Arsenal rebound from Lamela ‘Rabona’ to beat Tottenham
Arsenal recovered from the shock of conceding a stunning Erik Lamela goal to claim a deserved 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League’s north London derby on Sunday.
Martin Odegaard’s deflected equaliser on the stroke of halftime and Alexandre Lacazette’s 64th-minute penalty secured Arsenal’s first win in six attempts against their bitter rivals.
It was a mixed afternoon for Lamela who produced an audacious ‘Rabona’ shot to put Tottenham in front against the run of play after 33 minutes at The Emirates – one of the most remarkable goals ever seen in the long-running rivalry.
But the Argentine, who came on for the injured Son Heung-min early on, went from hero to zero when he was sent off in the 76th for catching Kieran Tierney with his flailing forearm.
While Lamela’s goal was unforgettable it could not disguise a largely disappointing display by Tottenham who squandered a great chance to boost their hopes of a top-four finish.
After Lamela’s sending off the visitors’ 10 men finally applied some pressure and they had a Harry Kane goal ruled out late on for offside before he hit the post with a free kick.
Tottenham are now without a league win at Arsenal since 2010 and the defeat left them in seventh spot on 45 points, six behind fourth-placed Chelsea with a game in hand. Arsenal stayed in 10th place with 41 points, four off Spurs.
“It was incredible. Going 1-0 down the way we were playing was disappointing and the worst-case scenario against a team like Spurs. But we kept playing and deserved the win,” said Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta.
Arsenal were far sharper than Tottenham in the early stages and were unlucky not to go ahead when Emile Smith-Rowe rattled the crossbar with a curling effort from distance.
Shortly afterwards South Korean Son went down holding his leg and was replaced by Lamela who was soon to make an impact.
Lucas Moura did well to take down Sergio Reguilon’s long pass and fed the ball to Lamela who, from the left edge of the penalty area, wrapped his left leg around his right standing leg to ping a low shot past the bamboozled Bernd Leno.
It was the second time in his Spurs career that Lamela had scored with the so-called ‘Rabona’, a difficult trick that originates from his native Argentina, having also scored with one in the Europa League in 2014.
Arsenal’s response was strong, however, and they were unlucky again when Cedric Soares hit the post with a piledriver.
The hosts got their reward though when Tierney’s cut back was met by Norwegian youngster Odegaard whose shot deflected off defender Toby Alderweireld before beating keeper Hugo Lloris.
Arsenal, who had left skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the bench for “disciplinary reasons”, went ahead when Tottenha defender Davinson Sanchez made a clumsy tackle in the penalty area on Lacazette who had just scuffed an attempted volley.
Lacazette got up to beat Lloris from the spot.
Lamela was shown a second yellow card for catching Tierney but Spurs then produced their best spell with Kane’s header ruled out for offside and the England skipper thudding a free kick against the post with Sanchez’s follow-up cleared off the line by Gabriel.