Football Features

Player ratings as Spurs make history by demolishing 10-man Arsenal to keep top four race alive

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 21:52, 12 May 2022

Spurs demolished 10-man Arsenal at Tottenham Stadium to keep the top four race alive in the Premier League.

For the first time in their history, Tottenham have won three consecutive home league games against their hated rivals. Moreover, the emphatic result is Spurs’ biggest league win over Arsenal since 1983, three years before any of their players had even been born!

Here’s how the players rated at Tottenham Stadium:



Spurs

Hugo Lloris – 7 – Had very little to do, but did it well nevertheless.

Davinson Sánchez – 7 – Stepped in to ably deputise for the injured Cristian Romero.

Eric Dier – 7 – Another commanding defensive display from Dier.

Ben Davies – 7 – Whenever Arsenal looked dangerous, which admittedly wasn’t often, it was Ben Davies who appeared to quell the danger. Has been transformed under Conte into a genuinely rock solid defender.

Emerson Royal – 7 – Had a lovely battle down the right with anyone and everyone in red. Should have scored when he missed a sitter but Conte will nevertheless be proud of the Brazilian’s improvement.

Pierre Emile Hojbjerg – 8 – Another powerhouse display at the heart of midfield. A great run and cross almost created a goal for Kane.

Rodrigo Bentancur – 8 – Cool as you like in the heart of midfield. Kept things ticking over with a Toni Kroos-esque 96% pass completion and it was his headed flick-on that led to the second Spurs goal.

Ryan Sessegnon – 7 – Not as effective as he was at Anfield but nevertheless is making good on his potential under Conte.

Dejan Kulusevski – 7 – Another lively performance on the right, keeping Arsenal on the back-foot and linking well with his team-mates.

Heung-min Son – 8 – Bright movement early on and he was tormenting Rob Holding for all of the 33 minutes he was on the field. Got the Arsenal man sent off with his direct play, caused Arsenal’s other players issues with his runs and then bagged the third goal with a cool finish. Looked distraught as he was subbed off early with the Golden Boot in his sights.

Harry Kane – 8 – Coolly dispatched his penalty and from there was in full-on North London Derby mode. Running at Arsenal, dribbling players (no, really). Could have had a hat-trick were it not for an excellent Cedric block but he did bag a brace when he stooped at the far post to head home a Bentancur knock-on. 13 goals in the Derby, more than anyone… how Arsenal must have wished Kane joined City (although he’s scored more than anyone against the Gunners full-stop so he’d just have tortured them in sky blue).

Spurs Substitutes:

Steven Bergwijn (for Son 72′) – 6 – Decent enough.

Lucas Moura (for Kulusevski 72′) – 6 – Showed a few moments of brightness.

Joe Rodon (for Davies 81′) – n/a – Came on late.



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Arsenal

Aaron Ramsdale – 5 – Blameless on the Spurs goals.

Cedric – 4 – Sloppy and panicked as he shoved Son to concede a penalty. Cool and composed when he came across to block Kane from making it 2-0. However as Spurs later did make it two and then three, that first error became more and more costly.

Rob Holding – 2 – His battle with Son was brief but intense and largely one-sided at that as he was clearly intimidated by the Korean and tried his best to “rattle” his man to no avail. Committed a couple of fouls on his man even before being shown a first yellow. “He’s doing Judo moves on the football field,” was how Jamie Redknapp described it. Saw red just after the half-hour when he elbowed Son in the side of the face for a second yellow (in truth it could and perhaps should have been a straight red).

Gabriel – 7 – Defended really well for most part even as his team-mates did not. However he had to go off injured.

Takehiro Tomiyasu – 5 – Nowhere near as solid as he usually is on the right, but still showed one or two moments of magnificent recovery skills. You have to wonder if Arsenal would have been better with Tomiyasu at right-back and Nuno Tavares at left-back.

Mohamed Elneny – 4 – Completely overrun in midfield.

Granit Xhaka – 5 – Defensively atrocious but passed the ball reasonably well as he tried to get Arsenal into good attacking positions.

Martin Odegaard – 6 – Looked Arsenal’s likliest avenue of success, albeit his execution never came up to match his intention.

Bukayo Saka – 5 – Really off-key. Simply not a relevant force in the game.

Gabriel Martinelli – 6 – A livewire down the Arsenal left in the early going and clearly had the capacity to hurt Spurs but was starved of service and faded out of the match until he was replaced.

Eddie Nketiah – 5 – A couple of sharp moments where he looked like he might conjure something from nothing but ultimately he was just working with nothing.

Arsenal Substitutes:

Emile Smith Rowe (for Martinelli 64′) – 5 – Didn’t impact the game at all.

Alexandre Lacazette (for Nketiah 73′) – 5 – Anonymous.

Nuno Tavares (for Gabriel 76′) – 6 – Added some thrust down the left for the Gunners, to the extent where you have to wonder why Arteta didn’t start him there and instead played Tomiyasu out of position to accommodate the risible Cedric.

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