LONDON, Nov 18, (AFP): Controversial goals from Shkodran Mustafi and Alexis Sanchez gave Arsenal their first Premier League success against Tottenham for over three years as the Gunners won 2-0 in a heated north London derby on Saturday.
Arsene Wenger’s side ended a six-match winless run against their hated rivals thanks to a pair of fiercely debated first-half goals at the Emirates Stadium.
Tottenham were furious that referee Mike Dean awarded a free-kick for Davinson Sanchez’s challenge on Alexis Sanchez and their indignation grew louder when, from the resulting set-piece, Mustafi headed Arsenal’s opener from what the visitors claimed was an offside position.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men felt hard done by again when Sanchez doubled Arsenal’s lead by converting a pass from Alexandre Lacazette, who looked offside in the build-up to the goal.
Arsenal’s first league win over Tottenham since March 2014 was a welcome tonic after their chastening loss at leaders Manchester City before the international break.
Arsenal move within one point of Tottenham and, even if City remain a distant speck on the horizon, proving the balance of power in north London hasn’t completely shifted to their neighbours was cause enough for jubilation among Gunners fans.
Having finished above Arsenal for the first time in 22 years last season, Tottenham missed a chance to underline their ascendency and remain without a win at the Emirates since 2010.
It was a major blow to their title hopes and Pochettino must be concerned that Harry Kane and Dele Alli looked rusty after missing England’s friendlies due to injury.
When Kane wasted his only decent chance in the opening moments — firing too close to Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech — it was a sign of the angst to come for Tottenham.
Despite a largely frustrating time in 2017, Arsenal remain a potent force on home turf, where they have now won their last 11 League games.
United remain second, a point above Chelsea, who climbed above Tottenham into third place courtesy of a 4-0 success at West Bromwich Albion.
In addition to Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic received a rapturous reception when he came on as a substitute following his recovery from a serious knee injury.
A slip by Victor Lindelof enabled Dwight Gayle to put Newcastle ahead in the 14th minute with the first league goal United had conceded at Old Trafford since April.
But Pogba’s feathery cross teed up Anthony Martial to head in a 37th-minute equaliser and after Chris Smalling had headed the hosts in front, Pogba tapped in Marcus Rashford’s cushioned header early in the second half.
Romelu Lukaku added a fourth, swapping passes with Juan Mata and thrashing home to end a seven-game goal drought.