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Gunners Go Top After Bagging Slender Win

Written by on April 30, 2024

Needing a victory to maintain their provisional lead at the top of the Premier League rankings, Arsenal took the short trip to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for their clash with local rivals Spurs on Sunday afternoon (April 28). Mikel Arteta’s side did not have it easy, with the home team throwing the kitchen sink at them in the second half. But, at the end of the day, the Gunners’ resilience and discipline shone through, allowing them to bag a nail-biting 3-2 victory on Premier League Matchday 35.

Arsenal Enjoy Brilliant First Half At Tottenham

Arteta’s boys came charging out the gates at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and seemingly put their noses in front in the 13th minute. Captain Martin Odegaard delicately brought down Thomas Partey’s long ball before slipping Kai Havertz through on goal. The German applied a clinical finish, finding the bottom-left corner. Unfortunately for the men in red, the Norwegian playmaker was in an offside position when he received the ball from Partey.

A couple of minutes later, the ball once again nestled into Tottenham’s net, and this time, there was no offside flag to save the hosts. Bukayo Saka swung in a venomous cross toward the near post, prompting Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg to try to clear it out of harm’s way. Unfortunately, the Danish midfielder could not make the right connection and directed the cross into his own net. Micky van de Ven hit the back of the net for Spur a few minutes later but the goal was chalked out for offside.

Having lived through a brief Spursian storm, Arsenal doubled their money through Saka in the 27th minute. Released by Havertz, Saka cut in from the right flank to wrongfoot Ben Davies before calmly finding the back of the net with a low shot. Having assisted Saka, Havertz got on the scoresheet himself in the 38th minute, applying a clinical header to steer Declan Rice’s inch-perfect long ball into the back of the net.

Spurs Give Gunners A Second-Half Scare

After being the second-best in the first half, the Lilywhites returned with a bang in the second 45, giving Arsenal a proper scare. In the 64th minute, Gunners goalie David Raya gave the ball straight to Cristian Romero, who was lurking around the ‘D’. The defender controlled Raya’s botched clearance and drilled a low shot into the bottom-right corner. It was Spurs’ first shot on target on Sunday afternoon.

In the 84th minute, Rice conceded a penalty, completely missing the ball and kicking Davies while trying to take it away from him. Heung-min Son took the resulting spot kick and found the top-left corner to make it 3-2. Ange Postecoglou’s team pushed for the equalizer in the last few minutes but Arsenal shut shop to deny them a point.

Arteta’s men will return to action with a clash against Bournemouth on Saturday (May 4). Spurs, meanwhile, will travel to Chelsea for another London derby on Thursday night (May 2).

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