Tottenham seal 2-1 comeback derby win over Arsenal

Tottenham 2-1 Arsenal: A late Toby Alderweireld header seals late North London derby win for Jose Mourinho’s side.

Tottenham seal 2-1 comeback derby win over Arsenal
A late Toby Alderweireld header earned Tottenham Hotspur a 2-1 comeback win over Arsenal to boost their hopes of European qualification.

(African Stand) — Toby Alderweireld‘s late header handed Tottenham the bragging rights with a 2-1 victory over Arsenal in a lively north London derby.

Spurs boss Jose Mourinho recalled Heung-min Son after resting the South Korean for the goalless draw with Bournemouth, with Erik Lamela returning to the bench.

Mikel Arteta appeared to favour experience over youth, with Nicolas Pepe and Alexandre Lacazette preferred to Bukayo Saka and Reiss Nelson in the attack.

Spurs failed to register a shot on target in the reverse fixture at the Emirates and Lucas Moura rectified that inside the first minute, testing Emiliano Martinez with a long-range effort.

The hosts built on their promising opening and missed a great chance to take the lead when Lucas found Harry Kane with a sublime lofted pass, but Martinez read Kane’s intentions with an audacious lob attempt.

Arsenal was looking fluid upfront as well and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, with 20 Premier League goals this season, will feel he should have found the back of the net after some good work from Hector Bellerin on the right flank.

But the visitors did strike the first blow after a stunning effort from Lacazette. Serge Aurier lost possession on the edge of his own area and with help from Granit Xhaka, the French striker hammered a ferocious effort into the top corner, so powerful it almost broke the net.

Their joy was short-lived – 100 seconds in fact – as defensive mistakes came back to haunt the Gunners yet again. Sead Kolasinac’s decision to pass back to David Luiz was a poor one and Heung-min Son pounced on the loose ball, rounding Martinez before cleverly dinking over the Argentine stopper.

The game itself quickly transformed into something resembling a basketball match: end-to-end action, quick passing, and plenty of attempts to find the net. No sooner had Ben Davies cracked a 30-yard piledriver against the crossbar with a superb fingertip from Martinez, Nicolas Pepe curled one just wide of the post.

It seemed unrealistic to expect the second half to continue with such a high tempo and as Spurs attempted to soak up pressure from Arsenal, it did make for a more cagey contest.

The visitors were the dominant force, however, and were inches away from taking the lead when Aubameyang fired against the crossbar on the hour mark.

Kane nearly exposed the Gunners’ vulnerability at the back when Shkodran Mustafi committed and was beaten for pace. He set up Son for a tap-in, but Martinez bravely smothered the ball to save his side.

Both goalkeepers were forced into action late on, with Lloris denying Aubameyang and the excellent Martinez making a crucial block on Kane. But Tottenham’s late pressure finally told from the corner when Toby Alderweireld rose highest and headed into the far corner with nine minutes to go.

Arteta reacted with a triple substitution, sending on Cedric, Joe Willock, and Reiss Nelson to try and find an equalizer. But Spurs looked the more likely to kill off the game with Kane and Son both missing golden chances.

The home side held on in true Mourinho style to climb above Arsenal in the table and march on in the battle for European qualification.

Ericson Mangoli

Written by Ericson Mangoli

Ericson Mangoli is the founder of African Stand, based in Nairobi Kenya, Ericson leads a splendid group of correspondents, independent writers, investigators, analysts, and supporters from around the globe to run African Stand as a supervisor and the chief editor.

Ericson Mangoli's editorial experience ranges more than 5 years and covers all the sports news, and at times including business and venture, data innovation, legislative issues, strategy, basic freedoms, science detailing, and significantly more.

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