Ian Wright could not hide his overwhelming delight as Arsenal soared to a 3-0 half-time lead in the north London derby, while Tottenham legend Glenn Hoddle could only look on
Arsenal hero Ian Wright was overcome with happiness as the Gunners cruised to a dominant victory over Tottenham on Sunday evening.
Mikel Arteta steered his side to a 3-1 win at the Emirates, with Emile Smith Rowe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka putting the hosts firmly in control in the first half.
A late strike by Son Heung-min only served as a consolation goal for Nuno Espirito Santo’s Spurs, who were second best to their local rivals by some distance.
Wright wore his heart on his sleeve while working to cover the north London derby alongside Tottenham legend and co-pundit Glenn Hoddle.
The former striker posted a video on his Twitter page showing him celebrating each of Arsenal’s goals emphatically, and he especially delighted by Bukayo Saka’s effort to extend the lead in the 34th minute.
Saka worked his way through a wall of Tottenham defenders and fired beyond Hugo Lloris, lifting Wright out of his seat and prompting him to yell “it’s a great day” repeatedly at the top of his lungs.
While his colleague celebrated, Hoddle sat speechless on the other side of the room and at one point simply raised his hands, aghast at Spurs’ defending.
Meanwhile, Wright’s former teammate Tony Adams was equally delighted in the Sky Sports studio and had a beaming smile as he unpicked the match.
“It was a wonderful, wonderful first half display, the kids were phenomenal,” said the former Gunners captain. “Saka, the legs of Emile Smith Rowe up and back, they really took the game.
“I loved Tomi [Takehiro Tomiyasu], I thought his positioning was excellent. I thought they were exceptional all over the pitch and the game was over in the first half.
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“I just liked the shape, the two holding midfielders [Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka], they won every header, Ben White was exceptional today, imposing himself in the first 15 to 20 minutes.
“I’m excited. I’ve been saying for ages these guys need to hold these full-backs in and be hard to beat and let the Saka and Smith Rowe’s handle it and I’m delighted the kids took it to them.”
In contrast, White Hart Lane icon Ledley King lamented Tottenham’s toothlessness until the closing stages of the match.
“I think we gave them too much respect and the similar thing happened last year,” said King. “It wasn’t until the final 20 minutes last year where we put the pressure on and we saw the mistakes and vulnerabilities.
“We saw it today, but we have to start better. You don’t have to always press but there has to be a point where you start engaging people and stop them playing and we were in between today.”