Toby Alderweireld was the toast of Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday evening as his 81st-minute header sealed a 2-1 Premier League victory against Arsenal in the first north London derby in their new stadium.
With the match all-square, it seemed the points would be shared, a result that would do little to help either team as they struggle to keep pace near the top of the table.
But Alderweireld had other ideas and claimed all three points for Spurs to move Jose Mourinho’s side above Arsenal into eighth place in the battle for local pride.
With three games left Tottenham have 52 points to Arsenal’s 50, but are seven points behind fourth-placed Leicester City.
According to Opta, Arsenal are now winless in their last 27 Premier League away fixtures against other established top six teams, since a 2-0 victory at Manchester City in January 2015.
Arsenal took the lead in spectacular fashion with Alexandre Lacazette’s 17th-minute pile-driver but they were pegged back almost immediately as Son Heung-min punished a defensive error.
Both sides were denied by the woodwork and Arsenal were in the ascendancy after the break before Tottenham’s strong finish sealed a third successive home win since the restart.
Alderweireld told Sky Sports: “I think it’s massive for us. I think we really wanted to win this game, you know it’s difficult without the fans, it will be a totally different atmosphere but I think we did everything that we could. We fought.
“I think we did have a little bit of luck to get three points today.
“I think with the goal, because against Bournemouth, you missed a little bit of luck to get the last pass, so I think today we had the little bit of luck to get the 2-1.”
Wolves 3 Everton 0
Crystal Palace 2 Aston Villa 0
Tottenham 2 Arsenal 1