The Big Match

Gunners kane-d again

Tottenham Hotspur's England striker Harry Kane (right) celebrates scoring the opening goal with Dele Alli in yesterday's match against Arsenal at Wembley. It turned out to be the only goal of the game.
Tottenham Hotspur's England striker Harry Kane (right) celebrates scoring the opening goal with Dele Alli in yesterday's match against Arsenal at Wembley. It turned out to be the only goal of the game.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Spurs striker heads in match winner as Cech keeps Pochettino's men at bay in second half

ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE

Tottenham 1

Arsenal 0

LONDON • Harry Kane has soared and scored before in the north London derby. The Tottenham striker rates his late headed winner against Arsenal from February 2015 as the finest goal of his career.

He was at it again at Wembley yesterday in a moment to sum up the difference between bullying Spurs and fragile Arsenal, and perhaps, the moment that demolished the Gunners' hopes of returning to the Champions League.

Ben Davies' cross from the left in the 49th minute was inviting and Kane made the ball his.

Timing the leap to perfection, he appeared to hang in the air for an age, towering above Laurent Koscielny, before planting the header into the far corner.

  • 7

    Harry Kane has now scored seven goals in seven Premier League games against Arsenal.

  • 9

    Petr Cech has failed to keep a clean sheet in his last nine Premier League appearances - his longest run.

Arsenal's players shouted for a push on Koscielny; so did their manager Arsene Wenger, but the appeals smacked of desperation.

Tottenham deserved the three points and Mauricio Pochettino hailed his players for a much-improved second half after the 1-0 Premier League victory.

"First half both teams had good energy but they were so compact it was hard to find the space. We dominated but we did not create much," the Spurs manager said on BBC Sport.

"Second half we found space and created problems and after 20 minutes it should be 3-0. In football if you don't kill the game you will concede chances and suffer.

"But I am so happy to win. We have had three massive games against Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal and seven points is good.

"Harry Kane is not old fashioned, he is the present and the future. We are so proud that he is in our side."

Where Kane and his team-mates asserted themselves and made things happen, those in red shirts shrank.

The die was cast after Kane's header and the only mercy for Arsenal was that this did not turn into a beating.

  • ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE

  • YESTERDAY

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    West Ham 2 Watford 0

    Stoke 1 Brighton 1

    Everton 3 Crystal Palace 1

    Man City v Leicester Late kick-off

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With Pierre-Emerick Aubame-yang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan on board and the attacking pair having been instrumental in last Saturday's 5-1 thrashing of Everton, the optimism in north London's red half had surged.

But it was shattered yesterday - the pair were anonymous.

Tottenham are now unbeaten in their last nine league matches and remain in a good position to qualify for the Champions League via a top-four finish.

In stark contrast, this was yet another dispiriting day for Arsenal - their first defeat in 10 visits to Wembley is a huge blow to their hopes of returning to Europe's elite club competition next season.

They failed for the first time in 20 years to qualify for the Champions League this campaign and the situation looks set to repeat itself by the end of this term.

The Gunners, winless in 16 Premier League away games against the top five, fell seven points behind Tottenham and are six adrift of the top four in sixth position.

Wenger admitted after the game that there was no foul leading up to Kane's goal, and could only rue the defeat.

"In the first half we missed three or four opportunities on the counter-attack which is difficult to swallow, always the final ball. We contained them to very little," the Frenchman said.

"Once they scored you could see we were wobbling and they could have scored more.

"The first goal was key and we conceded it. Kane made the difference, that's what he's about. I have seen the replay, it is no foul, just good centre-forward play. We can only look at ourselves.

"It will be more difficult to finish in the top four but we have to fight for it."

There was so nearly a late twist. Wenger had sent on Alexandre Lacazette and, after lifting one shot high, the striker scurried on to a pass from another substitute, Alex Iwobi, in stoppage time.

It was a gilt-edged opportunity but he shot low and just wide. Had he scored, it would have got Arsenal out of jail.

But it was simply not their day.

THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 11, 2018, with the headline 'Gunners kane-d again'. Print Edition | Subscribe