Tottenham have revived their hopes of beating Arsenal to the final Champions League qualification position by overwhelming their fierce north London rivals 3-0 in a crucial Premier League derby.
Harry Kane scored twice – including one from the penalty spot – and Son Heung-min added the other just after halftime in Thursday’s clash.
It moved Tottenham just a point behind fourth-placed Arsenal, who had centre back Rob Holding sent off in the 33rd minute when they were 1-0 down.
There are two games remaining for each team and fifth-placed Spurs have what looks an easier finish to the season than Arsenal.
While Spurs face two of the bottom four – Burnley and already-relegated Norwich – Arsenal must travel to Newcastle before a home game against Everton.
Arsenal were responsible for their own downfall in a way, with full back Cedric Soares barging into Son at the back post for the penalty that Kane rolled into the corner in the 22nd minute.
Holding, already booked for pulling back Son, then opted to stick out an elbow to block off the South Korea forward rather than track his run following Eric Dier’s ball over the top of the Arsenal defence.
Holding connected with the face of Son, who slumped to the ground, and was shown a second yellow card in the 33rd.
A clearly frustrated Arteta said: “If I say what I think I’m suspended for six months. I’m allowed to give my interpretation on the game but I don’t like to lie so I’d prefer not to say.
“With my players, I’m so proud of my players. You can ask the referee to come in front of the camera and explain his decisions. I make mine. That’s his decision. A beautiful game was destroyed today.”
It got worse for Arsenal as, four minutes later, Son swung over a corner from the right, Rodrigo Bentancur headed the ball towards goal and Kane stooped to head home at the back post from barely a metre out.
Son moved one goal behind Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah in the race to be the league’s top scorer by curling home the third goal from inside the area in the 47th .
Son has ten goals in his last eight league games and is on 21 for the campaign, his best yet for Spurs.
A miserable evening for Arsenal was capped by defender Gabriel hobbling off with an apparent right hamstring injury.
With Holding suspended and Ben White only fit enough to make the bench after a recent injury, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta’s central-defensive resources are being stretched just at the wrong time.
Manchester City and Liverpool are already sure of being in next season’s Champions League while third-place Chelsea are set to join them, sitting four points ahead of Arsenal and needing one win from their remaining games against Leicester and already-relegated Watford.
It means Arsenal and Tottenham look to be battling for the final one, which should go down to the final day of the season.
Spurs boss Antonio Conte said while it was an important win the focus was now with Burnley on Sunday.
“I was very clear with my players, we try to enjoy it and celebrate it in the right way but at the same time we think on Sunday otherwise this win, yes we won a derby, but it will only be important if we are going to win on Sunday.”