Unlike previous occasions, the return fixture of the North London derby was held in a quiet Tottenham Hotspur Stadium bereft of fans in the stands. However, the eerie atmosphere had minimal impact on the importance of the match as both Arsenal and Spurs look to finish in the top six of the Premier League this season.
With Eddie Nketiah suspended after receiving a straight red card in midweek, Alexandre Lacazette was named in the starting eleven for Arsenal. The move yielded immediate dividends as he broke the deadlock in the 16th minute. However, Arsenal's celebrations were shortlived as a defensive mistake gifted Tottenham the opportunity to claim a deserved equaliser just a few minutes later.
For most of the second half, Arsenal dominated possession but all their efforts came to nought. In the 81st minute, Toby Alderweireld leapt to meet Son-Heung-Min's well-delivered corner and scored the winner for Tottenham.
The result is a huge blow to Arsenal's slim hopes of making a top six finish as Tottenham leapfrog them to eighth place in the Premier League table with just three rounds of games remaining in the season.
From a trailing position to getting all three points, Jose Mourinho turned the tide around and his gameplan worked despite a few hiccups. On thate note, here are five talking points from the North London derby as Arsenal lost 1-2.
Five talking points as Arsenal lost to Tottenham Hotspur
#1: Second horrific display from David Luiz after the restart
Since the start of the game, Arsenal's back-three looked shaky. They were poor in retaining possession and Tottenham's forwards were giving their opponents all sorts of trouble. Barely three minutes after Lacazette's stunning opener, David Luiz failed to clear a backpass from Sead Kolasinac and allowed Son Heung-Min to pounce on the chance.
The South Korean made no mistake from close range as Tottenham scored their equaliser. It marked the second time the Brazilian's mistake cost Arsenal a goal.
In the first match after the restart, Luiz came on for Arsenal as a substitute against Manchester City. He not only gave away a penalty in that game, but the 33-year-old was also sent off, leaving Arsenal to play with just ten men in the second half.
It is evident that the former Chelsea defender is not Arsenal's long-term solution at the back. He should have done much better against Son but failed to do so. Despite signing a one-year contract extension, Arteta ought to ponder whether it is right to keep Luiz in the Arsenal starting eleven. When William Saliba officially links up with the Gunners next season, the Brazilian might soon lose his position.
#2: Alexandre Lacazette's fabulous strike might be huge confidence booster for the Frenchman
Arsenal fans know that Alexandre Lacazette has a terrible record when it comes to away goals scored. According to Squawka, the 29-year-old has failed to score a single goal in Arsenal's first 14 away Premier League fixtures this season.
However, in the last two matches against Wolves and Tottenham respectively, Lacazette has made it two goals in as many away games. The fantastic strike against Spurs will serve as a confidence booster for the Frenchman who now has eight goals in 26 Premier League appearances for Arsenal this season.
With only a few more matches left and Edward Nketiah to miss two more games, Lacazette has to step up and prove his worth for Arsenal. In recent weeks, the former Lyon striker has been linked with a move out of the English club. It is now the best time for him to regain the trust of Arteta and the Arsenal fans.
#3: Arsenal's top-six hopes take a huge blow
Following Chelsea's defeat to Sheffield United and Wolverhampton Wanderers' victory against Everton, the race for the top six in the Premier League has become increasingly intense. With only three games remaining in the current campaign, every point matters for clubs looking to qualify for European football next season.
Unfortunately, this defeat to their North London rivals means that Arsenal's hopes of European football are effectively over. Arsenal are ninth in the table, five points behind sixth-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers. Arteta's side are due to host champions Liverpool on Wednesday evening followed by games against Aston Villa and Watford.
Unless the Gunners lift the FA Cup trophy, Arteta's side might not even compete in the Europa League next season.
#4: Emiliano Martinez has proved his worth for Arsenal
In the absence of Arsenal's first-choice keeper Bernd Leno, Emiliano Martinez is doing considerably well. Many thought that the Argentine keeper might not be good enough for Arsenal but it seems like it is the Arsenal defenders who have disappointed more often than Martinez.
Against the Lilywhites, the 27-year-old made a couple of impressive saves to deny Ben Davies and Harry Kane. Without his heroics, Arsenal might have conceded more than two goals.
Furthermore, based on data from WhoScored, Emiliano Martinez achieved a passing accuracy of 92.9% in the game and made one clearance. Overall, he was one of the better performing players for Arteta's side against Tottenham Hotspur.
In the last five Premier League games where Martinez has started, Arsenal have kept three clean sheets, which have earned the Argentine praise from his manager. Martinez truly deserves to stay in North London next season given his decent performances.
#5: Jose Mourinho's mojo against Arsenal continues
One of Arsenal's biggest nemesis is certainly Jose Mourinho. Since Arsene Wenger's tenure, Arsenal have struggled against teams led by the Portuguese manager.
In fact, the 57-year-old has never lost a home fixture to the Gunners and his proud record was preserved by his new club. Without a doubt, Mourinho knows what it takes to overcome Arsenal and teams managed by the 'Special One' look set to continue to excel in the foreseeable future.
For the Arsenal faithful, it is disappointing to know that even with overwhelming possession, creativity was sorely lacking as the Gunners failed to conjure enough goal-scoring opportunities. True to Jose Mourinho's words, it is likely that Spurs will finish 'in a better position in the table than them (Arsenal)' this season.
The North London derby exposed more flaws in the Gunners. There is a long way to go before Arsenal return to UEFA Champions League action.Published 13 Jul 2020, 01:06 IST