Laying down yet another title marker and claiming north London bragging rights on Sunday afternoon, Arsenal picked up an eye-catching 2-0 victory away at bitter local rival Tottenham.
Watching Manchester City suffer a public late collapse at Old Trafford 24 hours prior to kick-off, Mikel Arteta’s high-flying squad knew that they had once again been handed a golden opportunity.
Putting on what was a real first-half clinic and helped by yet another Hugo Lloris howler as the French skipper remarkably parried the ball into his own net, it was Martin Odegaard’s thunderous strike that helped Arsenal clinch all three points.
Along with once again widening their buffer over Manchester City, the Gunners also handed Tottenham’s top-four dreams a major blow in what could turn out to be a crucial showdown in Antonio Conte’s tenure.
In what was another fiery north London battle, we have taken a look at the main talking points following Sunday’s showdown.
Arsenal’s title to lose
After eventually missing out on a Champions League return last season, few across Europe would have expected what has become a potentially history-making campaign for Arsenal.
Although some might have been pondering if Arteta’s side could keep up their pre-World Cup momentum after returning from the festive interval, the Gunners have only continued on their astonishing run of form in north London.
While Sunday’s guests might have been disappointed after opening 2023 with a 0-0 stalemate at home against Newcastle on January 3rd, Arsenal aren’t showing any signs of taking their foot off the gas.
With Manchester City showing some extended inconsistencies on either side of the World Cup break, it is hard to argue that Arteta’s high-flying squad are now firmly sat in pole position to clinch their first Premier League crown since 2004.
Still suffering just a single top-flight defeat this season and gaining a string of plaudits from across the continent, Arteta’s side will know that they now face a phycological test during the second-half of the campaign.
Odegaard leads Arteta’s young Gunners
While summer arrivals Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko might have made an immediate impact since arriving in north London, Odegaard’s display on Sunday afternoon only underlines why he is Arsenal’s real talisman this season.
Although many might have been shocked by Arteta’s decision to appoint the one-time Real Madrid starlet as Arsenal’s club captain last year, Odegaard appears to be relishing his senior role.
With some feeling that the 24-year-old is among the leading contenders to be crowned this season’s PFA Player of the Year, the Norwegian international is certainly an instrumental part of Arteta’s plans.
Doubling Arsenal’s first-half lead after producing a thunderous driven strike, Odegaard was once again at the heart of everything positive that Arsenal produced here.
Now bagging two Premier League strikes in his last three top-flight appearances and with his stock at a red-hot high, the Gunners’ attacking gem is firing on all cylinders.
Tottenham’s issues on home soil continue
While Tottenham might have managed to claim a much-needed 4-0 romp away at Crystal Palace on January 4th, it looks like that might have just been a minor boost for Conte’s side.
With continued reports that the one-time Chelsea boss could find some growing pressure on his shoulders, Sunday’s 2-0 defeat means that Spurs have won just three of their last nine Premier League showdowns.
Along with having to answer extended questions over Lloris’ nightmare run of form, Conte will undeniably have a growing headache over his side’s rather glaring struggles on home soil.
Putting in a dreadful first-half display against their bitter north London rivals here, Tottenham now face an uphill struggle if they’re to secure back-to-back top-four finish this season.
In fact, along with opening 2023 with a shock 2-0 loss against Aston Villa, Spurs have now remarkably lost four of their previous five top-flight showdowns in front of their own supporters – a run that stems back to October 15th.
Tottenham: Lloris, Romero, Dier, Lenglet, Doherty, Sarr, Hojberg, Sessegnon, Kulusevski, Son, Kane
Subs: Gil, Richarlison, Davies, Bissouma, Perisic
Arsenal: Ramsdale, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Xhaka, Partey, Odegaard, Saka, Nketiah, Martinelli
Subs: Tierney, Smith Rowe, Vieira, Tomiyasu
Goals: Lloris OG (14′), Odegaard (36′)
Yellow Cards: Tottenham: Romero, Lenglet, Sarr, Sessegnon – Arsenal: Martinelli, Gabriel
Red Cards: N/A
Referee: Craig Pawson