LONDON — Tottenham Hotspur dominated Arsenal in the North London Derby at Wembley on Saturday, as Harry Kane‘s header sealed a huge win for Spurs in front of a record crowd of 83,222 for a Premier League game.
The home side were guilty of missing several chances in the second half but it didn’t matter as the Gunners had now answer.
Here’s what we learned from Spurs’ win at Wembley.
HEROIC HARRY KANE DOES IT AGAIN
We are running out of ways to praise Harry Kane.
The local lad did it once again against Arsenal on Saturday, scoring a towering header for his seventh goal in as many Premier League games against Spurs’ bitter rivals.
Kane, 24, is having yet another fairytale season and leads the Premier League with 23 goals after becoming the top scorer among Europe’s top five leagues (in all competitions) in 2017 with 56 goals.
He could’ve had yet another hat trick in the NLD as he nodded over in the first half from close range, then glanced a header just wide moments after he gave Spurs the lead and soon after he had a thunderous drive beat away by Petr Cech.
As Kane wheeled away to celebrate in front of a jubilant Wembley, he pointed to the Spurs fans and clinched his fist. He’s one of their own and after Arsenal released him at the age of eight, he’s making them pay.
With seven points from their last three games against Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal, Mauricio Pochettino‘s men are bang in form and have second-place United in focus.
SPURS’ HIGH-PRESS TO PERFECTION
By now we know how Pochettino sets his teams up. Apparently nobody told Arsenal.
The Gunners were hurried into clearances, gave the ball away in midfield and were left wide open on the counter multiple times. In a game they needed to win to give themselves a serious chance of finishing in the top four, the Gunners looked shaky from the start.
Cech gave the ball away on multiple occasions in the pouring rain under pressure and Arsenal were the much happier side to go in level at the break, despite showing flashes of promise on the break even if the final ball wasn’t there.
Tottenham should have wrapped things up with more than 20 minutes to go as Kane had multiple chances, Cech denied Erik Lamela, Son skied over and Dele Alli poked wide. If Spurs would have won 3-0, Arsenal could have had zero complaints.
Ahead of the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 clash vs. Juventus in Turin this week, Spurs are in sensational form at precisely the right time of the season.
WILSHERE THE BRIGHT SPOT FOR ARSENAL
With 20 minutes to go Wilshere had Arsenal’s first shot on goal. That said it all.
Arsenal showed plenty of promise on the break in the first half but couldn’t get that final ball correct. When Wilshere did, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was flagged offside.
In the second half he launched into tackles, curled an effort towards the top corner which Hugo Lloris saved well and as at the heart of everything good Arsenal did. With Mesut Ozil’s contract locked down, Wilshere should be next and it can’t come soon enough. After a run of three months as a regular, the England midfielder is finally back to his best.
Arsenal could fall as much as eight points off the to four by the end of the weekend and their inability to deliver in big games, away from home, has cost them dear in the past few seasons.
The Gunners are winless in their last 16 PL away games against the current top four, with their last victory coming at Man City in January 2015.
In truth, they never looked like winning on Saturday as the mercurial talents of Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan lacked the tenacity of Wilshere and were dominated.