Tottenham vs Arsenal score: what result means for Champions League, EPL title

Tottenham canceled Arsenal this morning as the race for fourth place in the standings and a Champions League spot gets even hotter.

Harry Kane scored two goals as Tottenham beat Arsenal 3-0 in 10 men on Friday (AEST) with a North London derby masterclass that kept their hopes of finishing in the Premier League top four alive.

Antonio Conte’s team would have been knocked out of the race to qualify for next season’s Champions League if they lost to bitter rivals.

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But Kane tormented Arsenal once again when the Tottenham striker opened the scoring with a controversial penalty.

Basically, Arsenal’s Rob Holding was sent off for two yellow cards in seven minutes. Kane scored before half-time and Son Heung-min scored Tottenham’s third goal in the second half.

Instead of sealing a Champions League return for the first time since the 2016-17 season, fourth-placed Arsenal now face a nerve-wracking conclusion to the top-four battle.

Arsenal still have a scant lead, but at the end of their four-game winning streak it leaves them just one point ahead of fifth-placed Tottenham, with both teams having two games left.

Conte said several weeks ago that it would be a “miracle” if Tottenham reached the Champions League given their low-level position when he replaced the sacked Nuno Espirito Santo in November.

But their victory in the biggest North London derby since Arsenal won the championship at White Hart Lane in 2004 ensured that the miracle could still come true.

Conte believes finishing in the top four is “like winning a title in another country, a great achievement” given the depth of talent and wealth at the top of the Premier League.

To decide who wins the lucrative prize, Tottenham host struggling Burnley on Sunday, then travel to relegated Norwich, while Mikel Arteta’s men visit Newcastle on Monday and entertain Everton.

Arteta’s wild expression during Arsenal’s capitulation has suggested that he is far from certain that he will be able to lift his players to finish the job.

Chelsea in third place, five points above Tottenham, will likely need a draw in their last two games to be sure of their place in the top four given the far greater goal difference.

In addition to the huge European stakes for both teams, Tottenham also felt persistent resentment over Arsenal’s successful appeal to postpone this match to January due to Covid problems and injuries.

Acrimony soon boiled in the deafening atmosphere of Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with tackles flying in and Conte cautioned for protesting vigorously after Ben Davies fouled Bukayo Saka.

In the midst of the whirlwind, it was Tottenham who landed the first blow after 22 minutes. Cedric Soares collided with Son as they contested Dejan Kulusevski’s cross in the small area and the contact was enough to convince Paul Tierney to award a penalty.

Arsenal surrounded Tierney to complain in anger, but Kane came forward to send Aaron Ramsdale in the wrong direction with a nerve-wracking penalty kick.

The sound barrier on the four sides of the stadium underscored the importance of Tottenham’s taking the lead.

Arsenal were shocked and the game shifted decisively in Tottenham’s favor in the 33rd minute.

Eric Dier’s long pass targeted Son and Holding brutally blocked his way with his shoulder, an unnecessary offense that prompted Tierney to send the defender off for his second yellow card.

Smelling blood, Tottenham doubled their lead four minutes after Holding’s premature exit.

Rodrigo Bentancur kicks for a corner and Kane bends to go home practically from the line while Conte celebrates with a jig of joy.

Kane, the top scorer in North London derby history in all competitions, now has 13 goals in 17 games with Arsenal, which he must regret the day they rejected him at eight.

The night went even better for Conte in the 47th minute when Kane threw Gabriel and the ball broke for Son who scored a clever goal in the corner.

Ramsdale made excellent saves from Emerson Royal and Kane to keep Arsenal from being completely humiliated, but the damage had already been done.

Originally published as Tottenham annihilate Arsenal to organize an exciting Champions League match