Lloris howler puts Arsenal on course for derby delight at Spurs
Arsenal powered to their first Premier League win at Tottenham in nine years as the leaders took advantage of Hugo Lloris’ blunder to seal a 2-0 victory in Sunday’s north London derby.
Mikel Arteta’s side were gifted the lead by Tottenham goalkeeper Lloris, who pushed Bukayo Saka’s cross into his own net early in the first half.
Martin Odegaard added Arsenal’s second goal with a superb long-range strike before the interval.
Arsenal’s first league double over their bitter rivals since 2013-14 moved them eight points clear of second placed Manchester City after the champions’ defeat at Manchester United on Saturday.
As Arsenal’s unexpected title charge gathers pace, their trip up the Seven Sisters Road to fifth placed Tottenham was a significant test of their mettle.
They passed with flying colours at a venue which had been a house of horrors for the Gunners, who had lost all three games at Tottenham’s plush new stadium since it opened in 2019.
Last season’s 3-0 collapse was especially painful, with Tottenham going on to snatch a top four finish at their neighbours’ expense.
But Arsenal no longer have to worry about scrapping for a top four berth after taking the Premier League by storm this season.
Even losing out to Chelsea in the race to sign Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhailo Mudryk on Sunday could be dismissed as a minor inconvenience thanks to this statement success.
Unbeaten in their last 12 league games, the Gunners are in pole position to win the title for the first time since Arsene Wenger’s Invincibles reigned supreme in 2004.
With spluttering City looking more vulnerable than usual and Liverpool struggling to shake off a season-long funk, Arsenal have seized the initiative in the title race with a remarkable 15 wins from their 18 games.
Next weekend’s visit from Manchester United — the only team to beat the Gunners in the league this season — stands as another crucial test for Arsenal, who still have to face City twice in the league and in the FA Cup.
Foreshadowing his imminent meltdown, Lloris gifted Arsenal an early chance when his miscued clearance forced to save from Eddie Nketiah.
It was only a temporary reprieve as Arsenal took the lead thanks to Lloris’ 14th minute nightmare.
When Saka cut in from the right flank and guided a cross into the six-yard box, it should have been easy for Lloris to handle.
But Lloris committed the latest in a growing list of costly errors with a woefully weak attempted save that let the ball squirm into the net at the near post.
Saka could barely believe his luck as he celebrated with his team-mates while Lloris grimaced in embarrassment.
Aaron Ramsdale showed Lloris how it should be done as the Arsenal keeper raced off his line to save Son Heung-min’s shot moments later.
Lloris had to sprawl to his left to turn away Odegaard’s long-range drive as Arsenal turned up the heat again.
Arsenal controlled possession with imperious ease and Thomas Partey was inches away when his dipping long-range volley crashed off the post.
Saka was proving impossible to contain as he caused chaos in the space between Tottenham’s central defence and exposed wing-back Ryan Sessegnon.
Inevitably, it was Saka who provided the assist when Odegaard increased Arsenal’s lead in the 36th minute.
Rampaging forward unchecked, Saka picked out the unmarked Odegaard and the Arsenal captain drilled a fine finish past Lloris from 25 yards.
Even Harry Kane, forever Arsenal’s nemesis, couldn’t find a way to halt the Gunners’ surge.
Kane’s header was scrambled away by Ramsdale, who denied the striker again and saved well from Sessegnon in the second half.
Tottenham fans were streaming to the exits well before Arsenal celebrated their long-awaited success on enemy turf.
Tempers boiled over at the final whistle as Ramsdale clashed with Richarlison and angry Tottenham fans had to be restrained from joining the row.