Tottenham dismantle 10-man Gunners to ignite top-four bid

Harry Kane's double and Heung-Min Son's 21st of the season sees Spurs inflict damaging north London derby defeat

Thursday, 12th May — By Dan Carrier at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal  - Premeir League

Harry Kane stoops to double Tottenham’s lead [Kieran Galvin/AFS]

Premier League

TOTTENHAM (Kane 22 pen, 37, Son 47)
ARSENAL (Holding sent off 33)

ANTONIO Conte hailed the Spurs support tonight (Thursday) as he watched his side take their north London rivals Arsenal to pieces in front of a boisterous sellout crowd.

When chairman Daniel Levy paid out £1 billion to create the incredible football arena that is the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, he dreamt of nights like this.

The shiny stadium was at its highest volume yet and the Spurs players responded as goals from Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son kept the chase for the Champions League alive as we reach the penultimate games of the season.

Speaking after the game, Conte said: “I have to say thanks to our fans, because the atmosphere they created was amazing.

“I ask them also on Sunday. We need this atmosphere, because with this atmosphere, my players are ready to give not only 120 per cent, but 200 per cent.”

The Tottenham boss also praised the way his side dismantled their opponents after Spurs showed a level of professionalism often missing.

When they were three goals to the good and had 40 minutes left to play, they did not go hell for leather for a fourth. Instead, they killed the game off, while still creating enough chances when the mood took them to make this humiliating.

Conte added: “In this type of game, a must-win game, it’s never easy. There is a lot of pressure. Tonight, only one result was good for us – to win and get three points in a difficult game, a north London derby. To win 3-0 was good for us, and good for our fans.”

Spurs stormed to a 3-0 win in front of a boisterous sellout crowd [Kieran Galvin/AFS]

Arsenal, enjoying a rich vein of form that had seen them beat Chelsea, Manchester United, West Ham and Leeds on the spin, started well. They pressed Spurs early on and it took the home team a few minutes to get the measure of their opponents.

But Arsenal’s early promise quickly evaporated. Dejan Kulusevski opened Mikel Arteta’s men up down the right and seemed to be surprised at the ease he made headway.

It was Kulusevki’s ball from the right to the back post on 22 that saw Son bundled over by Cedric Soares for a penalty. Kane made no mistake from 12-yards.

It soon went from bad to worse for Arteta. Rob Holding had already earned a yellow card for man-handling Son – his third foul on the forward in less than 30 minutes.

Just after the half-hour mark, Holding got his marching orders for a crass block on the same Spurs player, and the already shaky Arsenal side collapsed.

Kane doubled the lead on 37 when he stooped low at the back post to head home, and what ever was said at half-time in the Arsenal dressing room went straight out of the window on 47 when Son pounced on a loose ball in the Arsenal box to make it 3-0.

Spurs managed the game, treating the crowd to possession football and leaving Arsenal ragged by the end.

There could have been more – Son, Emerson Royal and Ryan Sessegnon should have scored, while Aaron Ramsdale in the Arsenal goal had to save smartly from a Kane effort.

It was all Tottenham deserved. The Gunners looked hollowed out, unable to make any sense of the Conte-inspired whirlwind.

Arsenal’s Champions League hopes are still in their own hands. They travel to Newcastle on Monday, while Spurs can overtake them for 24 hours if they can put away Burnley on Sunday – taking the drama to the last day of the season.

Tonight’s result may have little bearing on the final standings, but it would suggest Conte has the measure of his counterpart in the opposite dug out, so comprehensively beaten were Arsenal this evening.

Tottenham: Lloris, Sanchez, Dier, Davies (Rodon, 81), Royal, Sessegnon, Hojbjerg, Bentancur, Kulusevski (Moura, 71), Son (Bergwijn, 71), Kane
Substitutes not used: Gollini, Winks, White, Scarlett, Devine, Craig

Arsenal: Ramsdale, Soares, Holding (sent off 33), Gabriel (Tavares, 75), Tomiyasu, Elneny, Xhaka, Odegaard, Saka, Martinelli (Smith Rowe, 63), Nketiah (Lacazette, 72)
Substitutes not used: Leno, White, Pepe, Lokonga, Swanson, Patino

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