‘A beautiful day’ – Arteta reacts as Arsenal secure 3-1 win over north London rivals Spurs

Arsenal extended their lead at the top of the Premier League table to four points after they ran out convincing 3-1 winners over Spurs in the North London Derby at the Emirates today.

The Gunners set the tone early on, pinning their rivals back and within two minutes Brazilian attacker Gabriel Martinelli forced Spurs ‘keeper Hugo Lloris into a fine stop at his near post.

Despite Arsenal hogging possession, Antonio Conte’s Spurs still looked dangerous on their rare forays forwards and on 12 minutes England goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale got down brilliantly to deny a close-range effort from Richarlison.

Arsenal’s pressure would eventually tell on 19 minutes when the home side opened the scoring in superb fashion. A 22-pass move ended with Ben White laying the ball off to Thomas Partey at the edge of the area, before the Ghana international curled an inch-perfect strike past the despairing dive of Lloris and into the top corner.

Spurs would strike back on 29 minutes, with a swift counter-attack ending with Richarlison being hacked down in the area and referee Anthony Taylor pointing to the spot. Harry Kane stepped up to take the spot-kick and duly fired it straight down the middle for his 100th Premier League away goal.

Conte’s side were in the ascendancy as the game neared the break, although Gabriel Jesus almost put Arsenal ahead on the stroke of half-time with a brilliant mazy run that ended with a left-footed effort that Lloris did well to stop.

Arteta’s side once again started the second period full of intensity and much to the delight of the Emirates crowd this time their efforts would be instantly rewarded. Three minutes in, Hugo Lloris made a meal of trying to deal with a rather tame Bukayo Saka shot and Jesus managed to pounce and bundle the ball home from a couple of yards out.

On the hour mark, things really started to unravel for Spurs when Emerson Royal foolishly went in over the top on countryman Martinelli and the ref had no option but to send the former Barcelona full-back off for an early bath.

Six minutes later and the game was effectively over as a contest when the home side scored a third. Granit Xhaka – now playing in a more advanced role – has been one of the success stories of Arsenal’s season and the Swiss international further endeared himself to his club’s fans by spanking home a low effort into the bottom corner from 18 yards out.

Perhaps with one eye on his sides midweek Champions League clash against Eintracht Frankfurt Conte made five subs and although the Gunners’ support urged their side forward the game eventually fizzled out.

Speaking afterwards Arsenal boss hailed his side and the togetherness they have built with the club’s support.

“The players grabbed the game and deserved to win the it. It was the whole team – starting from the back to front. They really connected today,” Arteta told BBC Sport.

“I hope this will give them more belief that they can win at this level in the way we want them to play.

“We have connected with our supporters and when that happens it is a really powerful thing.

“We have a really meaningful opportunity to give a lot of people happiness on a beautiful day and we have delivered that and it is a really great feeling.

“We are focussing on what we are doing. This is a sign that we are going in the right direction. We need to maintain that now and go for it.

“You feel the desire and humility – they haven’t won anything yet and that is important to have that humility, which is a big driver for us.”

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