A deflated Arsene Wenger conceded Sunday that the Spurs deserved their 2-0 victory over his under-performing Arsenal team in the last derby at White Hart lane.
Ahead of the game, Wenger was dreaming a top three finish and the omens were in their favour as both Manchester City and Manchester United drew their games today.
But Wenger’s dreams died fast. The Spurs victory has dented the Gunners’ hope of achieving even a top-four finish and a Champion League spot this season.
The result also meant that Tottenham continued their pursuit of table-toppers Chelsea as Dele Alli and Harry Kane struck twice in three second-half minutes to see off north London rivals Arsenal.
A deflated Arsene Wenger said: “We did lose the game in a very quick space of time, and after that it took us time to recover. Spurs deserved to win, we have to accept that and analyse it. It is very disappointing, but the target at the beginning of the season is not to finish above Spurs, it is to win the league.
“They deserve it. We have a cup final to play, we have to fight for a place back in the top four. We couldn’t afford to lose the game. We didn’t score, we didn’t score at Palace or West Brom. We have to play more and create more than we did.”
Spurs are still four points behind Chelsea with four games remaining following the Blues’ win at Everton earlier on Sunday.
And victory in the derby ensured that Tottenham will finish above Arsenal in the league for the first time in 22 years.
The home side could easily have been ahead before the break, with Christian Eriksen and Alli both missing close-range chances.
Alli missed a glorious opportunity to head in the opener in the 19th minute.
While Eriksen missed a sitter after he failed to tap in Heung-Min Son heavy pass with his left foot in the 28th minute.
The breakthrough however came in the 55th minute as Alli scored his s 21st goal of the season via a predatory strike.
The strike was Alli’s first ever North London derby goal for Tottenham Hotspur. Two minutes later, Kane doubled the advantage for Spurs from the spot after he was brought down in the box by Gabriel.
The England international also became Spurs top scorer in the Nort London derby with five goals in his last six appearances.
Kane compounded Arsenal’s woes three minutes later when he converted from the penalty spot after being fouled in the box by Gabriel Paulista to establish a lead that never looked like being overhauled.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigerian forward Alex Iwobi was an unused substitute in the encounter.
The Nigerian international has now missed the Gunners’ last six games in all competitions. He has made 36 appearances and scored four goals for the Gunners this season.
Arsenal remain six points adrift of fourth-placed Manchester City having played one game fewer.
The match at White Hart Lane was the last derby between the two teams, as Tottenham move to Wembley next season.
An excited coach, Mauricio Pochettino said: “It was a fantastic afternoon. The last derby at White Hart Lane was very emotional for everyone. We wanted to pay the fans back for all the energy they give us. And it was a fantastic reaction after the Chelsea result. Still we’re in the race, it’s a fourpoint gap. It’s difficult but we will see.”
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