Tottenham – Arsenal: Spurs win and relaunch the race for qualification in the Champions League

The slap of the first leg is erased, the race for the Champions League relaunched. Almost eight months after drinking the cup at the Emirates Stadium (3-1 after being led 3-0), Tottenham took revenge and knocked out Arsenal on Thursday night (3-0) in a decisive “North London Derby” in the race for the Champions League. Thanks to the double of Harry Kane and the achievement of Heung-min Son, the Spurs, fifth, indeed come back to a length of their opponent of the evening, fourth. Quickly reduced to ten, the Gunners did not exist. Two days from the end, everything is relaunched.

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Arsenal could, if successful this Thursday, officially return to the Champions League, six years after their last qualification in the prestigious C1. But in an overheated Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the opposite happened: the sworn enemy is closer than ever to stealing this coveted fourth ticket. After four wins in a row, some of which were prestigious against Chelsea and Manchester United, Mikel Arteta’s team completely collapsed in this late match of the 22nd day.

Everything happened very quickly in London. After 37 minutes of play, the Spurs had indeed killed all suspense, or almost, in three acts. A penalty from Kane, following a largely avoidable fault by Cedric Soares on Son, to start (1-0, 22nd). A second yellow card and therefore an exclusion of Rob Holding, more busy giving special treatment to Son than playing football, to continue (33rd). A double from Kane, from the head and at close range on a corner, to drive the point home (2-0, 37th). Before the break, there was already no match.

Arsenal lose Holding and Gabriel

Even less when Son killed the meeting from the start, with an opportunistic right shot after a big duel between Kane and Gabriel (3-0, 46th). Twenty-four minutes in hell for the Gunners, who continued to suffer afterwards. In the game, since Emerson Royal (59th) and Kane (62nd) could have worsened the mark while in the second half, only Martin Odegaard really gave Hugo Lloris a job in return (80th). Physically, too, since Gabriel gave up his place on injury to Nuno Tavares (76th), joining the suspended Holding among the future absentees of the Gunners in hinge for the next meeting (s).

But it is not only physically that this meeting – which Arsenal had however started well for a quarter of an hour – will leave its mark. Psychologically, Arteta’s men will have to recover. Quite the opposite of a Tottenham which, in addition to being psychologically boosted, has a more affordable schedule on paper: Burnley (17th) and Norwich (20th) to finish, against Newcastle (14th) and Everton (16th) for Arsenal. The formation of Antonio Conte, now undefeated for four matches, validates his nice draw obtained in Liverpool on Saturday (1-1). Chelsea, who are five points ahead of Spurs from the top of their third place, no longer seem to be in the debates. But this North London Derby is not over: it will continue at a distance, for two days.

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