Arsenal moved to within five points of the UEFA Europa League places on Sunday afternoon by coming from behind to beat rivals Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 in the North London derby at the Emirates Stadium.
After falling behind to substitute Erik Lamela’s stunning opener, the Gunners responded just before half time through Real Madrid loanee Martin Odegaard’s second goal in as many games.
Impressively, the Gunners, who defeated Olympiacos in the first-leg of their Europa League last-16 tie on Thursday evening, winning 3-1 in Athens, completed the turnaround just past the hour mark when Alexandre Lacazette was brought down inside the penalty area by Spurs centre-back Davinson Sanchez.
Lacazette dusted himself down to take the resulting spot-kick and fired the Gunners into a 2-1 lead.
That, however, did not prove to be the final talking point in the latest chapter of this historic rivalry as Lamela, who had stepped off the bench in the first half to replace the injured Son Heung-min, was sent-off for a second bookable offence, after catching Arsenal ace Kieran Tierney in the face with his arm.
Despite being down to ten men, Spurs did throw everything at the Gunners in the hope of getting a goal back and they did come within inches of sourcing a leveller when Harry Kane’s free-kick struck the post.
Nevertheless, Arsenal held on to record a priceless victory and beat Spurs for the first time since December 2018.
On what proved to be a memorable afternoon for the red half of north London, football.london has taken a quick look at how the Monday morning newspapers have reacted to their victory.
“From Rabona to red card, Erik Lamela went from magnificent to madness,” John Cross wrote for the Mirror.
“Lamela scored one of the greatest goals this fixture has ever seen with the most outrageous piece of skill to leave even his Tottenham team mates holding their heads in disbelief.
“But rather in keeping with the rest of his team, Lamela lost control and got himself sent off for two yellow cards in the space of five ill-disciplined, crazy second half minutes.
“Arsenal went from 1-0 down, to 2-1 up like they used to against Tottenham back in the 1980s and 90s as the Gunners won a madcap, brilliantly entertaining and incident packed North London derby.
“Ultimately, it was won by Alexandre Lacazette’s second half penalty and it was no more than Arsenal deserved as they were the better team and showed more pride and fight.
“The biggest disappointment for Arsenal was the lack of fans inside the Emirates to enjoy Mikel Arteta’s first win over Tottenham since taking charge in December 2019.”
“On the day his skipper was benched for being late, Martin Odegaard arrived just in time,” Paul Jiggins wrote for The Sun.
“The nifty Norwegian’s equaliser on the stroke of half-time paved the way for Arsenal’s comeback in the North London derby.
“Now the Gunners’ hierarchy have to make sure they waste no time in making his loan from Real Madrid permanent.
“The rookie – once overhyped, now over here – is finally getting into his stride following his January switch to the Emirates.
“He followed his first goal for the club in their 3-1 Europa League win at Olympiakos on Thursday by netting his first Premier League goal against Spurs.
“He is looking quite the player and will undoubtedly only getting better.
“The prospect of him playing alongside the likes of Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka on a permanent basis – especially after a full pre-season this summer – is a mouthwatering one for all Gooners.
“If Arsenal leave it too late to make that happen it would be almost as big a crime as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s.”
“When Erik Lamela wound back the clock to score with a quite outrageous piece of skill and impudence, Arsenal had a familiar sinking feeling.” David Hytner wrote for The Guardian. “They had dominated this derby and yet, with 33 minutes gone, they were behind.
“Mikel Arteta has argued, with some justification, that his team have not had the results their football has merited, at times, this season. Was this to be a hard luck story?
“Happily for them, it was not, although goodness knows they appeared determined to throw away victory at the death.
“On a day when Arteta dropped his captain, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, for disciplinary reasons, believed to be related to the captain’s match-day timekeeping, his team were excellent for the first 70 minutes, by which time they had the lead through Martin Odegaard and a hotly contested Alexandre Lacazette penalty.
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“Lamela’s goal for Tottenham had come when he addressed a breaking ball inside the area and swung his left foot around the back of his standing right one to sculpt a shot through Thomas Partey’s legs and into the far corner. The power in the execution was breathtaking and it recalled his famous Europa League goal against Asteras from 2014.
“Lamela, who had come on as a 19th-minute substitute for the injured Son Heung-min, would have another trick up his sleeve – a descent from hero to villain. When he collected a cheap second yellow card on 76 minutes for flinging an arm across Kieran Tierney, the game looked over.
“And yet it was the prompt for Spurs to belatedly throw caution to the wind and Arsenal to be gripped by anxiety; to fail to manage the game.”