As we prepare to leave the ground which has been home for the last 118 years, we produced another powerful and composed display to see off Arsenal in relative comfort and give the stadium the victory it deserved on a poignant afternoon.
The win was our ninth consecutive success in the Premier League and our 13th straight triumph in the division at White Hart Lane, as we consolidated second place in the table, climbing back to within four points of leaders Chelsea after their win at Everton earlier in the day.
We should have been ahead at half-time but somehow both Dele and Christian Eriksen missed what were basically open goals, allowing Arsenal to grow in confidence and threaten at the other end before the interval, although Hugo Lloris denied Aaron Ramsey with their best chance of the half.
The opening goal came on 56 minutes and was no more than we deserved, Dele poking home from close range after Cech had saved Eriksen’s fine individual effort, before we doubled our lead two minutes later.
The superb Victor Wanyama won the ball inside the Arsenal half and found Kane, who was upended by Gabriel in the area and referee Michael Oliver pointed to the spot. Kane made no mistake with his penalty, his 27th goal of the season.
Both sides had chances to add to the scoreline, Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez denied by Lloris while Petr Cech made a string of superb saves to prevent us from extending our lead, most notably from Jan Vertonghen, Kane and Toby Alderweireld.
Mauricio Pochettino made two changes from the side that won at Crystal Palace in midweek - Kieran Trippier in for Kyle Walker at right-back and Heung-Min Son for Mousa Dembele, who was fit enough for the bench after picking up an ankle problem at Selhurst Park. Vertonghen took his place in defence once again to make his 200th appearance in all competitions for the club.
CHANCES: TWO GLORIOUS OPPORTUNITIES SPURNED – 23-25mins
We were quickly on the offensive with Kane testing Cech with a low drive inside the first minute, before Alderweireld glanced a header wide from an Eriksen corner. We were seeing the majority of the ball while always mindful of the threat carried by the Gunners, particularly Sanchez. Then on 23 minutes, Kane broke free down the left and his shot flicked off Gabriel and looped up for Dele at the back post, but the he headed wide under pressure from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Two minutes later, another counter-attack saw Ben Davies release Son who beat Oxlade-Chamberlain down the left, again his shot deflected up and fell to Eriksen, but his left-foot volley skimmed the top of the crossbar with the goal gaping.
SAVE: LLORIS DENIES RAMSEY – 39mins
Those two opportunities certainly brought even more noise from a boisterous Spurs crowd, although the game went a little quiet for a while until Arsenal threatened with their first chances on goal. First Ramsey worked a yard of space before curling an effort towards the far corner which Lloris dived to tip away for a corner on 38 minutes, before Kieran Gibbs lashed a drive high and wide. Sanchez then curled well wide of Lloris’ far post as the visitors grew into the game towards the end of the first period. The half ended with Vertonghen bringing a smart save out of Cech with a low curling drive and the sides went into the interval goalless.
Above: Eric Dier and Harry Kane in an aerial challenge with Gabriel.
SAVE: WANYAMA’S DRIVE TIPPED OVER BY CECH – 48mins
With no changes to either side at half-time, the second period opened the same as the first, with us on the front foot although our first opportunity came after we’d smothered an Arsenal attack. Son led the charge forwards and the ball eventually fell to Wanyama, whose 20-yard drive was heading for the top corner until Cech stuck out a hand to tip it over the bar. Kane then fired straight at the Gunners' goalkeeper from further out, while at the other end, Giroud blazed over from inside the area following a corner.
GOAL: SPURS 1-0 ARSENAL – DELE ALLI – 56mins
The game had started to open a little with both sides pushing forward, but it was us who made the breakthrough 11 minutes into the half. Eriksen – as he has done on so many occasions this season – was the creator, picking up the ball on the right-hand side of the area before dancing past Nacho Monreal and Laurent Koscielny and getting a close range shot away which Cech saved well. But Dele reacted quickest to the rebound and poked home to send the majority of the Lane into wild celebrations.
GOAL: SPURS 2-0 ARSENAL – HARRY KANE (PENALTY) – 58mins
There was no time to catch your breath before we had doubled our lead. In his usual dogged style, Wanyama won the ball back mid-way inside the Arsenal half and found Kane down the left, who ran at the defence and skipped past Gabriel, who stuck out a leg and brought the England striker down. Kane stepped up and buried his spot-kick to give us breathing space in the game. Arsenal reacted well to the double setback though and had a couple of chances to respond, but Lloris was there to deny Giroud and Sanchez to preserve our two-goal advantage. We almost extended that during a spell which saw Cech make a world-class save to deny Vertonghen and Kane glance a header into the side-netting from Eriksen’s delivery.
SAVE: CECH KEEPS OUT KANE – 78mins
The visitors introduced Danny Welbeck to bolster their attacking options but it was their goalkeeper who was keeping them in the game. He made another good stop to deny Kane after Wanyama again broke up an Arsenal attack and surged forwards before finding the striker, while he made another acrobatic save to keep out Alderweireld’s header from a corner. The final minutes saw Arsenal attempt to get back into the contest but Lloris was rarely troubled as our defence once again kept a clean sheet and when the whistle blew, it signalled the end of a long-standing north London rivalry at this famous old stadium – and that we had the final say!
MAURICIO POCHETTINO SAID
"It was a fantastic afternoon. I’m so pleased for our players and our fans. It was an afternoon where they deserved to live the last derby at White Hart Lane. It was so emotional for everyone. I say thank you, we’re so lucky to be here. I said at half-time to keep going. We changed a little our positions in offensive situations, we tried to find better positions and better solutions to create the chances. In the end it was a fantastic performance and we deserved the victory."
DELE ALLI SAID
"It was unbelievable, a crazy atmosphere and to win the last derby at White Hart Lane was incredible. We owe a lot to the fans again, they were unbelievable from the start, kept us going and that was important. There weren’t too many tactics going into today, it was all about belief, fight and hunger and I think we dominated on that front. It was a strong performance by the team."
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Lloris (c), Trippier (Walker 88), Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Wanyama, Son (Dembele 79), Dele (Sissoko 90+1), Eriksen, Kane. Substitutes (not used): Vorm, Wimmer, Nkoudou, Janssen.
Arsenal (3-4-2-1): Cech, Gabriel (Bellerin 75), Koscielny (c), Monreal, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Xhaka (Welbeck 65), Gibbs, Ozil, Sanchez, Giroud (Walcott 81). Substitutes (not used): Ospina, Holding, Coquelin, Iwobi.
Goals: Spurs – Dele 56, Kane 58 (pen).
Yellow cards: Spurs – Kane; Arsenal – Gabriel, Giroud, Monreal.
Referee: Michael Oliver.
It’s our fourth London derby in a row up next, as we travel to east London to take on West Ham United on Friday evening (May 5). The Hammers have drawn their last three games, two of them were goalless, and sit 15th in the table, just seven points off the relegation zone. This will be our first ever visit to the London Stadium and a victory on the night will see us close to within one point of league leaders Chelsea. Kick-off is at 8pm.