Kane and Son reignite Champions League race as Spurs run riot against Arsenal - player ratings
Harry Kane and Son Heung-min moved Tottenham to within a point of Arsenal in the race for fourth place, both scoring in a 3-0 victory as a disastrous first half ended the Gunners’ chances of sealing the place on enemy territory.
A red card for Rob Holding, a penalty conceded by Cedric Soares and a stooping header by Harry Kane for his second of thegame gave Spurs an imperious half-time advantage that they then added to just two minutes after the break.
It now means Arsenal can ill-afford to drop points in their final two games against Newcastle and Everton and will have to do so with something of a defensive crisis: Holding will now have a suspension to serve while Ben White was deemed not fit enough to come on as a first-half substitute and Gabriel came off injured with 14 minutes to go.
Despite having wrested plenty of momentum back from their north London rivals, Spurs still do not hold their fate in their own hands. Antonio Conte’s side can merely beat Burnley and Norwich and hope the Gunners slip up.Player ratings
- Royal 7
- Sanchez 7
- Dier 7
- Davies 8
- Sessegnon 7
- Bentancur 8
- Hojbjerg 8
- Kulusevski 7
- Son 9
- Kane 9
- Bergwijn 6
- Rodon 6
- Moura 7
- Ramsdale 7
- Tomiyasu 6
- Holding 2
- Gabriel 5
- Cedric 5
- Xhaka 6
- Elneny 6
- Saka 6
- Odegaard 6
- Martinelli 7
- Smith-Rowe 6
- Lacazette 6
- Tavares 6
AnalysisKane: Pressure is on Arsenal now
By i‘s chief football writer Daniel Storey at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
They have probably forgiven Harry Kane now, on reflection. One of their own temporarily appeared to be about to become one of them last summer, a clear indication that Kane wished to leave, presumably to join Manchester City. Maybe he’d have become their hero too. Maybe he would have revelled in the trophies. Maybe he would have entered another level of footballing superstardom. But surely it would never quite have felt like this.
“One of our own,” they sang again in the South stand after Kane’s second goal, the direct result of man who is just incredibly good at being in the right place at the right time for what his team needs. Link the play and drop deep? Fine boss. Drift out wide to create an overlap? Whatever you want. Score 180 Premier League goals of a ludicrously wide variety over eight seasons? Goes without saying.
It is not just him; Antonio Conte is forever keen to shift the focus away from the same individuals. Ben Davies was brilliant in central defence, Davinson Sanchez provoked groans when he passed the ball backwards in the first five minutes, but was secure and passed more progressively from that point onwards. Rodrigo Bentancur strikes as one of those players whose team-mates all say is a crucial cog and the rest of us tend to overlook too easily. They were all better than their opposite numbers.
Thursday was only partly about the Champions League for Tottenham. Of course that was the ultimate aim, to extend their chances of finishing above Arsenal for the sixth season in a row and in doing so punish their north London neighbours. It was that that made this the most exciting derby in years.
Arsenal could have sealed their return to the Champions League after five years away from Europe’s top table with a win at Spurs but instead must at least match their rivals’ results in the last two games of the season.
“Obviously, we got the bragging rights, but there’s still two games to go and the most important thing is the Champions League,” said Kane, who has scored more goals against the Gunners than anyone else in Premier League history.
“We’ve put the pressure on them but we need to focus on ourselves. We play early Sunday, so if we can get a result there, then we can wait and see what happens.”
He added: “I’m proud of the boys. It was a big night today.
“There was pressure on us in front of our home fans but we delivered well.
“We started the game on the front foot, created the chances and then second half controlled it really well.”Arteta refuses to ‘lie’ about referee
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta refused to blame his players for the defeat (“I am so proud of my players”), but also would not comment on the refereeing decisions that defined the game.
“If I say what I think, I am suspended six months so I cannot say,” Arteta said.
“I am allowed to give my interpretation of what happened in the game but I don’t know how to lie. I don’t like lying so I prefer not to say what I think.
“I cannot say what I think. I will be suspended.”