Son and Kane sink Arsenal - match report and debrief
Spurs 2-0 Arsenal
Sun 06 December 2020, 18:39|Tottenham Hotspur
First-half goals from Heung-Min Son and Harry Kane followed by an outstanding defensive display ensured north London derby honours were ours on Sunday evening, as we returned to the top of the Premier League with a 2-0 win over Arsenal.
Two glorious goals gave us the foundation for the win, which we dug deep to achieve in front of 2,000 superb fans, who certainly made themselves heard on the first occasion supporters were allowed back into Tottenham Hotspur Stadium since March, when the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in games being played behind closed doors.
Arsenal dominated the possession, but we scored the goals. They had all of the ball in the opening minutes but failed to test Hugo Lloris and when they launched another cross into the area, it led to our opening goal! Eric Dier headed away, Steven Bergwijn helped it on to Kane, who held the ball up and pinged it out wide left to Son. He advanced down the flank before cutting onto his right foot and curling a sumptuous effort from 25 yards out past Bernd Leno’s despairing dive, his 10th goal of the season.
The pattern of the game was set, the visitors seeing a lot of the ball and we invited them to break us down, which they struggled to do and instead, we added a second on the stroke of half-time which again came from a promising Arsenal attack. Serge Aurier nipped in to steal the ball from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and took four Arsenal players out with an excellent threaded pass to Giovani Lo Celso. The counter-attack was on again, Lo Celso finding Son who moved into the box and touched off to Kane and he slammed left-footed past Leno.
Arsenal carried more of a threat after the interval. Just two minutes into the second half, Lloris saved right on his line from Alexandre Lacazette’s flicked header, Aubameyang headed Kieran Tierney’s cross over the bar and our goalkeeper was there again on 68 minutes, just managing to push another Lacazette header away for a corner. But while they pushed us back for most of the second period, defensively we were so solid with everyone in the team playing their part, making key blocks, winning vital headers, timing tackles to perfection and just preventing the Gunners from finding a way through.
There were great celebrations on and off the pitch at the final whistle, a job extremely well done – and how our fans enjoyed it!
A deserved derby victory!
It was a familiar style of performance which gave us derby day victory, a counter-attacking style of football which once again reaped rich rewards. Perhaps we could have been better in possession at times, particularly in the second half when we really did struggle to get any flow to our passing which meant the ball was always coming back towards our goal. But we have been nothing if not resilient this season and showed real determination to keep the Gunners out.
The goals were obviously crucial – and excellent. Son’s opener was world-class and came at a good time after Arsenal’s bright start, while a second just on the stroke of half-time from Kane ensured that we had something tangible to hold onto for the second half.
And hold on we did. Just like Manchester City and Chelsea in recent matches, the visitors enjoyed plenty of possession but just like those teams, Arsenal couldn’t find a way through as we kept our fourth Premier League clean sheet in succession.
Milestones on a great day
Kane’s strike saw him rewrite north London derby history as he became the all-time leading goalscorer in this fixture, with 11 goals. He had been level with Bobby Smith and Emmanuel Adebayor before the game.
It was also the 250th goal of his professional career for club and country (202 for Spurs, 32 England, 9 Millwall, 5 Leyton Orient, 2 Leicester), and his 100th at home for us in all competitions.
Goalscorers Son and Kane both assisted each other’s goals which means they have now combined for 31 Premier League goals between them. Only Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba have combined for more with 36.
Jose Mourinho – who maintained his record of never having lost at home to Arsenal as a manager – made two changes to the team that started at Chelsea last time out in the Premier League last weekend, with Toby Alderweireld returning from injury in place of Joe Rodon and Lo Celso coming in for Tanguy Ndombele. It was eight changes from the Europa League draw at LASK in Austria on Thursday night, with only Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Lo Celso and Son retaining their places in the starting line-up.
Reaction on Spurs TV
'When we needed the ball, we had it'
Jose told Spurs TV afterwards: "When we needed to have the ball, we had it. When we needed to be aggressive in transitions, we were. When we needed two world-class strikes to score amazing goals, they did. When we needed a low block, compact, with solidarity, with effort, with organisation, we had it. When we needed a goalkeeper to make a couple of saves, not much, but when we needed him, he did. We had even 2,000 fans enjoying it and pushing us in the way it was possible for them to do. So, good. We are top of the league for one more week, which is good fun."
Spurs 2-0 Arsenal
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Lloris (c), Aurier, Alderweireld, Dier, Reguilon, Hojbjerg, Sissoko, Lo Celso (Davies 71), Bergwijn (Rodon 90+1), Son (Lucas 88), Kane. Substitutes (not used): Hart, Winks, Bale, Vinicius.
Arsenal (3-4-3): Leno, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney, Bellerin (Nketiah 75), Partey (Ceballos 45+2), Xhaka, Saka, Willian, Lacazette, Aubameyang (c). Substitutes (not used): Runarsson, Mustafi, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Willock.
Goals: Spurs – Son 13, Kane 45+1.
Yellow cards: Spurs – Lo Celso; Arsenal – Xhaka, Lacazette.
Referee: Martin Atkinson.
Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Weather: Thick cloud, light winds, six degrees.