Martin Odegaard says Arsenal ‘knew’ they could easily expose obvious Tottenham flaw for Partey stunner

Martin Odegaard, October 2022

Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard has revealed the Gunners practised the routine which led to Thomas Partey’s opening goal against Tottenham.

The Gunners extended their lead at the top of the Premier League table with a 3-1 north London derby win on Saturday. Ghana midfielder Partey opened the scoring with a long-range curler, before Harry Kane equalised with a penalty.

However, Arsenal hit back with Gabriel Jesus making it 2-1 just four minutes into the second half.

And Granit Xhaka made it 3-1 to inflict Tottenham’s first league defeat of the season.

Speaking to Arsenal’s official website, Norway midfielder Odegaard revealed how his side knew they could find Partey in such spaces as the one from which his goal came.

“It was a great goal,” Odegaard said. “We knew before the game he was going to be free in those areas and we practised that a lot, to find him in those areas, and he made a great shot.

“I think he played a great game as well so a lot of credit to him, and of course the team.”

Arsenal dominated the first half, making it a worry when Kane scored from the spot to level the scores before half time.

Odegaard subsequently hailed Brazil striker Jesus’ goal – his fifth in eight Premier League games – for turning the game back in the hosts’ favour.

Odegaard lauds Jesus’ Arsenal goal

“I think it was crucial,” the midfielder added. “We dominated the game from the start but they scored out of nothing and it was important to strike back and get the momentum again and the energy, so I think it was crucial to get the second goal.

“From that moment I think we controlled the game again and it was a solid win in the end.

“It’s always nice when you get two goals up and then after that when they had one man less we could keep the ball and I think they suffered a lot.”

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta lauded the atmosphere at the Emirates Stadium and also praised Partey for his goal.

The Spaniard said: “We have been waiting for that one. For what he has been through I am so happy for him.”

Gunners going well

Arsenal’s win over Tottenham was a big one in a few ways, as the Gunners maintained their impressive start to the season.

Firstly, the three points were huge for the bragging rights in north London, with Tottenham having to wait until January to set the record straight.

What’s more, it was Tottenham’s first defeat of the campaign. While performances had proved unconvincing for Antonio Conte’s side, it is a statement for Arsenal that they inflicted their first loss.

And the 3-1 win was also massive for Arsenal’s record against their top-six Premier League rivals.

That was a key area they fell flat in last season and the 2-1 defeat to Manchester United earlier this campaign could have set off another worrying trend in that regard.

However, the win over Spurs cemented the Gunners’ progress and proved they can beat their big rivals.