There was a lot of noise about Arsenal solidifying a top-four finish before the game, but in the end, Tottenham Hotspur was too much for the Gunners in a 3-0 thrashing by Spurs.
A win from Arsenal would have essentially ended the Tottenham Hotspur season. Instead, Spurs came out ready to play. Tottenham jumped out to an early two-goal lead and never looked back, capitalizing on some over-aggression and poor defending from Arsenal. A Rob Holding red card – on a second yellow – left the 10-man Gunners without any answers.
The game was open early for Tottenham and Arsenal
Although both teams took turns dominating possession, the game started end-to-end. Arsenal had some early control but could not get a clear look at Hugo Lloris’s goal. Spurs were showing renewed success out wide, with some early crosses into the box, but they could not find the end product.
Ultimately, a cross put the day’s affairs into motion. Dejan Kulusevski was freed up on the right and put in a beautiful cross toward the back post. Heung-min Son and Ryan Sessegnon were looking to attack the ball at the back post. As Son looked to be going up to meet the header, Cedric Soares turned away from the ball and jumped back first into the South Korean.
Arsenal complained, but the replay made clear, that it was a poor defensive effort that would have been flagged anywhere on the pitch, let alone at the back post. As Harry Kane stepped up and cooly made it 1-0 in favour of Spurs, the momentum had swung, and the nightmare for Arsenal was beginning.
Things went from bad to worse for Arsenal as Holding lost the plot
Already on a yellow card for a third early foul and pullback on Son, a simple ball let any chance Arsenal had to win the game go sailing by, as Holding picked up his second yellow. It was a long straight ball up the pitch by Eric Dier as Son started darting diagonally across Holding.
Instead of running to get goalside of Son, the Holding’s first step was toward Son as he led with shoulder and elbow. As Son went down, Kane turned toward the referee, who was reaching straight for his pocket. It was an immediate second yellow, and like that, Arsenal was down to 10-men.
Although the match was only 1-0 to Spurs at this point and just 33 minutes in when Holding got his marching order, the game was over. Four minutes later, Kane was on his knees at the back post heading in the second goal, ensuring the game was over.
A Son goal of his own quickly quelled any hope of a second-half comeback – his 21st leaving him one behind Mo Salah for the Golden Boot – and Spurs had the game and all three points in hand.
With both teams having two matches left to play, Tottenham still needs Arsenal to slip up to take fourth place. As a Spurs fan, we can hope the whipping they just took left Arsenal with some questions, and that slip-up occurs. While who the better team is at the end of the reason still needs to be answered, there was no doubt who the better team was on Thursday night.