Football Features

“Super Son and Killer Kane made it vintage Mourinho” – Full player ratings as Spurs kill Arsenal on the counter in the North London Derby

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 18:51, 6 December 2020

In a predictable afternoon of football, Spurs shut Arsenal down and win 2-0 to go back to the top of the Premier League.

Spurs defended superbly and struck with two stunning counter-attacking strikes to down an ambitious but toothless Arsenal side who are now 11 points behind their high-flying rivals. Super Son and Killer Kane made it vintage Mourinho and now Spurs are top of the table having won two consecutive derbies against their rivals for the first time since 1993.

Here’s how the players rated at Tottenham Stadium:

Spurs

Hugo Lloris – 6 – Had basically nothing to do all game. Completely relaxed afternoon.

Serge Aurier – 8 – A phenomenal display from the Ivorian, including a team-high 3 tackles and 11 possessions won as well as a key interception and release pass to start the move that led to Spurs’ second goal. He was working hard defensively with little cover and constantly intervening. A man transformed.

Toby Alderweireld – 8 – Back in the team and back leading from the back. Made an absolutely massive 11 clearances to rebuff the countless crosses Arsenal threw in. Absolutely commanding.

Eric Dier – 7 – Dodgy backpass early on but was solid thereafter. Really looks to have settled in at centre-back, especially next to Alderweireld.

Sergio Reguilon – 7 – A decent display albeit Arsenal managed to find space down his flank.

Moussa Sissoko – 7 – Endless energy, covering every blade of grass.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg – 8 – As always, a relentless performance in the middle of the park closing off space and cutting off attacks. A team-high 3 interceptions to go with having the most touches (61), passes (44) and successful passes (35) of any Spurs player. A ruthless workhorse who embodies the fighting spirit that José Mourinho wants his Spurs side to have.

Giovani Lo Celso – 6 – A hard-working performance.

Son Heung-min – 8 – Absolute ICBM of a strike from range to give Spurs the lead, and a well-timed reverse pass to set up Kane for the second. Was otherwise on the periphery of things, but definitely did the damage where and when it counted.

Steven Bergwijn – 6 – Worked hard and played some good passes and made a quality flick-on for Spurs’ first goal.

Harry Kane – 9 – Simple assist for Son’s storming opener – his 10th of the season (he is the fastest ever to reach double figures). Kane was an incredible performer for Spurs at both ends of the pitch, doing a little bit of everything to ensure Spurs got the win.

He did some of his best work defensively with superb headed interventions (he had more touches in his own box than in the opposition’s) to clear Arsenal’s crosses and keep Hugo Lloris untroubled. How many strikers can say they are this good defensively? Not many.

But Kane always scores against Arsenal, and so late in the first-half when Heung-min Son played him through he showed now hesitation and launched a left-footed lightning strike into the roof of the net that Ricocheted in off the bar it make it 2-0 and, given Spurs’ defensive solidity it effectively sealed the game.

That goal made it 250 career goals for Kane and only Leo Messi has reached that milestone faster than the Englishman. He’s also now the top goalscorer in North London Derbies with 11 goals against Arsenal. Records fall every time Kane takes the field because Spurs’ Captain Fantastic is the best striker in the league and one of the top two in the whole world.

Substitutes:

Ben Davies (for Lo Celso 72′) – 6 – Added some defensive solidity.

Lucas Moura (for Son 88′) – n/a – Came on late.

Joe Rodon (for Bergwijn 91′) – n/a – Came on late.

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Arsenal

Bernd Leno – 5 – Could do nothing about either goal. Didn’t have much else to do.

Rob Holding – 4 – Didn’t step up to block Son from shooting for the opener. Awfully weak defending from the Englishman, who got done on the second goal too. He played well, but was missing at the key moments.

Gabriel – 6 – Caught upfield for Spurs’ opener but was otherwise solid.

Kieran Tierney – 7 – Impeccable. One of the few Arsenal players to actually look dangerous.

Hector Bellerin – 5 – Foul throws!

Thomas Partey – 4 – Robbed on halfway in the lead-up to the first goal. Left the field which opened up space for Spurs to score the second. Not the best afternoon of football from the Ghanaian, who had clearly been rushed back from his injury.

Granit Xhaka – 6 – Won the ball plenty of times and was tackle-happy as ever, but didn’t do anything too inventive with the ball to actually hurt Spurs. Just played it wide and let it go from there.

Bukayo Saka – 7 – Arsenal’s other good player was the teenager Saka. The youngster

Willian – 5 – Worked hard and put crosses in but nothing was the usual quality you expect from the Brazilian (nothing has been this season, really).

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 4 – Awful. Caught on the back-foot in the attack that saw Spurs spring the break to score their second. Missed a presentable header at the start of the season-half and then just did absolutely nothing in attack. Just needlessly poor and was outdone by pretty much everyone else on the pitch.

Alexandre Lacazette – 6 – Tried to damage Spurs but nothing he tried came off. Still, he was at least trying.

Substitutes:

Dani Ceballos (for Partey 45’+2) – 7 – Drove the ball forward in a way no other Arsenal player did. Helped the Gunners pin Spurs back for the entire second-half, just couldn’t break them down.

Eddie Nketiah (for Bellerin 75′) – 5 – Couldn’t impact the game.

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