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Can Arsenal restore dominance in its rivalry with Tottenham Hotspur?

Saturday 8th December 2018

For 45 minutes at least, Arsenal restored dominance in its rivalry with Tottenham Hotspur. Sunday was a day for derbies and the biggest of them all was the North London Derby between Arsenal and Tottenham at the Emirates stadium. The game demonstrated just how far both sides have come recently. Each had a half in ascension. The Gunners overcame Spurs early lead to win a raucous affair 4-2. The question now is whether they have wrested control of this series back from their long-time rivals?

Arsenal overwhelm Tottenham historically. in 101 meetings they've won 20 more [44] than they've lost. As Arsene Wenger's powers waned, however, Spurs assumed command thanks to their manager, Mauricio Pochettino. Now, Arsenal have a new boss in Unai Emery. Have the tables turned again? Following the weekend's result, you wouldn't be crucified for saying North London is red once again.

A 4-2 victory against a side that just defeated high-flying Chelsea is no ordinary feat. Emery' instilled a new energy in the Gunners. His style is to go for it in big matches. His players love the idea.

After more than two decades of futile pursuit, Spurs finished ahead of the Gunners in the past two campaigns. Sunday's result threw down the gauntlet. Arsenal overtook their rivals for fourth place.

A little over a third of the way through the season, there is too much football to be played to consider the result a final verdict. Twenty-four games remain in this session. Either side can push on or fall by the wayside.

Arsenal's momentum suggests their upward trajectory won't end anytime soon. On the other hand, they gifted a struggling Manchester United equalisers a minute or so after taking two leads in their midweek clash. Tottenham responded to their defeat by clinically dismantling floundering Southampton while that club's new boss, Ralph Hassenhuttl, watched from the stands.

Spurs have consistency on their side. Pochettino's done a tremendous amount of work to make them perennial Champions League participants, managing the resources he's given to coax the most from his squad. From scratch, he's produced a European powerhouse. They've matured to the point that their best player isn't so eager to leave, as Luka Modric and Gareth Bale once were. Rumours abound but Harry Kane appears happy in a lily-white shirt.  

Taking it to the next level is the challenge. Even as Arsenal faded, Wenger still won three FA Cups. Pochettino is yet to claim silverware. One side is rich with trophies, the other near misses. For either to pull clear in this new era, results must be exceptional and titles must follow.

Consecutive Champions League places for Spurs while Arsenal wallow in the Europa League means little considering Spurs have done nothing with it. This season, they're on the verge of crashing out in the group stage. More must be achieved to pull clear of their neighbours. Another trophy for Europa League specialist, Unai Emery, while Spurs crash out of the Champions League will speak volumes. For now, at least, North London is red.

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Nacy Adams

29-year-old freelance writer, writing about football is what i enjoy doing, I love Manchester United. 

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