Arsenal: Kai Havertz overcame illness before ‘sensational’ Tottenham display, reveals Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta has revealed Kai Havertz battled through illness to be Arsenal’s hero in the north London derby.

Havertz scored one goal and set up another as the Gunners won at Tottenham to stay top of the Premier League.

The German was named man of the match to cap off a fine week for him, having also scored twice in the 5-0 win against his former club Chelsea on Tuesday.

Arteta praised Havertz for the way he led the line against Spurs and explained how he overcame illness to play.

“He was sensational in every department today,” Arteta said. “He wasn’t at 100 per cent.

“He was ill before the match, he was a bit struggling and still he put the performance that he put in. I thought he was unbelievable today.”

Havertz’s goal put Arsenal 3-0 up before half-time and they were cruising to victory midway through the second-half.

But an error from David Raya allowed Spurs back into the game and the hosts fought back to lose 3-2.

Raya was at fault as a sloppy pass of his was intercepted, allowing Cristian Romero to score, but Arteta praised the way his goalkeeper bounced back.

“It’s part of football,” he said. “I don’t like the sequence of play, I don’t like the principles that we apply in that moment and the orientation of the ball.

“After that it can happen. You misjudge the situation, you try to make the pass and you don’t and then you are in the doubt zone and they scored and took advantage of that.

“Then with the penalty it’s another principle which you cannot do. It’s part of football.

“What I love is that David does that, he picks his hands up, which are quite heavy, and he was sensational for the last 20 or 25 minutes of the game. This is what I love about our players.”

After Raya’s error allowed Romero to score, Arsenal had to endure a nervy finish as Declan Rice gave away a penalty for a rash kick on Ben Davies.

Heung-min Son scored from the spot and Arteta has admitted he was “praying” watching the dying moments of the game.

“It was a really emotional game,” he said. “A very tough place to come, an incredible atmosphere and a great team to play against.

“3-0 up you’re in control of the game, you come in the second half and we’re dominating the game and creating chances, then an individual error happens that clicks something. It puts a wrong message in your brain.

“Then we started to deal with the situation better, but they got another one and then it’s game on. Then they have the players and the courage to put a lot of players forward. We had to dig in and suffer and react. I’m very pleased with the way the team has done it.

“We are right on it. The motivation for what is ahead is beautiful. We are all expecting that they’re going to have a real go.”