Arsenal destroy Spurs

Premier League
Arsenal 3 Tottenham Hotspur  

Premier League Manager of the Month, Nuno Espirito Santo, has seen his stock collpase dramatically with fans calling for his head as Tottenham's fortune's have declined inexorably.

After winning his opening three matches without his side conceding, the former Wolves boss has now overseen three successive defeats, each with three goals against.

Arsenal quite simply played Spurs off the park and manager Mikel Arteta, who had appeared under fire after losing his opening three fixtures, could manage more than a wry smile as the Gunners clicked in all departments and played some really slick, attacking football.

For Spurs though, not only does Espirito Santo not have a Plan B, he appears not to have a Plan A either.

He cut a bewildered, isolated figure in the technical area with seemingly not a clue how to change things.

Arsenal, paricularly Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe, tore in to Spurs.

Playing from the back, Arsenal looked so comfortable on the ball, pinging hard-hit balls to one another, confident in their team-mates' ability not only to control them but to put them to good purpose.

Following Spurs' 3-0 home collapse to Chelsea last weekend, Espirito Santo made three changes - Davinson Sanchez and Japhet Tanganga replaced Cristian Romero and Emerson Royal in defence, while fit again Lucas Moura came in for Giovani Lo Celso.

For Arsenal, Granit Xhaka replaced Nicolas Pepe in midfield, the only change from the side that won 1-0 at Burnley. 

The visitors played some tidy football in the early stages - but that was about as good as it got.

On 11 minutes, Arsenal opened the scoring and their fans were chanting their famed refrain, "1-0 to the Arsenal", which by the end had been upgraded to "3-0".

Sako in acres of space on the right crossed low along the six-yard box for Smith Rowe to glide home past Hugo Lloris.

With Spurs very much on the back foot and unable to keep hold of the ball, the Gunners were able to use the wings and play the expansive, possession football with which manager Mikel Arteta had been schooled under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.

Thomas Partey brought Lloris to a flying save and then Pierre-Emerick Aubemayang shot just just over.

In a rare attack Heung-Min Son won a ball midway in the Arsenal half, before charging down on goal in typical style, bringing Aaron Ramsdale to a save at his near post.

By the 26th minute, it was effectively all over for Spurs as Aubameyang found the net from a Smith Rowe pass.

By half time, Arsenal had added a third. Saka's strength allowed him to continue his run on goal, outmuscling anyone attempting to halt his progress, before beating Lloris.

Harry Kane, lacking any real service yet again, had a rare sniff on goal when he headed over a Son corner.

Spurs brought on Emerson Royal for Japhet Tanganga and Oliver Skipp for the almost anonymous Dele Alli at half time and they did plug the gaps in the midfield, preventing Arsenal having as much freedom.

Kane had an effort well saved by Ramsdale, who stretched to his right. The increasingly impressive Japan international Takehiro Tomiyasu was alert to the divesion and completed the clearance.

Kane just wide a minute later and should really have done better as he got the wrong side of Tomisayahu.

As the game began to open up Saka saw a fierece drive turned round by Lloris and then, completely against the run of play, with 12 minutes remaining, Son got on to a ball from Sergio Reguilon to finish well.

It might even have been a nervy finale for Arsenal as Moura's 20-yard shot took a deflection and only a superb save from Ramsdale, as he tipped the ball on to the bar as it looped over him, prevented some embarrassment.

The scoreline flattered Tottenham who were lucky not to have been on the wrong end of a huge drubbing.

"This win is for the fans," Arsenal manager said. "They were incredible in tough moments when we needed their support.

"It doesn't get much better than the atmosphere we saw here today. It was one of the nicest feelings I had, certainly in this stadium.

"It's impossible to attract people and connect with what we're trying to do if we don't have fans here. It makes such a difference. We want to entertain them and play in a way that makes them proud."

Espirito Santo Nuno conceded that some players on the pitch were unable to carry out his game plan.

"I'm going to be honest," he declared. "When you have a game plan you have to make the right decisions in terms of who you want on the pitch to develop that game plan.

"The decisions were not according to the game plan and I take responsibility. I won't name individuals, but the game plan was not right according to the players who were on the pitch.

"We were not aggressive enough to control Arsenal in midfield. They were faster, stronger, more aggressive. We suffered when we wanted to go in front, and we allowed Arsenal to come to us. Bad decisions.

"It's not easy to expand so I just ask you a bit of respect if I don't go too much into it. But the game plan didn't work out. I will not judge my players in front of you, I refuse to do that."

Arsenal: Ramsdale; Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney; Partey, Xhaka; Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe; Aubameyang. Subs: Leno, Holding, Cedric, Tavares, Lokongo, Maitland-Niles, Martinelli, Pepe, Lacazette.

Tottenham: Lloris, Tanganga, Sanchez, Dier, Reguilon, Ndombele, Hojbjerg, Alli, Lucas Moura, Kane, Son. Subs: Romero, Gil, Emeson, Rodon, Lo Celso, Gollini, Skipp, Davies, Scarlett.  


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