Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who had already gifted Arsenal the lead with a calamitous personal objective, had the ball in his palms within the thirty sixth minute, however none of his team-mates wished it.
Exasperated, Lloris launched a punt in direction of Harry Kane, nevertheless it was simply gained within the air by an Arsenal defender. Thomas Partey recycled the second ball with two slick touches, taking out three Spurs gamers, and all of a sudden Bukayo Saka was on the cost up the best, with tempo to burn and house to eat up.
Saka picked out Odegaard, who had already examined Lloris with a sighter and this time made no mistake with an arrowed shot into the underside nook.
Arsenal’s dominant first half was full of those incisive, purposeful, technically-stunning items of play, as they outclassed their rivals to open up an eight-point lead on the prime of the desk.
Given their historical past on the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (three straight defeats earlier than yesterday) and this fixture’s document of house superiority (Arsenal are the primary away winners since March 2014), the outcome goes down as one other hurdle seamlessly navigated by a facet who look each inch like champions within the making.
In contrast, hopeful punts upfield had been a characteristic of a depressing afternoon for Spurs, who produced their now-customary second-half rally however may have few complaints a few defeat which leaves their probabilities of returning to the Champions League subsequent season trying more and more robust.
They had been booed off at full-time, extra in apathy than anger by a crowd who’re getting used to one of these efficiency.
Actually, the sport solely confirmed what has lengthy been apparent: that Arsenal have moved to a distinct degree to their rivals since their 3-0 defeat at Spurs in Could, which helped the hosts to a top-four end on the Gunners’ expense, whereas Antonio Conte’s males have regressed.
Eight months in the past, Arteta’s facet had been bullied by the gang and a extra bodily opponent, however they’ve since been reworked, and whilst Aaron Ramsdale made a string of saves, they had been assured in holding Spurs at arm’s size within the second half.
There may be nonetheless a query of whether or not they can maintain their nerve — in-form Manchester United come to the Emirates subsequent weekend — however Arsenal look mightily convincing, magnificently coached by Arteta, who has benefited from unflinching backing from a membership which has absolutely purchased into his imaginative and prescient.
He has constructed a superbly-organised workforce, even higher than the sum of its spectacular components, and so they swarmed round white shirts. In possession, each Arsenal man, from Ramsdale to Eddie Nketiah, performed by way of Spurs with swagger and goal.
Whereas there’s collective credit score to dish out at Arsenal, there’s greater than sufficient blame to go round for Spurs’ rising sense of drift. Conte deserves a substantial share, after one other recreation by which the top coach’s cussed inflexibility and choice selections had been expensive.
The story of Spurs’s 3-1 defeat on the Emirates in October was Arsenal’s midfield superiority, however Conte, seemingly, had discovered nothing. His two-man midfield of 20-year-old Pape Matar Sarr, making his full Premier League debut, and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg had been outnumbered and outclassed by Arsenal’s three of Odegaard, Partey and Granit Xhaka, who had been regularly joined by Oleksandr Zinchenko or Nketiah.
Conte’s refusal to commit creates an uncertainty, of their market dithering and jittery shows.
Conte’s counter-attacking system additionally felt predictable and outdated, and whereas there isn’t a doubting the Italian’s pedigree, it’s telling that the 4 golf equipment above Spurs are all coached by managers who play a progressive, possession-based recreation.
Conte’s refusal to decide to the membership past the top of his contract can be important, creating an uncertainty which is mirrored of their dithering within the switch market and unconvincing, jittery performances on the pitch.
This was additionally a outcome, nevertheless, which additionally shone a lightweight on the 2 golf equipment’ long-term methods.
Had Daniel Levy, the Spurs chairman, heeded Mauricio Pochettino’s warnings in regards to the want for a “painful rebuild” and backed, quite than sacked, the Argentine in November 2019 — a month earlier than Arteta’s appointment at Arsenal — maybe Spurs would even be primed to reap the benefits of wobbles from Liverpool, Manchester Metropolis and Chelsea this season.
As an alternative, Levy sought a fast repair in Jose Mourinho, and now Conte, neither of whom seem a superb match for the Spurs squad, or a membership which can by no means match their rivals’ spending with the present enterprise mannequin.
Whereas Arsenal have been constructing for 3 years with a transparent, mutually-agreed imaginative and prescient, Spurs are, in response to Conte, nonetheless in the beginning of that course of, though there’s little purpose to be optimistic that the Italian will stick round to see it by way of to the top.
Three years wasted, and probably the perfect of Kane’s and Heung-min Son’s careers.
Subsequent up for each golf equipment is an opponent from Manchester, with Arsenal aiming to take one other step in direction of a primary title since their Invincibles season, and Spurs preventing to stay within the top-four image and with an opportunity to do their rivals a favour with a go to to Metropolis on Thursday.