Arsenal’s revival gathered pace as Tottenham’s recent decline continued in an entertaining north London derby at Emirates Stadium. The Gunners propped up the table after three games while Spurs were top under new manager Nuno Espirito Santo – how things have changed as a rampant Arsenal ripped their shambolic rivals to shreds in a brilliant first half. Emile Smith Rowe started the celebrations for the Arsenal fans when he arrived unmarked to sweep home Bukayo Saka’s cross after 12 minutes before the scorer turned provider as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang got the second midway through the half.
Spurs were producing a horror show and nothing summed it up better than Arsenal’s third after 34 minutes. Harry Kane fell over the ball in a Spurs attack then missed two tackles on Saka as he raced back into his own penalty area to try to rescue the situation. Saka compounded the agony with a calm finish. Inevitably, Spurs improved after the break, Kane bringing a good save from Aaron Ramsdale and wasting a good chance, before Son Heung-min pulled one back. Ramsdale spared Arsenal any late anxiety with another superb stop, touching Lucas Moura’s shot on to the bar as Mikel Arteta’s side closed out a richly deserved win.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has staked his Arsenal future on a long-term plan but admits he will not get quick results and has called for patience. But there was evidence for optimism here despite those three opening league defeats. The Gunners’ latest win was based on the brilliance and exuberance of Saka, Smith Rowe and Martin Odegaard, aged 20, 21 and 22 respectively. Aubameyang, whose own form and commitment have been questioned as he struggled, set the tone and lit the fuse on an explosive atmosphere inside the Emirates by chasing down Spurs’ defenders in the opening moments.