Tottenham reignited their hopes of edging Arsenal to the final Champions League place by overwhelming their fierce rivals 3-0 in the Premier League on Thursday.
Harry Kane scored twice — including one from the penalty spot — and Son Heung-min added the third just after the break to move Tottenham one point behind fourth-place Arsenal, who had centre-back Rob Holding sent off in the first half.
There are two games remaining for each and fifth-placed Tottenham’s finish to the season looks easier as they face two of the bottom four in Burnley and relegated Norwich. The Gunners travel to Newcastle before a home game against Everton.
“It's always good to win but especially this derby. It means a lot. We can close the gap. This game really, really feels nice,” said Son afterwards.
Kane added: “I'm proud of the boys. If they [Arsenal] won they would have secured the Champions League so there was pressure on us in front of our home fans but we delivered well. We started on the front foot, created the chances and controlled it in the second half.
“Whenever you win a derby it's always nice. Two more games to go. We need to focus on them now but it was a special night here.
“I think so [it being the best atmosphere at that stadium]. You could feel the anticipation building up and we knew we had to deliver.
“We still have two games to go and we have put the pressure on them. We have to focus on ourselves. We play early on Sunday so we need to get a result and see what happens.
“We can only control our games. We did our job tonight. We won't get ahead of ourselves. Tonight was special but our ultimate goal is to get fourth place and we still have work to do.”
Arsenal were responsible for their own downfall, with full back Cedric Soares barging into Son at the back post for the penalty that Kane rolled into the corner in the 22nd minute.
Holding, already booked for pulling back Son, then opted to stick out an elbow to block off the South Korea forward rather than track his run following Eric Dier’s ball over the top of the Arsenal defence.
Holding connected with the face of Son, who slumped to the ground, and was shown a second yellow card in the 33rd minute.
It got worse for Arsenal as, four minutes later, Son swung over a corner from the right, Rodrigo Bentancur headed the ball towards goal and Kane stooped to head home at the back post from barely a metre out.
Son moved one goal behind Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah in the race to be the league’s top scorer by curling home the third goal from inside the area in the 47th after Kane had been tackled just as he was about to shoot on the turn.
Son has 10 goals in his last eight league games and is on 21 for the campaign, his best yet for Spurs.
A miserable evening for Arsenal was capped by defender Gabriel hobbling off with an apparent right hamstring injury. With Holding suspended and Ben White only fit enough to make the bench after a recent injury, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta’s resources are being stretched just at the wrong time.