Tottenham beat Arsenal: Five things we learned as Harry Kane keeps top-four race alive
Tottenham kept their hopes of a place in next season’s Champions League alive with a statement victory over rivals Arsenal. Harry Kane struck twice and Son Heung-min netted once again as Antonio Conte’s side capitalised on Rob Holding’s early red card to record a 3-0 win.
Tottenham enjoyed almost complete control of the contest after the Gunners defender was shown a second yellow card in just the 33rd minute. The hosts were already ahead at this stage, with Kane dispatching a penalty after Cedric Soares was penalised for a collision at the back post with Son.
Minutes after Holding’s dismissal, Kane grabbed his second of the night with a stooping header at the far post, and Son scored his 21st league goal of the season shortly after the restart to make the points safe.
It was a victory which closed the gap between the top-four rivals to just one point, and Express Sport has taken a look at five things we learned from the action at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Kane’s timely reminder
The headlines this week have been dominated by the news Erling Haaland will become Manchester City’s new frontman, a position Kane so dearly craved in the summer. The transfer saga and Euro 2020 hangover impacted upon the striker’s form earlier this season, but the England captain has got back to his best in recent months.
Kane is a man for the big occasion, and maintained his impressive North London derby record with a devastating double to earn Tottenham a vital win. It was a timely response from the 28-year-old, with the blockbuster Haaland deal making it increasingly likely the striker will remain in the capital.
The summer signing was a notable absentee from Tottenham’s derby-day lineup, with Conte confirming the defender picked up a hip injury in the draw at Liverpool and may not feature again this season. This surprise setback gave Davinson Sanchez his first start since mid-February, with the Colombian international partnering Ben Davies and Eric Dier in a back three.
Tottenham’s dominance in the contest means Romero’s absence was not felt too keenly on the night, but the Atlanta loanee could prove to be a big miss with two must-win fixtures to come. The derby victory keeps the top-four race alive, and Conte’s side likely have to beat both Burnley and Norwich City to stand a chance of booking their place in next season’s Champions League.
Arteta’s selection headache
Holding’s dismissal not only proved damaging on the night, but gives his manager a selection dilemma with a trip to St James’ Park just four days away. Ben White’s hamstring injury has ruled the England centre-back out of the wins over West Ham and Leeds, and the Gunners boss decided against bringing the former Brighton man on despite the red card.
Arsenal’s defence already had a makeshift look to it, with Takehiro Tomiyasu having to fill in at left-back for the injured Kieran Tierney. This central defensive conundrum was handed a further twist when Gabriel limping off in the second-half with a suspected knock, potentially leaving Arteta with no senior centre-backs for the clash with Newcastle.
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