Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Tottenham anesthetizes Arsenal and tightens the fight for Champions

LONDON ( Associated Press) — Tottenham revived its bid to displace Arsenal and clinch the final spot in the upcoming Champions League by overwhelming its classic north London rival with a 3-0 Premier League thrashing on Thursday.

Harry Kane scored a brace — with a penalty goal — and Son Heung-min added the other goal to leave Tottenham a point behind Arsenal, who played with 10 men from the 33rd minute due to the dismissal of central defender Rob Holding and with the score 1-0.

Both teams have a couple of games to play. And Tottenham’s calendar, fifth in the table, appears to be a little easier than Arsenal’s. While Spurs will face two bottom teams, Burnley and newly relegated Norwich, Arsenal will have to visit Newcastle and close at home against Everton.

“These types of matches are not easy. It’s never easy to be forced to win,” said Tottenham manager Antonio Conte. “Tonight we knew there could only be one result. We had focus, calm and the ability to handle pressure in a positive way.”

Arsenal dug their own grave on their visit to Tottenham’s home ground after defender Cedric Soares fouled Son for a penalty that Kane changed for a goal in the 22nd minute.

Holding, who was carrying a caution for holding Son, elbowed in to stop the South Korean attacker after a pass from Eric Dier.

Son fell to the ground after being hit by Holding, who received his second yellow card.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta declined to comment on the penalty or red card. However, his disgust was evident.

“If I say what I think, I get suspended for six months,” said the Spaniard.

Four minutes later, Son converted a corner kick from the right, Uruguayan Rodrigo Bentancur combed the ball towards goal and Kane appeared at the far post to head it deep.

Son scored the third goal in the 47th minute to move one behind Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah in the hunt for top scorer in the league. Son has scored 10 goals in his last eight Premier League games and has scored 21 in his best season with Spurs.

Arsenal’s fateful night also left defender Gabriel injured, apparently due to a muscle problem in his right leg.

Manchester City and Liverpool secured the first two tickets for the next Champions League in advance, and the third is almost sealed for Chelsea, since they are four points ahead of Arsenal and need a win in their last two games, against Liverpool and the relegated Watford.

Thus, Arsenal and Tottenham fight for the last place and everything indicates that it will be defined in the final day.

Nation World News Desk
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