Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal – Mind Series – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – Report
Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Arsenal
Heung-Min Son settled a usefully competitive North London derby as Tottenham and Arsenal continued their preparations ahead of next weekend’s Premier League openers.
Indeed, the Mind Series tournament, also involving Chelsea, has probably offered Nuno Espirito Santo more clues on the group he has inherited than perhaps the usual pre-season arrangement, which in recent years has seen the Premier League’s big guns desert these shores for lucrative fixtures promoting their global brand.
Son was a whisker away from opening the scoring, latching onto Ben White’s misplaced clearance. Meanwhile, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was wayward, much to the delight of the exclusively ‘home’ 25,000 crowd.
Bernd Leno produced a superb point-blank save to thwart Son after Sergio Reguilon and Lucas Moura had fashioned an opening. Arsenal responded – this time Hugo Lloris had to be on his toes to turn aside an awkward attempt from Alexandre Lacazette.
Lacazette again went close as Arsenal began to enjoy the better of proceedings. Indeed, Dele’s reckless challenge on Nicolas Pepe drew a card for the midfielder as Tottenham’s frustrations began to intensify.
Dele almost provided an altogether more positive input – his close-range attempt cannoning back off the foot of an upright after Son had teed him up.
The scrappy nature of the contest continued after the restart. Dele hit the woodwork for a second time after Son’s dead-ball delivery had been flicked on, while Reguilon whistled across the face of goal after racing clear and cutting in from the left.
The Tottenham crowd deserve credit for embracing the arrival of Gunners substitute Bukayo Saka. N17 remains behind the England man following his penalty shootout heartache at Euro 2020. Meanwhile, Dele volleyed wide after the former MK Dons man had arrived unchallenged to meet Son’s flag-kick.
But the game needed a goal. No Harry Kane? No problem! Son steadied himself and drove inside Leno’s near-post – Lo Celso and Tanganga involved in the move.
Substitute keeper, Pierluigi Gollini stuck out a glove to deny Saka as Arsenal searched for a way back. But despite Eric Dier firing over in the final seconds, the home side had done enough to earn bragging rights, of sorts, against their nearest and not so dearest.
Spurs now turn their attention to the Premier League where they will face Manchester City at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday, August 15 (4:30pm).
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris (Capt) (Gollini 68’), Tanganga (Aurier 87’), Sanchez (Rodon 73’), Dier, Reguilon, Skipp (Winks 84’), Hojbjerg (Lo Celso 68’), Dele, Lucas, Bergwijn, Son (Scarlett 84’) Subs not used: Doherty, Sissoko, Davies, Carter-Vickers, Whiteman, Omole, Clarke, John
Booked: Dele Ali (foul), Oliver Skipp (foul), Reguilon (foul)
Goals: Heung-Min Son 80’
Arsenal: Leno, Bellerin (Maitland-Niles 64’), White (Chambers 64’), Mari, Tierney, Lokonga (Elneny 73’), Xhaka (Cedric 81’), Smith-Rowe, Lacazette (Balogun 73’), Aubameyang (Saka 64’), Pepe (Nelson 81’) Subs not used: Hein, Kolasinac, Runarsson
Booked: Kieran Tierney (foul)
Referee: David Coote
Assistants: Con Hatzidakis and Nick Hopton
Fourth Official: Jarred Gillett