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Arsenal wins North London derby and stays in title race

In a crucial North London Derby, Arsenal managed to apply further pressure on Manchester City in the Premier League title race by securing a 3-2 victory over Tottenham Hotspur. The win was notably marked by Arsenal’s strategic prowess from corners, which has been a recurring theme this season.

Great start by the Gunners

The match, held at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, saw Arsenal opening the scoring in the 15th minute when Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, under pressure from Takehiro Tomiyasu, inadvertently headed the ball into his own net from a Bukayo Saka corner. Despite Tottenham’s attempts to level the score, a goal from Micky van de Ven was disallowed for offside after a lengthy VAR review. Arsenal extended their lead following a swift counter-attack, with Kai Havertz setting up Bukayo Saka, who outran Ben Davies and expertly placed the ball into the far corner. The Gunners' dominance from set-pieces was further highlighted in the 38th minute when another meticulously executed corner by Declan Rice found Havertz, who headed in the second corner goal of the game.

Spurs comeback

The second half saw Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou make tactical changes, introducing Yves Bissouma and Richarlison, which increased the home side’s intensity. Arsenal’s goalkeeper, David Raya, made a critical error under pressure, giving the ball away to Cristian Romero who easily scored, bringing the score to 3-1. The drama escalated when Declan Rice committed a foul in the penalty area, leading to a VAR-reviewed penalty that Heung-Min Son converted, tightening the scoreline to 3-2. In a tense final phase, more than fifty thousand Spurs fans rallied behind their team, but Arsenal managed to hold on, despite Mikel Arteta bringing on Jakub Kiwior to fortify the defense.

Title race heats up even more

This victory sets the stage for a suspenseful continuation of the title race. Arsenal, with this win, places the onus on Manchester City, who face an away game against Nottingham Forest. A win for City would reduce their deficit to just one point behind Arsenal, with City having four games left to Arsenal’s three. Arsenal's ability to capitalize on corners has been a significant aspect of their strategy, proving decisive in crucial matches like this derby. As the season nears its climax, the tactical nuances of each team could be what determines the fate of the Premier League title.

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