The battle of North London
Arsenal produced their best performance of the season on Saturday to beat high flying Spurs and regain their crown as the best team in North London.
Goals from German defender Shkodran Mustafi and Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez earned Arsenal bragging rights and, most importantly, all three points to close the gap on league leaders’ Manchester City.
Just a few weeks ago, Spurs beat mighty Real Madrid comprehensively, 3-1, which sent a signal to other teams in Europe that they were now ready to take on the top tier teams.
But on Saturday, Arsenal looked every inch of a title-challenging team as they dominated Mauricio Pochettino’s men.
German midfielder Mesut Ozil put in an outstanding display to help secure the 2-0 victory over Tottenham. Despite criticism from the media, Ozil proved his price tag and his dedication to the club with a man of the match performance as he set up Mustafi for the first goal and went on to hit the post twice, nearly capping off his performance with a goal.
And we certainly did 👊 https://t.co/NbCN9OatQM
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) November 19, 2017
“He’s an intelligent player, he’s an intelligent man and he can add that to his game without any problem because he has huge physical qualities,” Arsene Wenger said of Ozil.
Tottenham may have been runners-up in the Premier League last season but the Gunners can point to actual trophies, winning the FA Cup in three of the last four seasons, despite failing to qualify for this season’s Champions League.
This latest victory points to the fact that despite Tottenham’s huge improvement, Arsenal is still the dominant force of football in North London.
A history of the rivalry
Prior to Saturday’s match-up, the Spurs hadn’t lost to Arsenal since September of 2015, and haven’t conceded a goal to the Gunners since March of 2014.
The battle for North London is a rivalry that has always been fierce between fans, with both clubs having extensive fan bases throughout the UK and the rest of the world.
The two sides recognise themselves as each other’s biggest rivals. What has come to be known as the North London Derby is highly anticipated among supporters, irrespective of current league positions, the fixture determines which club will claim the throne of North London.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) November 18, 2017
This rivalry dates all the way back to 1913 when Arsenal moved their ground to North London, with a total of 181 matches been played between the two squads.
The “Gooners” have certainly been regarded as the nosier neighbours with a lot more to shout about, given they have won more head-to-head fixtures throughout the years.
But the uprising of Tottenham over recent years has seen the “yips” grow abundantly confident, given the progress of the club notably finishing above Arsenal for the first time in over 20 years.
There is a sense that the tide might be shifting.