Arsenal have plumped up an eight-point cushion at England’s summit.
The Gunners boosted their unexpected surge for the Premier League title Sunday with a convincing 2-0 win at archrivals Tottenham Hotspur.
After reigning champions Manchester City lost 2-1 in their own derby date at Manchester United on Saturday, Arsenal went two goals ahead in the first half at Spurs courtesy of a Hugo Lloris own goal and a fine long-range finish from Martin Odegaard.
Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale produced some eye-catching saves during the encounter, but the visitors’ lead never appeared at great risk in yet another impressive display from Mikel Arteta’s side.
The league leaders were on their way to their first top-flight double over Spurs since the 2013-14 season after Lloris deflected the ball into his own net. Bukayo Saka collected the ball in space down the right flank, shifted the ball onto his right foot when Ryan Sessegnon tried to pressure him, and then smashed the ball across the six-yard box. Lloris fumbled the delivery into his own net.
Arsenal again imposed their superiority later in the opening period. Thomas Partey – who rifled a superb drive against the post earlier in the half – slid the ball out wide to Saka, and the diminutive winger then moved the ball inside to Odegaard. The Norwegian playmaker adjusted his body in the space he was afforded before unleashing a low, unstoppable effort into the bottom corner from around 25 yards.
It was clinical. It was mature. Despite the youthfulness of Arteta’s squad, it’s clear that Arsenal now possess players who are made of sterner stuff than those who represented the club in previous years. If there were any doubts before kickoff, Arsenal underlined their title credentials in a dominant first half.
Tottenham were stronger during the opening 15 minutes of the first half – with the excellent Ramsdale denying shots from Harry Kane and Ryan Sessegnon in that spell – but Arsenal saw it through as Spurs almost lost their cool.
There was pushing and shoving after the final whistle when a Tottenham fan appeared to kick Ramsdale – who had been having a disagreement with Spurs forward Richarlison – as he collected his water bottle.
But as Arteta led Ramsdale and his players away from the ruckus, there was a wide smile on the head coach’s face. His mood was understandable. Eight points is a considerable lead after 18 matches. Catch them if you can.
“We’re in a good position, there’s no doubt about that, but we have to stay humble. There’s a lot we can still improve,” Odegaard said post-match, according to The Guardian’s Rob Smyth.