Mikel Arteta stayed with his 3-4-3 system, demanding intensity from his Arsenal players and advanced starting positions, and they went ahead when they were able to win the ball by high – something the manager demanded.
Serge Aurier read a pass from Granit Xhaka to Aubameyang but his touch was heavy and established a 50-50 with Xhaka, who the Arsenal midfielder won, sending the ball spinning to Lacazette. The attacker took two hits before deploying an upward push that overtook Hugo Lloris in the upper corner of the edge of the area. It was a scorching finish.
The spurs did not stay long and when they stabilized, the passionate celebrations of Mourinho betrayed an element of justification. He had started with two attackers for the first time at Spurs – Son alongside Harry Kane – in order to give his team more presence and threat in the last third.
It was Son who took advantage of a terrible back pass from Sead Kolasinac, which was intended for David Luiz but which was irrelevant. His was on him in a flash, holding the Brazilian and cutting a nice finish on Emiliano Martínez. The television camera focused on David Luiz, looking sad, but Kolasinac had to carry the box.
Football in camera is weird, but it was weirder than normal. Derby day in these games is normally hectic and there were a lot of usual accoutrements on the field in the first half – digs out of the ball, high pace, yellow cards, thrills and spills. It only remained for us to imagine how the crowd would have bubbled.
The Spurs could have taken the lead at the start. Lucas Moura shot straight at Martínez after Kane relied on David Luiz but the big chance came after Nicolas Pépé lost the ball cheaply and allowed Lucas to escape. Lucas’ ball was dropped on David Luiz for Kane, but Martínez used his entire 6 foot 5 inch frame to stand up and save the first lob.
The Spurs could also signal the time of the first half when Ben Davies rocked the crossbar with a stroke of 30 yards. Héctor Bellerín had cut for Aubameyang after beating Davies and Harry Winks only for the attacker to lint his lines, while Pépé would just bend wide and Aubameyang was off target with a free kick.
Arteta shouted many of his instructions in Spanish with a little French when he cheered on Lacazette. His team started the second half on the forefoot, monopolizing possession, looking for openings and they fashioned a glorious one when Pépé flew Alderweireld over the edge of the Spurs area and found Lacazette. Aubameyang broke away from the left area, Lacazette found him and the Arsenal captain struck violently for the goal. He was denied by the crossbar.
The surge in the first half was slowed by Arsenal taking a more measured approach in the third quarter. The Spurs stayed in form 4-4-2 but fell deeper, looking happier to hit the meter.
The truce preceded an arrival in the stands of the Spurs. Her son moved closer after Kane took over from David Luiz and, after Aubameyang extended Lloris, Kane was refused by Martínez who was advancing. The Spurs could even have embellished the final score only for Martínez to save Kane and Son to shoot David Luiz.