Arsenal looked in little hurry to add to their tally. Tottenham’s first defeat of the season leaves them in third place ahead of the afternoon’s fixtures, while Arsenal will remain top of the league at least until they face Liverpool next weekend.
Here’s how we rated the players.
GK: Aaron Ramsdale - 6
Did not have too much to do, but did it with little fuss. One fine save from Richarlison early in the first half.
RB: Ben White - 7
Continues to keep Takehiro Tomiyasu out of the side, and justified his place with another strong performance in his new role.
CB: William Saliba - 8
The calmest man on the pitch, the Frenchman was unfazed by anything thrown at him even in his first north London Derby
CB: Gabriel - 5
Dived in unnecessarily to concede a penalty for the equaliser, and looked shaky between that and the break. Better in the second half.
LB: Oleksandr Zinchenko - 6
Was preferred to Kieran Tierney and was solid but could not wield his usual influence on the game. Replaced by the Scot after 70 minutes.
DM: Thomas Partey - 7
Returning to the side, he opened the scoring with a brilliant strike and ran the show in midfield for Arsenal. A key cog in Mikel Arteta’s machine.
CM: Granit Xhaka - 8
Industrious and dangerous in attack, it was his missed clearance in the build-up that led to the Tottenham penalty. Other than that, however, he continued his impressive form and popped up with the third goal after fine work from Martinelli.
CM: Martin Odegaard - 7
Quietly effective, Odegaard’s return to the side was a welcome sight to Gunners fans and the Norweigian continues to provide consistent performances.
RW: Bukayo Saka - 8
Often marked by two Tottenham players, he kept the ball well and looked one of Arsenal’s more threatening players as he drifted across the frontline.
ST: Gabriel Jesus - 7
Showed gorgeous footwork in the first half when going close, and was quick to pounce on Hugo Lloris’ spill for the Arsenal second. Will feel as though he should have scored more.
LW: Gabriel Martinelli - 9
Was a threat all afternoon and arguably the best player on the pitch. Benefitted from Emerson’s sending off but had given the Brazilian a torrid afternoon before that.
Albert Sambi Lokonga - 6
Came on with the game won and helped see it out.
Kieran Tierney - 6
One shot forced a good save from Lloris, but he benefitted from plenty of time on the ball against a 10 man Tottenham.
Fabio Vieira - 6
The drop-off from Odegaard to the new signing was unnoticeable, but had little to do with the game sewn up.
Eddie Nketiah - 6
Worked tirelessly chasing difficult causes.
Takehiro Tomiyasu - N/A
Came on for the final two minutes.
GK: Hugo Lloris - 4
Could do nothing about the first goal but will have nightmares about the second after he parried a Bukayo Saka shot straight into the path of Gabriel Jesus for Arsenal to retake the lead.
RWB: Emerson Royal - 3
Could not deal with Gabriel Martinelli and was sent off on the hour for a poor challenge in the Arsenal half.
CB: Cristian Romero - 5
Restored to the side he looked slightly short of his usual form, and will certainly have better afternoons.
CB: Eric Dier - 6
Tottenham’s most solid defender, the Englishman headed and cleared most things away but often fought a lone battle.
CB: Clement Lenglet - 5
Solid but unspectacular. The Barcelona loanee could not use his passing range effectively, seeing little of the ball.
LWB: Ivan Perisic - 5
Fired wide in the first half when he should have done better, and struggled to deal with Bukayo Saka even with the help of Son on the left-hand side.
CM: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg - 5
Overrun in midfield by Arsenal’s trio, he could not really get on the ball as much as he would have liked.
CM: Rodrigo Bentancur - 5
Like Hojbjerg, compact and worked hard but could not cope with an Arsenal that dominated the ball in midfield.
RW: Richarlison - 5
Came in for the injured Kulusevski but did little to warrant keeping his place when the Swede is back.
ST: Harry Kane - 5
Tucked the penalty away well and worked hard to link the play but could not get the service that he needed.
LW: Heung-Min Son - 4
Looked well off the pace and was hooked on 70 minutes as Spurs looked to limit the damage.
Davinson Sanchez - 6
Came on and solidified Tottenham’s defence.
Ryan Sessegnon - 5
Came on but had little effect.
Matt Doherty - 5
One very bizarre ball across his own box aside, didn’t have too much to do. That will change with Emerson’s suspension.
Yves Bissouma - 6
Mostly a running job coming on after his side were reduced to 10 men. Didn’t really put a foot wrong.
Oliver Skipp - 6