A stunning Arsenal performance saw them outclass a Spurs side that were well off of the pace. If there has been a shift in power in North London, this game was certainly not evidence of it.
Firstly, Arsenal were good but Tottenham were equally as bad and from the very first minute the front 3 of Alexandre Lacazette, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil terrorised a Tottenham defence that missed the calming influence of Toby Alderweireld.
Both teams lined up as most would have expected, with Harry Kane and Dele Alli returning to the Spurs Starting XI. Prior to the game both had been questioned about if they were truly injured enough to miss England duty, however, those people can be quickly directed to highlights of this game, perhaps amongst the worst of their Spurs appearances.
When Shkodran Mustafi looped a header into the far corner of Hugo Lloris’ goal on 36 minutes, few watching would have said Arsenal didn’t deserve the lead. They had pressed quicker, worked harder and played with a real intensity, usually associated with their North London rivals. Tottenham fans, as Mauricio Pochettino did post-match, will undoubtedly point towards referee Mike Dean. His decision to give a free kick for a tackle by Davidson Sanchez was a questionable one at best. The defending however, was appalling, as Mustafi was allowed to jog in between two Spurs central defenders before heading home, unmarked, from Ozil’s floated delivery.
5 minutes later it was 2-0 and the defending for this one was no better. Lacazette, who had made several similar runs prior to this move, darted down the inside right channel before pulling the ball back to Sanchez, who beat a stumbling Lloris with a rising shot.
Perhaps the most disappointing thing for Spurs fans was the lack of response from their side. They rarely troubled Petr Cech and the only real work came in the 81st minute when Eric Dier headed back across goal.
This was an opportunity for Spurs to stamp their authority on Arsenal, to put a marker down for future away performances against top six sides. Instead, it’s the Arsenal fans that will go home delighted by a magnificent performance, the type that has become all too rare in these big games.
The test for Arsene Wenger and his side now will be to maintain the standard they set, while Pochettino will be hoping this was just a blip for his young side.