Arsenal deservedly earned the bragging rights in Saturday’s North London derby with a stellar 3-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium.
Goals from Thomas Partey, Gabriel Jesus and Granit Xhaka propelled Mikel Arteta’s men to a dominant win on home turf, as the Gunners recovered from Harry Kane’s equalising penalty to move four points clear at the top of the Premier League table.
Despite Arsenal’s explosive start to the game, it was Aaron Ramsdale who was forced into the first meaningful save in the 14th minute, as Richarlison beat the Arsenal offside trap from a free kick but saw his toe poke from close range saved low by the England goalkeeper.
Xhaka then fizzed a long-range strike just past Hugo Lloris’s far post as Arsenal upped the ante, and his midfield partner would draw first blood for the hosts with 20 minutes on the clock.
After a period of patient build-up, Ben White picked out Partey in space a good 25 yards from goal, and the Ghana international – who has developed a reputation for mishit long-range shots – picked out the top corner with a magnificent first-time finish.
However, Tottenham were presented with a route back into the game on the half-hour mark, as Arsenal failed to clear and Gabriel Magalhaes felled Brazilian teammate Richarlison inside the box. Kane stepped up for the Lilywhites and calmly slotted home down the middle for his 14th North London derby goal.
Spurs continued to provide a sustained threat on the counter-attack, but Arsenal continued to play with high intensity, and Jesus proceeded to weave his way in and out of challenges on the left-hand side before firing the ball straight into Lloris’s chest in the 44th minute.
Tottenham grew into the game as the first half went on, but Arsenal restored their lead four minutes into the second period, as Jesus was the quickest to react after Lloris failed to hold onto a shot from Saka – getting in front of Cristian Romero and poking home after the ball squirmed under the Spurs goalkeeper.
The visitors’ task grew all the more difficult when Emerson Royal received a straight red card for a needless studs-up tackle down the side of Gabriel Martinelli’s shin just after the hour mark, and Arsenal immediately took advantage.
The ever-threatening Martinelli darted towards the penalty area from the left-hand side before being muscled off the ball, but Xhaka took over and fired home into the far corner from just inside the box.
Conte responded by making no fewer than four substitutions in one go – taking off Richarlison and Son Heung-min in a bid to keep the scoreline down – but Arsenal remained unthreatened as the game entered its dying embers.
There was time for substitute Kieran Tierney to sting the palms of Lloris with a long-range drive before Martinelli sent a free kick over the top right before the final whistle, as Arsenal moved out of sight in first place in the table.
Second-placed Manchester City will aim to cut the gap back down to one point when they commence their own derby against Manchester United at the Etihad on Sunday afternoon.