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2 Dec 2018

Gunners Stun Spurs In North London Derby

The Gunners leapfrogged Tottenham in the table after coming from behind to win a breathless, scintillating north London derby full of blood and thunder.

This one had it all. Six goals, seven bookings, one red card for Jan Vertonghen, several large helpings of controversy and even a mass brawl.

But at the end it was Arsenal boasting their first statement win under Emery and a 19-game unbeaten record which brought Tottenham’s six-match winning streak to a grinding halt.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck first from the penalty spot before Eric Dier headed an equaliser and Harry Kane fired his eighth goal in as many games against Arsenal.

But it was all Arsenal after that with Aubameyang scoring again, Alexandre Lacazette making it 3-2 and Torreira putting the icing on the cake with his first goal for the Gunners.

All this without Mesut Ozil too, absent with back spasms. If anyone doubted Emery’s Arsenal are real contenders this season, it’s time to think again.

The home side absolutely roared out of the blocks and were ahead inside 10 minutes. But shell-shocked Spurs only had themselves to blame.

Youngster Juan Foyth, a surprise choice to play ahead of Toby Alderweireld, had already made a very shaky start. But it was his more experienced partner whose mistake proved costly.

What Vertonghen was thinking when he raised his hand under pressure from Shkodran Mustafi to slap at a Christian Eriksen corner only he knows.

But referee Mike Dean had no choice but to point to the spot – and Aubameyang made no mistake with the penalty.

Well-rested after leaving all but two of their starting line-up at home for Thursday’s 3-0 Europa League win over Vorskla Poltava in Ukraine, the Gunners were flying.

They almost doubled their advantage too when Sead Kolasinac cut the ball back for Alex Iwobi, whose first-time effort drew a fine stop from Hugo Lloris.

Moments later Hector Bellerin had a shot blocked by Ben Davies, and only then did Spurs threaten, with Son forcing Bernd Leno into his first save of the game.

It was blistering stuff, a frantic opening – but it didn’t reach boiling point until Tottenham grabbed an equaliser out of nothing.

Eriksen swung in a free kick, and even though Arsenal had every player in or just outside the box, Dier somehow found room to head the ball past a wrong-footed Leno at the near post.

Dier then steamed over to celebrate in front of the home fans, putting his finger to his lips, and the Arsenal subs warming up on the touchline took exception.

That sparked an almighty scrum with Pochettino, in his Bond villain black suit, racing on to the pitch to cool things down as drinks rained down from the stands.

When order was restored, Arsenal quickly conceded a penalty. Rob Holding barely touched Son, but the Korean went down as if shot and Kane made it 2-1 from the spot.

Emery responded by throwing on Alexandre Lacazette and Aaron Ramsey for the second half but it was Spurs who were straight back on the attack, with Kane forcing a save from Leno.

Then, pandemonium. Bellerin found Ramsey and Aubameyang met his cut-back first time with a shot which left Lloris, who saw it late, rooted to the spot on its way past him.

And, after Mustafi had a shot blocked on the line by Alli, it was a fluffed pass from Foyth, who was robbed by Ramsey, which presented Arsenal with their third.

Lacazette still had it all to do but held off his marker, turned, and fired in a shot which deflected off Dier and spun past a flat-footed Lloris into the bottom corner.

Within minutes, Torreira put it to bed, racing on to an Aubameyang pass and firing past Lloris before celebrating wildly in the same corner where the brawl took place.

Vertonghen then got his marching for his second yellow, a bad foul on Lacazette, and as the final whistle blew it left Spurs still searching for their first win here for eight years.

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