Player Ratings: Arsenal pair obliterate Tottenham amid Kane horror show

Arsenal pair Emile Smith Rowe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hugging 2021

Sensational displays from Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka helped Arsenal dismantle Tottenham on an afternoon where Harry Kane earned a dismal score in our player ratings.

Spurred on by a raucous atmosphere, Arsenal flew out of the traps and took an early lead when two of their brightest sparks combined.

Bukayo Saka dropped a shoulder and crafted half a yard on Sergio Reguilon before squaring into a dangerous area. Emile Smith Rowe arrived on the scene and nipped in ahead of Davinson Sanchez to strike home from close range.

Tottenham barely laid a glove on the hosts and Arsenal soon notched a second through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. A lightning quick counter saw Smith Rowe flying forward down the left. The youngster showed great composure when squaring to Aubameyang who expertly guided the ball into the bottom corner.

The impressive Saka made it 3-0 when making the most of good fortune inside the Tottenham box. Harry Kane’s attempted slide tackle succeeded only in teeing up a shooting opportunity for Saka. Making no mistake with his weaker foot, Saka stroked the ball beyond Hugo Lloris to put Tottenham in a huge hole.

Spurs pulled one back with 10 minutes remaining through Son. The South Korean earned our highest Tottenham rating, though that will come as litle consolation on a truly dismal 3-1 defeat at the Emirates.

Arsenal Ratings

Aaron Ramsdale: A bystander for much of the first-half, but remained alert when tipping a powerful Son drive away for a corner. Inadvertently sparked Arsenal’s second goal when a risky pass resulted in Xhaka spinning away from his marker before launching a lightning quick counter. Smart stop to deny a snap Kane shot on the hour mark. Superb late save to tip Moura’s dipping effort onto the crossbar. 7/10

Takehiro Tomiyasu: Key cog in helping Arsenal to dominate the early possession stakes. Strong in the air and looks at home at right-back despite being a natural centre-half. Alive to hook the ball to safety after Ramsdale’s late save from Moura. Signing the ex-Bologna star is already looking a shrewd piece of business. 8/10

Ben White: Cracking early slide tackle in the early stages that stopped Son in his tracks to the crowd’s delight. Given little to do by Spurs’ woeful attack in the first-half but looked calm and composed nonetheless. Fortunate not to concede a penalty when felling Kane just inside the area. 7/10

Gabriel: An easier first-half than the Brazilian would’ve expected in a North London derby. Played his part in helping Arsenal to dominate the ball when knocking it between the lines well. 7/10

Kieran Tierney: Uncharacteristically wayward with his delivery early on. Quickly settled and played his part in keeping Spurs at bay until the late stages. 7/10

Thomas Partey: Recycled possession well to help Arsenal dominate the midfield. Budding partnership with Xhaka showed real promise and provided Arsenal with a solid foundation on which to build. 8/10

Granit Xhaka: Assured in possession and showed tenacity in the tackle. Guilty of diving on on occasion, though that is nothing new for the Swiss midfielder. Will face a nervy wait on the extent of a knee injury picked up in a late collision with Moura. 7/10

Emile Smith Rowe: At the heart of Arsenal’s attacks and sparked an early chance for Aubameyang. Showed great instincts when arriving late into the box to tuck home Saka’s cut-back in stride for the opener. Broke at pace and showed composure to pick out Aubameyang for his side’s second. Faded a little in the latter stages but his match-winning contributions had already been made. 9/10

Martin Odegaard: Given greater license to roam than his team-mates and showed some classy touches when linking up play. Didn’t make the eye-catching contributions that Saka and Smith Rowe did, though Arsenal’s task would’ve been a whole lot more difficult without the Norwegian on the pitch today. 8/10

Bukayo Saka: Crafted the opening goal when pushing past Reguilon and accurately squaring to Smith Rowe. Drove at Tottenham’s defence for the third and made the most of the opportunity Kane’s errant slide tackle presented when coolly stroking home. 

Mesmeric feet when dribbling with the ball throughout and always looked capable of making tangible contributions when in possession. 9/10 (Man of the match)

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: Showed an early affinity for work when pressing Spurs’ centre-backs deep into their own half. Finished well first time for Arsenal’s second when guiding Smith Rowe’s cut-back into the far corner. Looked back to his best at times and Arsenal fans will be hoping to see more of the same if they harbour genuine ambitions of challenging for European places. 8/10


Albert Sambi Lokonga (On for Xhaka, 82m): N/A

Ainsley Maitland-Niles (On for Saka, 87m): N/A

Nuno Tavares (On for Smith Rowe, 88m): N/A

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Tottenham Ratings

Hugo Lloris: Blameless for all three Spurs goals and must’ve wondered if his side were a man light with Tottenham so easily overrun for the vast majority of the contest. 5/10

Japhet Tanganga: Typically energetic and aggressive in his defending at right-back but looked uncomfortable at times. Saw Arsenal’s second goal come down his side. Hooked at half-time for Emerson. 4/10

Davinson Sanchez: Guilty of ball-watching for Arsenal’s opener when allowing Smith Rowe to nip in. 4/10

Eric Dier: Bypassed by Saka’s cut-back for the first and left Aubameyang in too much space for the second. 4/10

Sergio Reguilon: Did the right thing in showing Saka down the line for Arsenal’s opener but failed to prevent the cut-back after doing so. Given a torrid time throughout the contest by Saka and will be delighted to see the back of the England ace from a defensive standpoint. Sprang forward well to pull one back when squaring to Son to prod home. 5/10

Tanguy Ndombele: Struggled to keep tabs with his counterparts after an vibrant Arsenal start. Drifted out to the left in search of possession, though that left Hojbjerg even more exposed when Spurs transitioned defence to attack. Hooked in the 70th minute for Gil. 4/10

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg: Lost the midfield battle in the first half. Skipp’s introduction at half time helped him steady the ship somewhat, but the damage was already done. 5/10

Dele Alli: A non-factor going forward and comfortably outplayed early on by Xhaka, Partey and co. Hauled off at the break for Skipp as Nuno sought to gain a measure of control in midfield. 3/10

Lucas Moura: Never shied away from receiving the ball in dangerous areas. Tried in vain to trouble Arsenal’s backline, but a woefully disjointed Spurs performance ensured a fightback would likely come from individual moments of brilliance. Saw a late effort tipped onto the crossbar. 6/10

Harry Kane: Anonymous early, though his side’s inability to retain possession starved him of service. Nightmare series of moments for Arsenal’s third that included losing possession, falling to track a runner, and tackling the ball into Saka’s path to stroke home.

Given an immediate chance to make amends when found free from a corner but headed narrowly wide. Perked up after the break and was unlucky not to earn a penalty when felled by White. Forced Ramsdale into a smart low stop when shooting early on the hour mark. Questions will again be asked about the England captain’s desire and commitment to Tottenham’s cause based on today’s display. 4/10

Son Heung-min: Fired Spurs’ first effort on goal in the 22nd minute as the visitors threatened to wake up from their slumber. That proved to be a false dawn, with Son struggling to get the better of Tomiyasu for the remainder of the half despite his typical endeavour. 

Gave Spurs a lifeline when prodding home Reguilon’s accurate pull-back with 12m remaining. 6/10


Oliver Skipp (On for Alli, 46m): Booked for a frustration foul on Saka. 5/10

Emerson Royal (On for Tanganga, 46m): Helped keep Arsenal goal-less in the second half. 6/10

Bryan Gil (On for Ndombele, 70m): 6/10