At long last, Arsene Wenger has finally got one over on Mauricio Pochettino in a North London Derby.
Two goals towards the end of the first half from Shkodran Mustafi and Alexis Sanchez was enough to give Arsenal a precious 2-0 win over their bitter rivals from down the lane.
It was the manner of Arsenal’s victory which will most please both Wenger and the Emirates faithful. The Gunners matched Tottenham Hotspur in every single department, and were thoroughly deserving of their 2-0 win. Here’s the player ratings from a brilliant afternoon for the red half of North London.
Petr Cech – 7 – Was protected superbly by his backline. Made some important saves, but not match defining. One top save towards the end to deny Eric Dier heading Spurs back in to the game.
Laurent Koscielny – 8 – Fantastic performance from the stand-in skipper. Led from start to finish, as he kept the much talked about Harry Kane quiet all afternoon. So pivotal that he remains fit from here till the end of the season.
Shkodran Mustafi – 9 – Almost nearly a 10 from the German defender. Absolutely colossal in that back three. Shades of an offside for his goal, but took his header fantastically at a vital time for the Gunners. Marked his return from injury in the most impressive of ways.
Nacho Monreal – 8 – Another brilliant performer in that back three for Arsenal today. Complimented both Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny magnificently, as the three worked as a unit. Stunning from Arsenal’s backline.
Hector Bellerin – 7 – Worked effortlessly for the cause today, being a constant threat going forwards, and getting his defensive duties spot on at the same time. Needs to keep his performances consistent from here on now does the Spaniard.
Sead Kolasinac – 7 – A solid first North London Derby from the big Bosnian. Showed commitment and desire throughout, everything what Arsenal fans want from their players in this game. Turning in to a stellar first season in English football for the summer signing from Schalke.
Granit Xhaka – 8 – The Swiss International chipped in with easily his best game of the campaign so far. Marshalled that midfield absolutely brilliantly. Booked early on in the first-half, but stayed composed and professional from that point onwards.
Aaron Ramsey – 7 – Energetic as always. The Welshman was at the heart of Arsenal’s pressing strategy, which came off to some effect. Was always making runs from deep, causing problems for a shaky Tottenham defence.
Mesut Ozil – 9 – Another near 10 performer for the Gunners, as the German was sublime. The Mesut Ozil that Arsenal paid Real Madrid all that money for those four years ago. His choice of pass was perfect all afternoon, with his work rate second to none also. Beautiful delivery for Mustafi’s opener.
Alexis Sanchez – 9 – Arsenal’s talked about big two turned up in some style at the Emirates. Sanchez was well and truly back to his very best, as he tormented the Spurs defence all afternoon. Took his goal in typical Sanchez fashion, when it looked like he took it too wide.
Alexandre Lacazette – 7 – The Frenchman was in the thick of everything good from that faultless first half from the Gunners. His link-up play with Sanchez and Ozil was what every Arsenal fan had been dreaming about all season. Lovely pass for Sanchez’s goal.
Francis Coquelin – 7 – Came on for Alexandre Lacazette with just short of twenty minutes remaining. The Frenchman settled in nicely alongside Xhaka and Ramsey, helping the Gunners see the game out.
Alex Iwobi – n/a – Introduced heading in to the last ten minutes of the game, as he replaced Ozil. Showed a few glimpses, but it was nothing more than a cameo for the Nigerian.