Two first half goals from Harry Kane alongside an early second half strike curtesy of Son Heung Min saw Arsenal suffer their 12th defeat of the Premier League season with just two games remaining.
Reason to be optimistic
Despite the prospect of being able to secure Champions Legaue football with three points at Thursday night’s game, Mikel Arteta’s side were comfortably dealt with at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, losing 3-0 to their north London rivals.
It all seemed to go wrong for the Gunners early on in the tie, as Antonio Conte’s team were awarded a penalty in the 22nd minute before Arsenal defender Rob Holding was dismissed, shown a second yellow card just 11 minutes later following a nasty shoulder barge on the head of Son.
In spite of such a poor start with Harry Kane doubling the lead four minutes after Holding’s dismissal and Son sealing the three points early on in the second half, Arteta’s side still hold the cards if they win their remaining games, safe in the knowledge that they will have qualified for next seasons’ UEFA Champions League.
Ramsdale not defeated yet
Arsenal keeper Aaron Ramsdale echoed this in his post match press conference, speaking to Arsenal.com, the 23 year old cast out confidence in his teammates and his manager.
“We know our fate, we know what we have got to do and go to Newcastle now, full of confidence and get three points and then go into the next game and get three points.”
“Like I said, I’ve been in different situations than fighting for fourth, I’ve been down the bottom of the table, chasing, it’s not the nicest, you’re always looking at people dropping points but when it’s in your hands, you know what you’ve got to do.”
"We go to Newcastle on Monday night and the fans will follow us as they will, as they have done all season which is amazing, and like I said, go for three points, we’re going all out.”
The Gunners face a tough trip away to St James Park before welcoming relegation threatened Everton to Emirates Stadium on the final game of the season, a tie which could be somewhat of a celebration, or worthless, if they can’t bring three points back from their travels to Newcastle on Monday night.
Mikel Arteta looking ahead
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was also keen to move on and focus on the games at hand. Speaking once again to Arsenal.com, the Spaniard said he couldn’t wait to be back on the touchline on Monday night.
“I want to be on the touchline on Monday night. No [I can't talk] because I will be suspended. You can ask the referee if he wants to come and give an assessment of the match. I can do it but I have two options, I can lie to you, which I don't do, or if not I will be suspended and I really want to be on the touchline against Newcastle.”
“This game is now history. We have to play on Monday, and we have to start to win the game now. We can't wait now to play on Monday. This is how I feel.”
Mikel Arteta reflects on a frustrating night in north London 👇#TOTARS— Arsenal (@Arsenal) May 12, 2022
The Run in
These final two games are tough but most definitely winnable for Arteta’s side. Benjamin White will most likely come back into the side for both games, following a period on the sidelines. The England international made the bench on Thursday night’s game but was an unused substitute.
Thomas Partey could potentially feature in the closing two games also, after souces close to the player claimed that he was ahead of schedule in his return to full training.
The Ghanaian sustained a thigh injury against Crystal Palace earlier in the season, and was recently pictured running on a treadmill ahead of his return to the side on his Instagram story.
When fit, Arsenal’s number five is comfortably their best central midfield player, and could make a big impact if involved against Eddie Howe’s Newcastle or Frank Lampard’s Everton.
Arsenal’s trip to both Newcastle and the final game of the season at Everton will be extensively covered by VAVEL UK, bringing you all of the latest news and updates surround Arsenal football club.