Arsenal won an explosive north London derby as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s brace and goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Torreira goals were enough to inspire a crucial comeback in pulsating 4-2 win over bitter rivals Tottenham on Sunday.
Unai Emery’s side extended their unbeaten run to 19 matches in all competitions after fighting back from 2-1 down in arguably the Premier League’s game of the season so far.
Aubameyang’s penalty put Arsenal ahead in the first half before Eric Dier’s header and a Harry Kane spot-kick gave Tottenham the lead at half-time at the Emirates Stadium.
Dier’s gloating and mocking celebration in front of Arsenal’s fans triggered a touchline brawl involving Arsenal substitutes.
Arsenal second half magic manifested as Aubameyang’s long range strike to equalize 2-2. That strike sparked an attacking surge from the home side.
Lacazette came off the bench to put Arsenal ahead and Lucas Torreira sealed the points with his first goal for the club.
The Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen received a second yellow card which compounded his woeful performance having gave away penalty in earlier in the match.
It was only Arsenal’s second win in the last nine league north London derbies and, while stealing local bragging rights is always sweet, this felt like a significant moment for Emery’s team in the bigger picture.
There has been a resurgent Arsenal since Emery took over the job after depressing final years of Arsene Wenger’s.
Arsenal have moved above Tottenham into fourth place with a goal difference.
Referee Mike Dean awarded a penalty and Aubameyang sent Hugo Lloris the wrong way from the spot for his 11th goal of the season.
Despite being dominated for the opening half hour, Tottenham snatched a 30th-minute equaliser as the derby reached fever pitch.
Christian Eriksen’s inswinging free-kick caught Arsenal captain Granit Xhaka flat-footed and Dier nipped in to head past Bernd Leno’s weak attempted save.
Dier celebrated by holding his finger to his mouth to indicate the Arsenal fans should keep quiet and his inflammatory gesture quickly sparked a touchline brawl.
Arsenal substitutes Stephan Lichtsteiner and Aaron Ramsey took exception to Dier’s taunting, prompting a bout of pushing and shoving.
The goal and subsequent fracas sparked Tottenham into life and four minutes later they were ahead.
Son Heung-Min’s pace was too much for Arsenal to handle and Rob Holding responded by making a rash sliding challenge on the South Korean in the penalty area.
There was only minimal contact but Son fell to the turf and, to Arsenal’s fury, Dean pointed to the spot.
Kane scored home the penalty for a record-equalling eighth Premier League goal in north London derbies.
Arsenal’s sense of injustice spurred them on and Emery responded by sending on Ramsey and Lacazette, back from a groin injury, at half-time.
They proved inspired moves as Gabon forward Aubameyang conjured a majestic equaliser in the 56th minute.
Hector Bellerin’s long pass was flicked on by Ramsey and Aubameyang was first to the pass, unleashing a ferocious strike that flashed past the disbelieving Lloris from 20 yards.
Tottenham had reverted to their earlier timid performance and Arsenal went ahead in the 74th minute.
Lacazette slipped when he took aim from the edge of the area, but his miscued shot took a deflection off Dier and trickled past Lloris.
Torreira delivered the knockout blow three minutes later, running onto Aubameyang’s pass and fired low into the far corner.
It was a pulsating London derby that a lot of Arsenal fans will never forget in a hurry. For now North London remains Red!