Arsenal imploded in the second half at White Hart Lane, handing Tottenham their own version of St Totteringham’s Day after a 21-year wait.
Tottenham knew that a win would see them finish above Arsenal for the first time since 1995. They also knew that three points were imperative in terms of the title race with Chelsea winning earlier in the day. Arsenal, for their part, knew that a 3rd place finish was in their own hands after City and United drew their respective games.
We all know how good Arsenal are when things are in their own hands, right?
Both sides had so much at stake, it could have easily been a cagey affair. It was anything but.
The first half was a tense affair, for sure, and Tottenham were the better team. But for woeful finishing in front of an empty net, they could have easily been two goals up. Thankfully Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was able to put Dele Alli off enough for him to miss while Christian Eriksen seemed to rush his volley when all he had to do was place the ball into the net.
At the other end, Olivier Giroud was static and offering little. Arsenal’s only efforts came from range via the boots of Alexis and Aaron Ramsey.
Tottenham fans abuse Özil so he responds by tapping the Arsenal crest. What a man. 😍 pic.twitter.com/uCyc4jcKgb
— Connor Humm (@TikiTakaConnor) April 30, 2017
The second half was a similar tempo to the first with neither side showing any intention of trying to hold what they already had in the bag – a tactic Arsenal might now look back at longingly.
Spurs found the breakthrough after just 10 minutes of the restart, Deli Alli making the most of Arsenal being unable to clear the ball as Eriksen waltzed past three defenders.
If that was bad, it got worse very quickly as Michael Oliver pointed to the spot for a Harry Kane dive after the slightest of touches from Gabriel.
Watch this video and just try to tell me it isn't a dive. Video referees are needed. 100% simulation. Brushing the shin doesn't equal THAT. pic.twitter.com/1v8TR56RiM
— 12th Man (@_The12thMan) April 30, 2017
It was all so very Arsenal.
The second goal seemed to suck a lot of life out of Arsenal. Heads dropped as they seemed to realise the game was up despite being over 30 minutes left. Wenger reached for his first sub, off came Granit Xhaka and on came Danny Welbeck. It didn’t matter.
But for Petr Cech it would have been much, much worse. He made at least three top drawer saves to keep the score to two while Arsenal played like they had 10 men and couldn’t fashion a chance.
Tottenham fans will no doubt celebrate hard, and why shouldn’t they? They’ve waited long enough for this day.
Arsenal fans will go into hiding.
All we need to know now is when the Tottenham DVD is coming out and will they hold an open-topped bus parade to present it? After all, it is probably the most important game they’ve ever won at White Hart Lane, unlike Arsenal…