Heung-Min Son haunted Arsenal again with a late winner as Tottenham concluded their pre-season with a 1-0 friendly victory over their north London rivals.
Just as the game seemed to be meandering to a draw, Son broke the deadlock 11 minutes from time with a venomous near-post drive past helpless Gunners goalkeeper Bernd Leno.
It proved to be a perfect introduction to life at Spurs for new manager Nuno Espirito Santo, who instantly endeared himself to his new club with an encouraging performance and result, which could have had more gloss had Dele Alli not been denied by the woodwork on two occasions.
For Arsenal, their pre-season ended with back-to-back defeats, but there were plenty of positives for Mikel Arteta to take from the game, with summer-signings Ben White and Sambi Lokonga making their first starts for the Gunners.
On his return to action following an extended post-Euro 2020 break, Bukayo Saka received a heartfelt round of applause from the Spurs faithful. Saka responded in kind to the Tottenham fans by applauding them.
Tottenham: Lloris (7), Reguilon (6), Dier (6), Sanchez (6), Tanganga (7), Hojbjerg (6), Skipp (7), Bergwijn (6), Dele (7), Lucas (6), Son (8).
Subs: Gollini (6), Winks (n/a), Rodon (5), Lo Celso (6), Aurier (n/a), Scarlett (n/a).
Arsenal: Leno (7), Bellerin (6), White (6), Mari (6), Tierney (7), Lokonga (7), Xhaka (6), Pepe (7), Smith Rowe (6), Aubameyang (5), Lacazette (6).
Subs: Maitland-Niles (6), Chambers (6), Elneny (5), Nelson (n/a), Saka (6), Balogun (5), Tavares (n/a), Cedric (n/a)
Man of the Match: Heung-Min Son
Son ensures Spurs prepare for season in style
Spurs flew out of the traps and should have had a goal to show for their strong start. Son nearly delivered it inside six minutes, but his volley flashed inches wide.
It prompted a response from Arsenal as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ballooned an effort over the bar, but Spurs remained in the ascendancy and continued to pepper the Gunners’ goal.
Leno expertly denied Son from point-blank range with a sprawling after brilliant work from Lucas Moura down the left flank.
- Hugo Lloris and Davinson Sanchez returned as Spurs made two changes from Wednesday’s 2-2 pre-season draw at Chelsea.
- Ben White and Sambi Lokonga made their first Arsenal starts and Hector Bellerin and Granit Xhaka returned as Arsenal made four changes from Sunday’s friendly defeat to Chelsea.
Arsenal gradually gained a foothold in the game and came closest to opening the scoring just after the half-hour mark, but having wrapped a shot around Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, Alexandre Lacazette’s effort clipped the outside of the post.
Son looked to have set up Alli for the opener on the stroke of half-time, but he was denied by the woodwork as both sides went into the break level after an entertaining first period.
Alli hit the frame of the Arsenal goal shortly before the hour, where he couldn’t stretch far enough to turn Eric Dier’s flick front a corner home, but Spurs ramped up the pressure as eventually got their reward.
Japhet Tanganga tirelessly hunted the ball down in the Arsenal area, forced an error from Nicolas Pepe and squared for Son, who smashed an unstoppable effort in at the near post as Spurs ended pre-season on a high.
What the managers said…
Spurs head coach Nuno Espirito Santo: “It was a good game, a tough one. We started really well, created chances, then we lost a bit of control, but we finished the game really well. That’s a really good sign, finishing games stronger is where we want to improve. The reception from the fans was amazing, it’s important to feel good at home and we have amazing supporters.”
Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta: “It was a great test, to play that kind of game before starting. We had problems in the first 10 mins and were a little disorganised, but we got control of the game and dominated. Second half was interrupted with substitutions and the game was decided in an action where we made a mistake and were punished.”
Arsenal kick the new Premier League season off at newly-promoted Brentford on Friday Night Football at 8pm – live on Sky Sports Premier League – before Spurs entertain champions Manchester City on Super Sunday at 4.30pm – also live on Sky Sports Premier League.