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Sanchez & Ozil shine as Arsenal win North London derby - Review, brought to you by Football Republic

1:26 am AEDT 20/11/17
Alexis Sanchez Mesut Ozil Shkodran Mustafi Arsenal Tottenham
Arsene Wenger's side gained a vital victory against arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur after a superlative performance...

Ahead of Saturday’s match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, there had been a sense that the balance of power in North London was steadily shifting away from the Gunners. After all, in the past few seasons, Spurs have finished runner-up in the Premier League while Arsenal has struggled – they failed to make it to the Champions League for the first time in 20 years last season.

Coming into the clash, Arsenal had not been in the best of form, while Spurs had held Real Madrid to a 1-1 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu, and then followed it up with a 3-1 win over the Galacticos in the return fixture of the Champions League.

Yet nothing mattered on the night at the Emirates Stadium, as the Gunners marched their way to a comprehensive 2-0 win in the first North London Derby of the Premier League season.

First half goals from Shkodran Mustafi and Alexis Sanchez accounted for the scoreline, but it was a thoroughly dynamic performance by Arsene Wenger’s team that rarely looked threatened.

The first good chance of the game however, came in favour of Spurs. Against the run of play, Christian Eriksen gained control of the ball and took a low shot that had well beaten Petr Cech in the Arsenal goal, but could not evade the post.

Four minutes later, Arsenal found the opener.

Sanchez had been brought down on the left side of the pitch, and Mesut Ozil stepped up to deliver the set-piece. Replays did suggest Mustafi was marginally offside, but the German defender was the first to react to his compatriot’s free-kick, and was in perfect position to rise and head past Hugo Lloris.

Interestingly enough, all three of Mustafi’s Premier League goals have been assisted by Ozil. This was also Ozil’s 45th assist since his debut in September 2013 – more than any other player in that time.

There wasn’t much of a reaction from the visitors, and five minutes later, Sanchez doubled the lead. The Chilean had steadily gained the ire of the home supporters after a series of lackluster performances once his transfer request didn’t materialize earlier in the season. So far, he had found the net just once. On the night though, he had been at his tormenting best, and he used his pace and strength to shove past a defender and slot home from close range.

Spurs did work harder in the second half, but Wenger’s team looked comfortable throughout. In the dying minutes though, Eric Dyer did manage to get a clever header at goal, but for a reflex save from Cech.

The result slows Tottenham’s march in the title race, but for Arsenal, it’s put them just a point behind their rivals, and slowly back in contention for gaining something this season.