Arsenal 5 Tottenham Hotspur 2

Arsenal stormed back from going a goal down to thrash ten man Spurs at the Emirates. Per Mertersacker levelled after Emmanuel Adebayor had given the visitors the lead. Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla made the scoreline an amazing 4-1, before Gareth Bale pulled a goal back for Spurs. Theo Walcott then put icing on the Arsenal cake with a fifth goal in a match which saw Adebayor rightly receive a straight red card for a two footed lunge on Cazorla.

Still reeling from last season’s drubbing by the same scoreline, the visitors intentions were clear from the start – attack first and then see what transpires. Early on, that proved to be a successful tactic. William Gallas had a goal ruled out for offside with just the three Spurs players infringing. It was to be a warning however, and from their next attack, the visitors were ahead.

Jan Vertonghen floated the ball into the danger zone, Mertersacker and Sagna were exposed as Jermain Defoe struck a shot that the returning Wojciech Szczesny palmed down. The ball fell into the path of Adebayor to tap in after 11 minutes.The former Gunner celebrated comparatively lightly, and his team went close to doubling their lead two minutes later when Bale found Lennon, who saw his shot fizz just wide on Szczesny’s upright.

The turning point of the half came after 18 minutes. What Adebayor was thinking in launching a two footed aerial lunge on Cazorla’s trailing leg, no one will ever know. Howard Webb had no alternative than to show a straight red card to the Togo man, and that proved to be a vital error for the visitors hopes. Six minutes after the dismissal, ten man Spurs saw Arsenal draw level.

Walcott latched onto Jack Wilshere’s pass. He twisted and turned before crossing for Mertersacker to power a header past Hugo Lloris for his first Arsenal goal. Just past the half hour mark, the inspired Giroud almost gave the Gunners the lead. Wilshere’s free kick was headed goal wards by the France striker, until his countryman stretched to produce a fine save. Cazorla, who has returned to his effervescent best, then sent a dipping shot that just cleared the bar. Lloris again denied Giroud, but two minutes before the break, Arsenal took the lead.

Mikel Arteta bustled his way in. Tom Huddlestone inadvertently completed the one-two, adn intelligent turn by Podolski saw his shot squirm past Lloris. Amazingly, seconds before half time, Arsenal grabbed a third. Aaron Lennon had just received a yellow card for a foul on Lennon, as Cazorla worked an opening and managed to stay on his feet, to produce a low cross which Giroud swept in for his fourth goal in three games. The Emirates crowd erupted as the half came to a close.

Spurs switched to three at the back after the restart, but despite continuing to attack, it was Arsenal who increased their lead. A swift break saw Walcott craft the ball to Podolski on the left. His cross, found Cazorla who raced onto the ball to hit home for a 4-1 lead. Arsenal poured forward and seemed to want to score at will, such was their command now.

However, as tends to be the way in north London derbies, Spurs struck back. It was Bale who reduced the arrears after 71 minutes. The Wales midfielder was given far too much time, and duly ran and hit the target with his right foot to make it 4-2.

A sprinkle of nerves appeared, but still the Gunners held firm. Chances to Walcott and Bale for the visitors were squandered, but in the first minute of the four for time added on, Arsenal got their fifth goal. Substitute Alex Oxlade Chamberlain powered past the Spurs defence, before teeing up Walcott to complete to score for another rout of Spurs for the second consecutive season and by the same scoreline. The Gunners are firing again, and that bodes well for the remainder of the season