Arsenal beat Tottenham 3-2 to extend Premier League lead

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Arsenal held on for a pulsating 3-2 win over arch rivals Tottenham in the north London derby to keep their grip on top spot in the Premier League on Sunday.

Bidding to stay one step ahead of Manchester City in the title race, Mikel Arteta’s side silenced the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with a three-goal blast before half-time.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s own goal put Arsenal ahead before Bukayo Saka and Kai Havertz netted to leave Arsenal in complete control.

Cristian Romero and Son Heung-min struck for Tottenham after the interval to set up a nervous finish, but Arsenal clung on by their finger tips.

Arsenal sit four points clear of second placed City, who face struggling Nottingham Forest later on Sunday in the first of two games in hand over the Gunners.

City will clinch an unprecedented fourth successive English title if they win their last five matches.

But Arsenal are doing all they can to make Pep Guardiola’s team sweat as they try to make amends for blowing an eight-point lead in last season’s title race.

“I was praying (at the end),” Arteta said. “So many Spurs balls into our box. It was a very emotional game in a great atmosphere against a very good team.”

After the despair of a damaging home defeat against Aston Villa and a Champions League quarter-final exit to Bayern Munich, the Gunners have bounced back impressively.

Aware they have little margin for error with City chasing them, Arteta had called on his players to show their hunger for success and they responded to his challenge.

Thrashing old foes Chelsea 5-0 on Tuesday was merely the appetiser ahead of the main course Arsenal served up for 3,000 of their jubilant fans packed into one corner of the stadium.

Arsenal famously won the league twice at Tottenham’s old White Hart Lane stadium, in 1971 and 2004.

The Gunners could not clinch silverware on enemy territory this time, but their fifth win in the last seven north London derbies kept them in the hunt to win the title for the first time in 20 years.

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