Arsenal were unable to leave their mark in the North London Derby against Tottenham Hotspur, with a second-half Harry Kane goal separating the two rivals in a 1-0 defeat for the Emirates Stadium outfit at Wembley.
Following a tense first half, an early goal from Kane seemed to tip the balance in the derby, with the Gunners falling just short of grabbing a result in a nervy end to the game.
The big news coming out of Arsenal saw the injured Aaron Ramsey miss out on the action, making way for Jack Wilshere and Mohamed Elneny in midfield.
In an active, but predominantly chance-less start to the derby, Spurs became the first to jot a big chance down after Christian Eriksen’s in-swinging cross was headed over by Kane in behind the Arsenal defence, with the game exceeding the 26th minute.
The Gunners replied through an Özil opening wide to Héctor Bellerín, struck over by the Spaniard in the 39th minute, as the two North London outfits settled for the goalless draw prior to the half-time whistle.
It was a different story in the second half, however, with Kane overcoming the suspicions of a foul on Laurent Koscielny to head in the opener in the 48th minute.
A couple more big chances fell the Tottenham striker’s way soon after, firstly finding space between the two Arsenal centre halves to head just wide before smashing a volley straight at Čech in the 53rd minute, as the visitors succumbed to the intensity of the second period.
Wenger’s men tried to drag themselves back into the encounter through Wilshere’s curling effort from the edge of the box, with Hugo Lloris coming to play with a save in the 67th minute.
At the other end, Spurs continued to look dangerous through Dele Alli and second-half substitute Erik Lamela, as the occasionally sloppy Čech kept the one-goal advantage together.
Kieran Trippier was up next in search of a second, as his back-post volley from Eriksen’s cross found Čech’s save in the 76th minute.
The game closed to the sight of two big chances for Alexandre Lacazette, who’d get his measurements wrong on both occasions in stoppage time, as the Frenchman volleyed Bellerín’s cross from a prime position way over the bar before a finish under Lloris trickled just past the far-post in the 93rd minute.
Spurs’ 1-0 victory now sees the Gunners trail their third-placed rivals by seven points.
By Patrick Ribeiro
Petr Čech (6) – Héctor Bellerín (6), Shkodran Mustafi (7), Laurent Koscielny (7), Nacho Monreal (5) – Mohamed Elneny (6), Granit Xhaka (6), Jack Wilshere (7) – Mesut Özil (5), Henrikh Mkhitaryan (5) – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (5)
Subs: Alex Iwobi (5), Alexandre Lacazette (5), Danny Welbeck (-)