Arsenal’s revival accelerated as Tottenham’s recent decline continued in a fun derby in north London at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners propped up the table after three games with Spurs at the helm under new manager Nuno Espirito Santo – how things have changed when a rampant arsenal tore its chaotic rivals to pieces in a brilliant first half.
Emile Smith Rowe opened the cheers for Arsenal fans when he hit Bukayo Saka’s cross unplayed on 12 minutes before the goalscorer became the set-up when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the second goal mid-half.
Spurs produced a horror show and nothing summed it up better than Arsenal’s third in 34 minutes. Harry Kane fell over the ball in a Spurs attack and then missed two tackles on Saka as he raced back into his own box trying to save the day. Saka added to the agony with a calm exit.
Inevitably, Spurs improved after the break, with Kane giving Aaron Ramsdale a good save and missing a good chance before Son Heung-min pulled one back.
Ramsdale saved Arsenal any late fear with another great stop and touched Lucas Moura’s shot off the crossbar as Mikel Arteta’s side took a well-deserved win.
Arsenal’s young guns lead the prosecution
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has put his Arsenal future on a long-term plan but admits he won’t get quick results and has asked for patience.
But despite these three defeats at the beginning, there were signs of optimism here.
The Gunners’ most recent win was based on the brilliance and exuberance of Saka, Smith Rowe and Martin Odegaard at the ages of 20, 21 and 22, respectively.
The talented trio were all involved in the goal that set the hosts on their way. Odegaard stormed through the Spurs’ nonexistent midfield before feeding Saka, whose welcoming cross was turned by Smith Rowe.
Smith Rowe prepared the second and Saka the third, showing an energy, invention, and dedication that put Spurs’ efforts to shame in the embarrassingly one-sided first 45 minutes.
Saka tormented Sergio Reguilon on Arsenal’s right flank, Smith Rowe’s rapier runs and creativity tore the Spurs wide open and Odegaard took full advantage of the gaping holes in the guests’ midfield.
Aubameyang, whose own form and commitment have been questioned, set the tone and ignited an explosive atmosphere in the Emirates by chasing Spurs defenders in the first moments.
It was the signal for Arsenal’s great first 45 minutes, unrecognizable by the shy and flimsy side at the start of the season.
Arteta will point out that Ben White and Gabriel Magalhaes are now starting to form a defensive partnership while Ramsdale offers presence in goal and is now certainly Arsenal’s undisputed number one ahead of Bernd Leno.
When Spurs took off a gallop in the second half, Ramsdale dived deep to twist Kane’s shot wide, then showed skill and technique to defeat Moura.
Arteta beamed when he received the ardent Arsenal fans after the final whistle – and who can blame him? This was as compelling as the Gunners have long sought under his leadership.
Problems are mounting for Spurs and Nuno
Spurs manager Nuno looked brooding, powerless in his technical field as he watched his side get cleaned up by Arsenal in those gloomy first 45 minutes.
The early promise to get Spurs to the top of the Premier League, starting with their opening weekend win over Manchester City, seemed an eternity away as they were sunk without a trace before halftime.
It was as bad as it gets as Spurs’ body language betrayed a lack of belief and no discernible tactical plan. They were pegged to the ropes for the entire half-time and were not helping their cause by being second to pretty much every ball and wasting possession on the rare occasions when they had it.
Nuno has seen his side concede three goals in three consecutive league games, a worrying sign of a coach known for building a solid defensive platform.
The manager himself looked like a battered man at times, a motionless presence as the full extent of Spurs’ surrender unfolded before him.
The introduction of Oliver Skipp and Emerson Royal for two