Arsenal have all the hallmarks of champions after leaving Tottenham in spin

Martin Odegaard, Gabriel and Granit Xhaka celebrate Arsenal’s win after the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal FC  (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
Martin Odegaard, Gabriel and Granit Xhaka celebrate Arsenal’s win after the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal FC (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal fans have been reluctant to dream about winning the Premier League this season - but after this win at Tottenham they will find it hard not to.

After coming here last season and being humbled 3-0 to miss out on Champions League qualification, the Gunners put a performance befitting of title contenders.

In the end, they were 2-0 winners but this was no smash and grab. The first-half in particular was a statement of intent and evidence as to why Gunners fans should dare to dream.

Following Manchester City’s defeat to neighbours United on Saturday, the pressure was on Arsenal to take full advantage here and extend their lead at the top to eight points.

An own-goal from Hugo Lloris helped them on their way, but Martin Odegaard’s second was no more than they deserved - and the same goes for the three points.

Perhaps of even greater value than the three points, though, is the manner of this victory for Mikel Arteta’s side.

The pain of losing here last season, when Champions League football had been within their grasp, cannot be underestimate, but now it will be forgotten.

Instead, the Gunners should be aiming higher and dreaming big after coming to the home of their biggest rivals and playing them off the park for large parts of the game.

Winning at Spurs has been a mental block for Arsenal in the past and this victory was their first in the League here since 2014, when Arteta was still playing.

The Gunners have now also beaten Tottenham twice in a season for the first time since the 2007-08 campaign, when they came very close to a first title since 2004.

Whether Arsenal can end their wait this year remains to be seen, but they look like they will at least last the distance and compete all the way to the bitter end.

They certainly competed from the off here and started with intent, and they could have opened the scoring inside the first 10 minutes, with Lloris making a smart save to deny Eddie Nketiah.

Odegaard was the conductor and orchestrated the midfield (Getty Images)
Odegaard was the conductor and orchestrated the midfield (Getty Images)

That was nothing more than a warning sign, though, as the Gunners took the lead in the 14th minute. This time Lloris was at fault as he palmed Bukayo Saka’s cross into his own net.

It was a goal that sucked the life out of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, which had been rocking before kick-off, but breathed confidence into Arsenal. Suddenly, they had their tails up and for the rest of the opening first-half they were near enough pitch perfect.

Odegaard, as he has been since the World Cup, was the conductor and he orchestrated the midfield with such grace. Behind him Thomas Partey was exemplary and only the woodwork stopped him scoring a thunderbolt from outside the box.

The pressure was getting to Spurs, who couldn’t beat Arsenal’s press, and instead they had to resort to long balls forward - and it was from one of those that Arteta’s side double their lead.

William Saliba beat Harry Kane to a header and Thomas Partey fed Saka. The winger found Odegaard who had all the time in the world to pick his spot from outside the box.

For all their dominance, Arsenal had needed goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale to make two big saves in the first-half to deny Heung-min Son and Harry Kane.

That made you think Spurs would come out all guns blazing after the break, as they have done in recent weeks, and that is exactly what happened.

Ramsdale made two more big saves to deny Kane and then Ryan Sessegnon, while Dejan Kulusevski flashed two efforts past the post.

Arsenal did not have the dominance they had in the first-half, but they were still a threat and Lloris made himself big to stop Nketiah scoring.

At the other end Spurs went close too as Son blazed over from inside the box. It summed up a frustrating second-half for them as they knocked on the door, but found no way through.

Arsenal, meanwhile, march on.