Arsenal 2-1 Tottenham: Lamela and Odegaard traded first-half strikes before Lacazette’s penalty
Arsenal came from behind to beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 in the north London derby on Sunday.
Emile Smith Rowe went close to opening the scoring with a clipped effort from 20 yards which struck the crossbar, with the Gunners dominating the opening stages.
But it was Spurs who opened the scoring around the half-hour mark through Erik Lamela’s brilliant piece of improvisation, sending a low rabona finish into the far bottom corner after replacing the injured Son Heung-min.
Cedric Soares almost immediately put the Gunners back on terms with a thunderous strike against the post, but it was Martin Odegaard who finally managed the equaliser with a deflected finish from the centre of the box.
An Alexandre Lacazette penalty put the Gunners ahead just past the hour mark, before Lamela received two yellow cards in eight minutes to leave Spurs a man light and see Arsenal take the points, despite Harry Kane’s late free-kick hitting the post.
José Mourinho accused some of his players of “hiding” during Tottenham’s north London derby defeat to Arsenal, pointing to a lack of intensity that led both Gareth Bale and Tanguy Nbombele to be substituted early in the second half.
The main target of Mourinho’s frustration was a sluggish first-half performance in which he admitted Tottenham were fortunate to go in level despite scoring through an ingenious Lamela strike. “We were poor,” he said of the opening 45 minutes. “Defending bad, no intensity, no pressing. In terms of attacking football, some important players hiding. Really bad.”
A far happier Mikel Arteta could relish Arsenal’s first derby win since December 2018, along with a display that justified his decision to stick to his principles and omit Aubameyang, who had been in a rich vein of form. “I made what I thought was the right decision and we draw a line there,” he said. “We know how important Auba is for the club and that’s it. It’s been dealt with, now let’s move on.”
Arsenal are 10 points off the Champions League spots but have won three and drawn one of their last five games against the current top seven, with West Ham and Liverpool their next two league opponents. “Until mathematically it’s impossible we’re going to believe and give it a go for sure,” he said.
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