Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez proved amid the uncertainty over their futures that they remain Arsenal’s star performers with match-winning displays in Saturday’s 2-0 victory over rivals Tottenham.
The build-up to the derby clash had focused largely on the supposed power shift in north London as Mauricio Pochettino has turned Spurs into Premier League title challengers, but their ability to take the fight to Manchester City may have been ended following a tame reverse at the Emirates Stadium.
Mustafi gives Arsenal the lead against Spurs, 1-0 pic.twitter.com/eiUGeZOyhG
— Terje (@xArsenalTerje) November 18, 2017
Ozil was at his creative best, delivering a teasing free-kick for Shkodran Mustafi to head in the opener, before his link-up play helped set up Sanchez’s strike just before half-time.
Both Ozil and Sanchez have been linked with January departures, with Arsenal facing losing them on a free in June, but their desire could not be questioned in a contest that they dominated between them.
Pochettino had Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Hugo Lloris at his disposal after the trio missed international duty over the break, but Spurs’ chances were few and far between as Kane especially delivered a sluggish performance.
A first north London derby defeat for Pochettino further dents his side’s hopes of catching runaway league leaders City, with Arsenal’s deserved triumph helping them make ground in the race for Champions League qualification, moving them to within just one point of their visitors.
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