Emerson Royal has been firmly put in his place by two pundits after his red card contributed to a Tottenham derby defeat as Arsenal recorded a 3-1 win over Antonio Conte’s side at Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners were good value for their win, having had the better of the contest. They took the lead when Thomas Partey fired home an excellent goal from fully 25 yards that had Hugo Lloris grasping at thin air on 20. But Spurs refused to lie down and were good value for a leveller when Richarlison was felled in the area. Harry Kane showed a coold head to convert straight down the middle from the penalty spot.
But it was a different Arsenal in the second half and they quickly turned up the heat.
They re-took the lead just four minutes into the restart when Lloris clumsily spilled a shot and Gabriel Jesus was in the right place to tap in from two yards out.
But worse was to come when Royal was shown a straight red card by referee Anthony Taylor after raking his studs down Gabriel Martinelli’s ankle.
That gave Arsenal all the momentum and it was no surprise when Granit Xhaka drilled home a third. In truth, there were further chances to add to that and Spurs will have been relieved to only lose 3-1 come full time.
The result puts Arsenal four points clear at the top of the Premier League.
However, pundits Jermain Jenas and Martin Keown were highly critical of Brazilian full-back Royal during commentary.
Speaking to BT Sport, Jenas said: “It was some pent-up frustration. There’s no other reason he would do that. Maybe he’s thinking he’s had the mick taken out of him all day. Martinelli has been in good form today and given him a torrid time. There’s no other explanation for it.”
Keown added: “It had been a clean game until that point, but he’s let his emotions get the better of him.”
Referee analyst Peter Walton added in the studio: “He gave Anthony Taylor no other choice. It was a clear red card.”
Arsenal 3 Tottenham 1: Pundits give their verdict
Jenas was clearly angered by Tottenham’s performance and, speaking after Xhaka’s third, said the defeat was merited.
“Spurs are sensing something really horrible right in the face here, because Arsenal are purring. They smell blood. This has been coming. They have not been playing well all year really.”
He added: “They only have themselves to blame. They just did not come out for that second half wanting to win.
“It’s been a lacklustre performance again and something needs to change for them.”
The two observers were also hugely appreciative of two Arsenal stars in particular with Bukayo Saka and Xhaka both earning praise.
3⃣ – 1⃣
Granit Xhaka gives Arsenal a two-goal cushion with this beautifully worked goal… 😎 pic.twitter.com/quYCrBVxPK
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) October 1, 2022
On Saka, Keown stated: “He’s been really difficult to deal with all afternoon. When he comes off that right-hand side, he’s such a threat.”
Jenas continued: “He needs to play there for England, I see no other option. He’s impossible to deal with. He needs that chance now [for England].”
Commentator Darren Fletcher then asked about the performance of Xhaka, with Jenas announcing him Man of the Match.
“Granit Xhaka for me leads Arsenal, he represents Arsenal. He has been the best player on the pitch. What a performance.”