Death by four cuts.
Holding was in. White on the bench. Therein lay a problem. Reserve defenders – not high enough quality.
An Arsenal team missing over £100m of talent. And both immaturity and naivety raised their heads in a cauldron.
Arsenal only needed a draw – but got sucked into the atmosphere – particularly Holding, who, no doubt was straining every sinew more with White on the bench.
Romero was out for Spurs.
It was four months on from the original fixture. And Son would have been missing from that game, a figure which determined the outcome of this. Spurs haven’t lost to Arsenal in 7 home games.
With Arsenal four points ahead – practically the more important games were Newcastle and Everton. And it will be all too easy to get wrapped up in the doom and gloom of a North London derby.
The noise levels were high. But Arsenal had a bright start – resulting in an Odegaard shot in the 3rd minute.
Kulusevski put himself about a bit falling on Gabriel and muscling out Tomiyasu. He looks a player.
Holding got warned by ref Tierney for holding Son – obviously targeted as a danger man.
Cedric bumped Son in the air from a deep and looping Kulseveski cross and Tierney deemed it a penalty. Kane scored to Ramsdale’s left.
Arteta’s game plan, of Elneny playing right in front of the back four and shielding Kane, went out of the window.
The Portuguese seemed rattled and soon after gave the ball away leading to a dangerous Spurs attack.
Odegaard had a chance to equalise with a bobbling ball, but it bounced back to Lloris.
Holding elbowed Son in the face in a race for the ball and was sent off.
Arteta strangely didn’t replace him with White. The defence which has only let in two from corners this season, seemed disorientated, and Bentancur rose the head to the far post, with Ken getting ahead of Nketiah to dive and score.
Saka dribbled through the Spurs defence and found Nketiah whose shot was tipped over by Lloris.
Martinelli found Odegaard in the middle but he scuffed his shot.
At the start of the second half Kane pinned Gabriel in the Arsenal area and in clearing, the Brazilian it accidentally to Son. Elneny was a bit late to him and the ball deflected into the net.
Sessegnon found Son in the area and the bobble saved Arsenal another goal. The Arsenal defence was cut apart in the move, much like the Liverpool game.
Tavares came on for Gabriel who ominously had a muscle injury with Xhaka moving to left back. And the Portuguese, at least fashioned a chance for Odegaard – saved well by Lloris.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said: “If I say what I think I am suspended for six months. I don’t know how to lie so I prefer not to say what I think,
“I cannot say what I think.
“I am not unhappy with my players. I am proud of my players. I want the referees to come in front of the camera and explain his decisions. It’s a shame because such a beautiful game was destroyed today.
“The decision was made. We can’t change it. The referee has to make a decision in football.
“To take that risk [of bringing on Ben White] in the situation of the game made no sense. Our focus is Newcastle. This game is history. He felt something so hopefully Ben will be fit and Gabriel will recover as we do not have enough players in the backline.
“This game is history. Now it’s Newcastle. This is gone. It went out of our hands and we have to accept it. Now we need to be the team that you saw from the beginning. You lose a football match in the conditions we lost them. It’s painful. But we have a huge match on Monday so we will try to beat them.
“We have two games to play each. It’s in our hands and now we have to do our jobs. We showed from the beginning in this game.”
Premier League: Tottenham 3 Arsenal 0
Tottenham: 1Lloris, 6D Sánchez, 15Dier, 33Davies (Booked at 17mins, Substituted forRodon at 82’minutes),12Emerson Royal, 30Bentancur, 5Højbjerg, 19R Sessegnon, 21Kulusevski (Substituted fo rLucas Moura at 72’minutes),7Son Heung-Min (Substituted for Bergwijn at 72’minutes),10Kane, 32Ramsdale, 17Cédric Soares
Arsenal: 16Holding (Booked at 33mins),6GabrielSubstituted for Tavares at 76’minutes),18Tomiyasu, 25Elneny, 34Xhaka (Booked at 90mins), 7Saka, 8Ødegaard (Booked at 88mins), 35Martinelli (Substituted for Smith Rowe at 64’minutes, Booked at 86mins), 30Nketiah (Substituted for Lacazette at 73’minutes)