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  • Harry Kane scored the only goal of the game, heading home Ben Davies’ pinpoint cross after 49 minutes
  • Kane, Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli all came close for Spurs as they secured all three points at Wembley
  • Jack Wilshere nearly scored for the visitors, forcing Hugo Lloris into a fine save during the second half 
  • Alexandre Lacazette came within inches of securing an injury-time equaliser for Arsene Wenger’s outfit 
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang started for Arsene Wenger’s side, with Lacazette coming off the bench 

Rob Draper for The Mail on Sunday

At times it felt like there was just Petr Cech. There he was, leaping to save from a Christian Eriksen free kick. And here he was, sprawling at the feet of Erik Lamela. And there he was again, pushing away a Kieran Trippier strike.

Just one goal separated this north London derby, but that didn’t tell the story. Or rather, it didn’t do justice to the crucial passage of play for twenty-five minutes after half time when Tottenham, relentless, young and hungry, simply overwhelmed their opponents at Wembley. There was a time when Tottenham team were cowed by their neighbours. That time is no more.

‘Fantastic,’ gushed Mauricio Pochettino afterwards. ‘Those 25minutes, we played amazing football. We created a lot of chances. We had the capacity to push them. Our players were fantastic.’ He had earned this moment. His team are up to third in the Premier League for now and face Juventus in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Harry Kane celebrates scoring the only goal of the north London derby alongside Spurs’ Dele Alli at Wembley on Saturday

The England forward rose above Laurent Koscielny and headed past Petr Cech to send the home supporters into raptures

As Kane celebrated, Arsenal appealed for a foul on Koscielny but their protests were ignored by referee Anthony Taylor 

As Kane celebrated, Arsenal appealed for a foul on Koscielny but their protests were ignored by referee Anthony Taylor 

As Kane celebrated, Arsenal appealed for a foul on Koscielny but their protests were ignored by referee Anthony Taylor 

Spurs captain Hugo Lloris roars in celebration after his side moved into the lead after less than five minutes of the second half

Spurs captain Hugo Lloris roars in celebration after his side moved into the lead after less than five minutes of the second half

Spurs captain Hugo Lloris roars in celebration after his side moved into the lead after less than five minutes of the second half

Alexandre Lacazette almost levelled the scores at the death when he raced in on goal and fired a shot past Lloris

Alexandre Lacazette almost levelled the scores at the death when he raced in on goal and fired a shot past Lloris

Alexandre Lacazette almost levelled the scores at the death when he raced in on goal and fired a shot past Lloris

But the France forward's shot went inches past the post to ensure the visitors left Wembley empty-handed on Saturday

But the France forward's shot went inches past the post to ensure the visitors left Wembley empty-handed on Saturday

But the France forward’s shot went inches past the post to ensure the visitors left Wembley empty-handed on Saturday

After the final whistle Jack Wilshere and Erik Lamela had to be separated as tempers boiled over between the rival players

After the final whistle Jack Wilshere and Erik Lamela had to be separated as tempers boiled over between the rival players

After the final whistle Jack Wilshere and Erik Lamela had to be separated as tempers boiled over between the rival players

The England midfielder had to be dragged away but he was earlier powerless to stop his side from losing 1-0 at Wembley

The England midfielder had to be dragged away but he was earlier powerless to stop his side from losing 1-0 at Wembley

The England midfielder had to be dragged away but he was earlier powerless to stop his side from losing 1-0 at Wembley

MATCH DETAILS, RATINGS, TABLE AND MATCH ZONE 

Tottenham (4-2-3-1):

Lloris 8; Trippier 8, Sanchez 7, Vertonghen 9, Davies 8; Dier 7, Dembele 9; Eriksen 8, Alli 8 (Wanyama 85, 7), Son 7 (Lamela 70, 6); Kane 9

Subs not used: Vorm, Rose, Sissoko, Aurier, Lucas

Goals: Kane 49

Yellow cards: Lamela

Arsenal (4-3-3):

Cech 8; Bellerin 6, Mustafi 5, Koscielny 5, Monreal 6; Wilshere 7, Elneny 6 (Iwobi 65, 6), Xhaka 5 (Welbeck 86, 5); Ozil 6, Mkhitaryan 5 (Lacazette 65, 4), Aubameyang 5

Subs not used: Ospina, , Chambers,, Maitland-Niles, Kolasinac 

Yellow cards: Mustafi 

Ref: Anthony Taylor 

Att: 83,222 

RATINGS BY GERRY COX AT WEMBLEY 

Season at a glance

  • Premier League
  • Premier League
  • Championship
  • League One
  • League Two
  • Scottish Premiership
  • Scottish Div 1
  • Scottish Div 2
  • Scottish Div 3
  • Ligue 1
  • Serie A
  • La Liga
  • Bundesliga

 

Harry Kane scored the only goal of the north London derby with a header from Ben Davies' cross. For more stats and details, see Sportsmail's brilliant Match Zone

Harry Kane scored the only goal of the north London derby with a header from Ben Davies' cross. For more stats and details, see Sportsmail's brilliant Match Zone

Harry Kane scored the only goal of the north London derby with a header from Ben Davies’ cross. For more stats and details, see Sportsmail’s brilliant Match Zone

Incrementally Pochettino has been building towards this, when Tottenham look like London’s best team. In the last three Premier League games, in which Manchester United have been swatted aside, Arsenal well beaten and Liverpool held, Spurs have demonstrated that they now ought to be ready for Europe’s elite.

Harry Kane, inevitably, was the man who did beat Cech, his seventh goal in seven Premier League games against Arsenal. Something tells you that Kane still has neither forgiven nor forgotten the decision Arsenal made to let him go a schoolboy.

‘In the last three years I am repeating that he is one of the best strikers in the world,’ insisted Pochettino. ‘Sometimes you believe that it’s because he’s my player and I try to praise him. But I’m telling you and I tell you again, from my experience in football, he’s one of the best.’

While Kane was excellent, Mousa Dembele was immense in midfield and Christian Eriksen as precise in his delivery as we have come to expect. The performance of Ben Davies suggested Danny Rose would not be missed if he chose to leave and Dele Alli shone brighter than he has of late.

And, yet, there were that many chances for Tottenham, they must have been fearful of what was to come. And therein lies the more-significant point of this clash of north London rivals: nothing much did come.

There was a moment, with thirty seconds of injury time remaining, when Mohamed Elneny fed Alexandre Lacazette. As he pulled the ball past Hugo Lloris, the Arsenal fans who hadn’t departed already prepared to celebrate an unlikely point. The strike, by a fraction, was wide of the far post and Tottenham survived. And had they not, most would have felt an injustice had been done.

Tottenham central midfielder Mousa Dembele fires a left-footed shot at goal during a goalless first half at Wembley

Tottenham central midfielder Mousa Dembele fires a left-footed shot at goal during a goalless first half at Wembley

Tottenham central midfielder Mousa Dembele fires a left-footed shot at goal during a goalless first half at Wembley

Denmark forward Christian Eriksen looks to find a team-mate under pressure from Arsenal defender Nacho Monreal

Denmark forward Christian Eriksen looks to find a team-mate under pressure from Arsenal defender Nacho Monreal

Denmark forward Christian Eriksen looks to find a team-mate under pressure from Arsenal defender Nacho Monreal

Dembele and Arsenal's record signing, £56million man Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, tussle for possession on Saturday

Dembele and Arsenal's record signing, £56million man Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, tussle for possession on Saturday

Dembele and Arsenal’s record signing, £56million man Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, tussle for possession on Saturday

Tottenham forward Son Heung-min looks to dribble with the ball as Mohamed Elneny and Shkodran Mustafi watch on

Tottenham forward Son Heung-min looks to dribble with the ball as Mohamed Elneny and Shkodran Mustafi watch on

Tottenham forward Son Heung-min looks to dribble with the ball as Mohamed Elneny and Shkodran Mustafi watch on

Kane heads over the home side's best chance of the first half as Monreal appeals in vain for him to be flagged offside

Kane heads over the home side's best chance of the first half as Monreal appeals in vain for him to be flagged offside

Kane heads over the home side’s best chance of the first half as Monreal appeals in vain for him to be flagged offside

The Tottenham and England forward puts his hands on his head in disappointment after failing to convert Eriksen's cross

The Tottenham and England forward puts his hands on his head in disappointment after failing to convert Eriksen's cross

The Tottenham and England forward puts his hands on his head in disappointment after failing to convert Eriksen’s cross

For Arsenal revivals simply aren’t what they used to be. One week is all it now takes to puncture the optimism. Everton had proved accommodating guests last weekend for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitarayan. This was a more-realistic assessment of the club’s predicament.

Arsenal deployed the cavalry. They ended up with six attacking players on the pitch, though not Mkhitaryan, nowhere near as effective as last weekend. Without the ball and against a robust midfield, Arsenal wither. They may be nine points off the top four by Sunday with just eleven games to play, Arsene Wenger ruefully accepting that another season outside the game’s elite beckons.

Wenger had set his team to play on the counter attack in the first half and felt they should have made more of that opportunity. 

‘In the first half, the game should have been finished,’ he suggested ‘We missed opportunities on counter-attacks that are not miss-able at our level, with the final ball. But we should have lost the game in the early part of the second half by more than one goal and we were destabilised by the goal they scored. Overall it is mixed feelings as in the first half with a bit more quality with our final pass we win this game.’

Arsenal did engage for the first fifteen minutes of the game. And had Jack Wilshere’s fine ball for Aubameyang not been flagged offside on 12 minutes – it was the most-marginal call – they might have played a fuller role in the game. 

Wilshere evades the challenge of Dembele and drives forward with the ball but neither side found the net in the first half

Wilshere evades the challenge of Dembele and drives forward with the ball but neither side found the net in the first half

Wilshere evades the challenge of Dembele and drives forward with the ball but neither side found the net in the first half

Alli, who has been in the headlines for the wrong reasons in recent days, challenges Hector Bellerin for the ball at Wembley

Alli, who has been in the headlines for the wrong reasons in recent days, challenges Hector Bellerin for the ball at Wembley

Alli, who has been in the headlines for the wrong reasons in recent days, challenges Hector Bellerin for the ball at Wembley

Eriksen makes his way down the touchline with the ball at his feet while Monreal tries to battle him for possession at Wembley

Eriksen makes his way down the touchline with the ball at his feet while Monreal tries to battle him for possession at Wembley

Eriksen makes his way down the touchline with the ball at his feet while Monreal tries to battle him for possession at Wembley

The Denmark playmaker almost doubled Spurs' lead in the second half but his free-kick was well saved by a diving Cech

The Denmark playmaker almost doubled Spurs' lead in the second half but his free-kick was well saved by a diving Cech

The Denmark playmaker almost doubled Spurs’ lead in the second half but his free-kick was well saved by a diving Cech

Alli clashes with Arsenal duo Granit Xhaka and Mustafi during the second half of the derby encounter on Saturday lunchtime

Alli clashes with Arsenal duo Granit Xhaka and Mustafi during the second half of the derby encounter on Saturday lunchtime

Alli clashes with Arsenal duo Granit Xhaka and Mustafi during the second half of the derby encounter on Saturday lunchtime

But for all Wenger’s talk, the outstanding chance of the half was Kane’s heading over from six yards when Eriksen had crossed on to his head. What Arsenal did well was to frustrate and control Spurs, the very qualities they have been said to lack in recent years.

Yet this Tottenham side are rarely contained. Their breakthrough moment came on 49 minutes thanks to a delightful cross from Davies. Delivered just perfectly into the box, it allowed Kane to evade both Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi to head home decisively.

Buoyed by the goal, Tottenham found their stride and were magnificent in all but their finishing. On 52 minutes Kane glanced a header wide; on 56 minutes he had a thunderous volley pushed away by Cech; on 57 minutes Cech was again called into action to tip away that Eriksen free kick.

Wenger’s response was to abandon caution, with Aubameyang going wide left, Lacazette coming on as centre forward, Alex Iwobi playing wide right and Mesut Ozil reverting to the No.10 role. Yet initially all they could muster was a curling shot from Wilshere on 68 minutes which produced a fine save from Hugo Lloris.

Tottenham remained relentless. Alli poked a good chance wide on 72 minutes, Cech pulled off a fine save from Lamela on 73 minutes and Eriksen dropped the ball into the path of Kieran Trippier on 76 minutes, yet he drove straight at Cech.

Arsenal were just hanging on in that period. That they recovered somewhat to threaten at the end is to their credit. But it did nothing to suggest that the north London pecking order is changed for now. And that they may have to get used to being second best.

Alli was one of a number of Tottenham players who missed good second-half chances to seal the three points with a second

Alli was one of a number of Tottenham players who missed good second-half chances to seal the three points with a second

Alli was one of a number of Tottenham players who missed good second-half chances to seal the three points with a second

Cech came to Arsenal's rescue again when Kane hit a beautifully-struck volley at goal as Spurs looked to turn the screw

Cech came to Arsenal's rescue again when Kane hit a beautifully-struck volley at goal as Spurs looked to turn the screw

Cech came to Arsenal’s rescue again when Kane hit a beautifully-struck volley at goal as Spurs looked to turn the screw

The 24-year-old forward rues another missed opportunity as the home side failed to double their advantage at Wembley

The 24-year-old forward rues another missed opportunity as the home side failed to double their advantage at Wembley

The 24-year-old forward rues another missed opportunity as the home side failed to double their advantage at Wembley

The two managers, Mauricio Pochettino and Arsene Wenger, shake hands after the final whistle in the north London derby

The two managers, Mauricio Pochettino and Arsene Wenger, shake hands after the final whistle in the north London derby

The two managers, Mauricio Pochettino and Arsene Wenger, shake hands after the final whistle in the north London derby

 


–Credit: Sport | Mail Online