Arsenal secured a vital victory over North London rivals Tottenham on a day where Erik Lamela saw red after notching a goal you have to see to believe.
Arsenal dominated the possession stakes in the early going, registering 75% of the ball at one stage in the opening 15 minutes.
Bukayo Saka continued to look dangerous in the attacking third, but it was Emile Smith Rowe that cae closest to breaking the deadlock.
The youngster let fly from distance with a powerful dipping strike, but with Hugo Lloris beaten, the ball crashed off crossbar and away to safety.
Tottenham were handed a major blow when one third of their new fearsome front line suffered a hamstring injury.
Son Heung-min pulled up when chasing a long ball and was replaced by Erik Lamela.
A cautious half hour from Spurs finally opened up in some style when Lamela opened the scoring with a goal of the season contender.
The Argentine latched on to Lucas Moura’s lay-off and rabona’d the ball between Thomas Partey’s legs en route to nestling inside the far post.
OH MY 😲
Érik Lamela with the Rabona in the North London Derby…
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) March 14, 2021
Arsenal almost hit back immediately through Cedric Soares, but again their luck was out.
The Portuguese outmuscled Moura to reach a long cut-back first. His shot was straight and true but crashed into the post with Hugo Lloris unmoved.
As half-time beckoned, the hosts’ pressure finally paid off when Martin Odegaard notched his first league goal for the club.
The Norwegian halted his run inside the box to craft a yard of space, creating the perfect target for Kieran Tierney to pick out after scampering free down the left.
Odegaard’s central effort seemed destined for Bernd Leno’s gloves, but a deflection off Toby Alderweireld diverted the ball beyond the German as parity was restored.
⚽️ Martin Odegaard scores his 1st League goal since for Real Sociedad at Osasuna in Dec 2019
He’s the 5th Arsenal player to score his 1st PL goal in a North London derby (last was Lucas Torreira in Dec 2018) pic.twitter.com/T6cSXfM4UV
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) March 14, 2021
Jose Mourinho shuffled his pack early into the second-half, replacing Gareth Bale and Tanguy Ndombele with Moussa Sissoko and Dele Alli.
It was Arsenal that continued to press, however, and the Gunners were rewarded with a penalty after the hour mark.
A long ball over the top started a foot race between Alexandre Lacazatte and Davinson Sanchez.
The Colombian went to ground and felled Lacazette, with the Frenchman himself dusting himself off and sending Lloris the wrong way from the spot.
Lamela then cemented Spurs’ woes by turning from hero to zero when receiving his second yellow card. The winger could have no complaints after catching Tierney in the face with an outstretched arm during a tussle.
Harry Kane thought he’d levelled the scores with an accurate header late on, but the centre-forward had strayed offside as the free-kick was taken.
Kane would not go down without a fight and crashed a free-kick against the post as injury-time approached. The rebound fell straight to Sanchez, but his resulting effort was superbly blocked by Gabriel Magalhaes.
Time would eventually beat Tottenham’s late rescue efforts as Arsenal held on to a crucial 2-1 win.