Arsenal hang on to beat Spurs, stretch lead at top – Sport

Arsenal held on to beat battling local rivals Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 away and move four points clear at the top of the Premier League after an emphatic first-half display and a nervous second period in an electric derby atmosphere on Sunday.

An own goal by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and efforts from Bukayo Saka and Kai Havertz put the Gunners in control at halftime and although Spurs fought back through Cristian Romero’s strike and a Son Heung-min penalty, the visitors claimed the three points.

Victory moved Mikel Arteta’s Gunners further ahead of second-placed champions Manchester City, who have two games in hand and visit struggling Nottingham Forest later on Sunday.

Liverpool are in third spot a point behind City but like Arsenal having played 35 matches with three games left.

Tottenham’s defeat hit their hopes of playing Champions League football next season as they stand seven points off fourth-placed Aston Villa, albeit still with two games in hand.

Having built such a commanding lead it looked as though Arsenal could inflict humiliation on their arch-rivals but in the end they were happy to hear the final whistle — the players celebrating in the corner with their fans.

“I was praying at the end. It was a really emotional game. This is a tough place to come and a great team to play against. We had to dig in and suffer,” Arteta, who reached 100 Premier League wins as Arsenal manager, told Sky Sports.

Arsenal arrived at the home of their neighbours desperate for a win to boost their title challenge and got the perfect start after 15 minutes when midfielder Hojbjerg headed the ball back into his own net from a corner.

Tottenham reacted to going behind and defender Romero hit the outside of the post from a James Maddison cross.

The hosts thought they had equalised when Micky van de Ven placed the ball past keeper David Raya after Pedro Porro’s strike deflected to him and the stadium erupted but after a long delay the goal was ruled out by VAR for offside.

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