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Arsenal won an explosive north London derby as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s brace and Alexandre Lacazette’s crucial strike inspired a pulsating 4-2 win over bitter rivals Tottenham on Sunday.
Unai Emery’s side extended their unbeaten run to 19 matches in all competitions after fighting back from 2-1 down in arguably the Premier League’s game of the season so far.
Aubameyang’s penalty had put Arsenal ahead before Eric Dier’s header and a Harry Kane spot-kick gave Tottenham the lead at half-time at the Emirates Stadium.
Dier’s gloating celebration in front of Arsenal’s fans had triggered a touchline brawl involving Arsenal substitutes.
But the fireworks were far from over as Aubameyang’s superb long-range equaliser sparked a second half surge from the Gunners.
Lacazette came off the bench to put Arsenal ahead and Lucas Torreira sealed the points with his first goal for the club.
Capping a miserable day for Jan Vertonghen, the Tottenham defender was sent off in the closing stages after earlier giving away Arsenal’s penalty.
It was only Arsenal’s second win in the last nine league north London derbies and, while stealing local bragging rights is always sweet, this felt like a significant moment for Emery’s team in the bigger picture.
Emery has revitalised Arsenal since the depressing final years of Arsene Wenger’s reign.
But losses to Manchester City and Chelsea and a draw with Liverpool had raised questions about Arsenal’s ability to compete for a top four finish.
This stirring comeback was exactly the kind of statement of intent Arsenal needed as they moved above Tottenham into fourth place on goal difference.
Chelsea, Liverpool win
Meanwhile, Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri praised his team after they bounced back from their first Premier League defeat of the season to see off bottom club Fulham 2-0 on Sunday.
At Anfield, Liverpool needed a last-minute goal from Divock Origi against Everton to claim the bragging rights in the Merseyside derby and close the gap with Manchester City to two points. -AFP