Arsenal Wenger’s men rose to the occasion and closed the gap between them and Tottenham, maintaining their arch-rivals’ miserable record at Emirates Stadium with a comfortable north London derby victory.
Pressure had long been heaped on Arsene Wenger and the Gunners since they failed to make the top four and as they also trail Spurs in the Premier League table. But they responded in style and were superior in all areas of the pitch to win with plenty to spare.
Shkodran Mustafi headed a free-kick powerfully past Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris in the 36th minute after referee Mike Dean had contentiously penalised Davinson Sanchez for a challenge on Alexis Sanchez. The German defender also looked to have been offside.
Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino said: “I do not need to say anything. It was obvious for everyone here and watching at home. It is not easy to accept because we lost the game but we have to move on and keep going.
According to BBC Sport, “The free-kick for the first goal and the first goal was obvious offside, maybe the second was too. When you play against a team in the top six, the big details are up to you. Sometimes things go against you but that is football.
Wenger added: “The free-kick was a free-kick for me. We have had bad luck away from home, I’ll leave that to the specialists.”
Arsenal’s domination was underlined five minutes later when Sanchez finished emphatically at the near post, effectively securing the Gunners’ first league win over Spurs since 2014.