Martin Odegaard says Arsenal’s second goal against Sp*rs was absolutely crucial to wrestling back momentum in the north London derby.
In a pulsating first half, the Gunners dominated possession and deservedly took the lead before Harry Kane’s penalty, awarded for a foul by Gabriel Magalhaes on Richarlison, cancelled out Thomas Partey’s eye-catching opener.
The half time whistle arguably came at a better moment for Mikel Arteta’s side with the visitors, buoyed by their goal, looking increasingly confident on the counter-attack.
Conte’s men were the first to attack after the restart but after William Saliba had snuffed out a surge by Cristian Romero, the Gunners struck a deadly blow.
Saka cut in from the right flank and arrowed a low drive at Hugo Lloris and Gabriel Jesus pounced on the loose ball to convert from close range. After that, the Gunners never looked back. Granit Xhaka hammered home a third just past the hour mark before Sp*rs were reduced to 10 men.
“I think it was crucial,” said Odegaard of Jesus’ goal.
“We dominated the game from the start but they scored out of nothing and it was important to strike back and get the momentum again and the energy, so I think it was crucial to get the second goal.
“From that moment I think we controlled the game again and it was a solid win in the end. It’s always nice when you get two goals up and then after that when they had one man less we could keep the ball and I think they suffered a lot.”
Odegaard also took a moment to reflect on the manner in which Arsenal broke the deadlock. A patient 22 pass move saw the ball worked from side to side before an unmarked Partey whipped an effort into the top right corner from 24 yards.
According to our captain, the club had worked on taking advantage of such situations.
“It was a great goal. We knew before the game he was going to be free in those areas and we practised that a lot, to find him in those areas, and he made a great shot.
“I think he played a great game as well so a lot of credit to him, and of course the team.”