Tottenham endured their ninth Premier League defeat of the season as they went down 2-1 at Arsenal on Sunday, matching Jose Mourinho’s worst record in a single season.
Erik Lamela scored one of the all-time great Premier League goals in Sunday’s North London derby with an outstanding rabona finish, before ruining his afternoon with a red card.
Lucas Moura set the ball back to Lamela inside the Arsenal box and the Argentine hit a rabona through the legs of Thomas Partey and into the bottom right corner of the Gunners’ goal, out of reach from Bernd Leno.
Despite taking the lead through Erik Lamela in the first half of the north London derby, Spurs were beaten by their rivals as Martin Odegaard hit just before half-time and Alexandre Lacazette converted a penalty.
Odegaard gave Arsenal the equality they deserved. It was a fine cross from Tierney on the left, met by Odegaard and taking a deflection off Toby Alderweireld to leave Lloris struggling.
The visitors’ afternoon became more difficult in the final 15 minutes when Lamela, who came on to replace the injured Son Heung-min in the first half, was sent off with a second yellow card.
As for Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, he merits plaudits for a bold decision that could have backfired horribly.
Arteta demoted his captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to the substitutes’ bench for a violation of club discipline.
Aubameyang took one of his holographic chrome-wrapped Ferraris to the ground – believe it or not, he has many – but too late for the arranged meeting time.
It is not the first occasion he has been tardy, apparently, and Arteta has had enough.
He removed Aubameyang from the starting XI, giving the armband and his place to Lacazette. It was a bold move and by scoring from the penalty spot, Lacazette delivered.
So kudos to Arteta. He has a strong sense of responsibility, action and discipline and no fear of applying it. Unfortunately, it is often his most talented players that need the firmest hand.
Lacazatte chased a ball into the box, swivelled a boot and missed his kick completely. Unfortunately, Davinson Sanchez, the Tottenham defender, could not stop his challenge and clinked into him.
Michael Oliver gave the penalty, despite the fact the danger had passed before contact was made.
Sanchez was clumsy, but it still seemed harsh. Many thought it would be overturned by Paul Tierney, the VAR. Many were wrong.
Tottenham may be irritated by his dismissal of Lamela, too.
Certainly, they disputed his initial booking for a foul on Thomas Partey. Given the occurrences, though, his forearm on Kieran Tierney five minutes later was just foolish.
He gave Oliver no choice which is possibly why a player with the talent to score rabona goals starts on the bench.
Tottenham nearly snatched a late point, though, even down to ten men.
Harry Kane hit a post with a free-kick, then blasted another over as Arsenal held on. Yet there can be no complaints.