With its closest chaser in the English Premier League table and the defending champion, Manchester City dropped points over the weekend, after a 2-1 comeback defeat to its arch-nemesis Manchester United at Old Trafford, any point(s) gained from the match between Arsenal in the North London derby will see the former extending its lead at the top of the league table. The Gunners, which are in extraordinary form this season, did not disappoint its fans at White Hart Lane, as they put on a solid performance to emerge victorious against Antonio Conte’s Tottenham Hotspurs with a 2-0 score line. The victory allowed Mikel Arteta’s men to go eight points clear of the second place City, with about half a season of games left to be played.
Arsenal Unbeaten in League Since September 2022
Spurs knew they would need something special to overcome their nemesis at home, considering Arsenal have yet to lost a league game since September last year (A defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford); A draw from the Gunners against Newcastle United almost a fortnight ago gave Antonio Conte’s men a chance to boost their Champions League hope next season. Arsenal, on the other hand, had already met Spurs earlier this season, with the Gunners grabbing all three points with a 3-1 win at the Emirates Stadium and Mikel Arteta was not going to let his team slip away the chance of increasing their point margin as the league leader.
Arsenal started the game with immense pressure, and its rival could not get the ball forward, with attack after attack coming from the away team. Their star man, England’s third youngest scorer in the World Cup Bukayo Saka gave the guest an early lead, after his right-footed close-range cross was tapped in by the opposing goalkeeper, retired France international Hugo Lloris. The 36-year-old shot stopper from Nice should have done better with the delivery and his own goal proved costly. The Gunners kept their momentum going and came close a few times to double their lead, with Martin Ødegaard’s shot parried away by Lloris and Thomas Party’s strike hit the right post.
Their effort for a second goal finally paid off when a long ball by Tottenham Hotspur was intercepted by the Gunners’ backline and the ball was immediately fed to the out-wide and in-form Saka. The 21-year-old winger sent a pass to the mid area of the penalty box for his captain Ødegaard to hammer a stunner past Lloris. The goalkeeper could not stop the Drammen-born midfielder’s effort this time around, allowing the latter to score his eight goal in 23 appearances for Arsenal this season. The 2-0 lead stayed till the final whistle and led Arsenal winning its first league game at White Hart Lane since eight years ago and crushing Spurs’ eight-game unbeaten league streak against their fiercest rival at home.
MARTIN ØDEGAARD 🤫 pic.twitter.com/ccxLWGKhHS
— B/R Football (@brfootball) January 15, 2023
Manchester United Next
The Gunners extended their lead at the top of the Premier League table, but United’s win against City also meant they have emerged as one of the title contenders this season. With Arsenal’s only league loss this season coming against the Red Devils, the next league fixture against the team from the Red Half of Manchester would be crucial. The 40-year-old Arteta stressed about getting at least 90 points to win it all in the English Premier League and his team must go all out against United this week, the response read “I don’t want to do too many calculations. It’s how we are going to prepare for the game against Man United now, to get another three points and play well and deserve to win.”
United, on the other hand, will first travel to Selhurst Park Stadium for a match-up against Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace. A win there would give Erik ten Hag’s side its ten consecutive victories in all competitions and close the gap between it and Arsenal to six points with a game in hand for the latter; Manchester United is now enjoying a five-game winning streak in the Premier League, with 11 goals scored and only two conceded.
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