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Thomas Partey: Mikel Arteta critical of injured Arsenal midfielder leaving the field

Mikel Arteta searching for answers after Thomas Partey left the field injured as Spurs scored crucial second goal in 2-0 north London derby victory; Jose Mourinho hails "world-class" Heung-Min Son and Harry Kane as Spurs reclaim Premier League top spot

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta suggested that midfielder Thomas Partey was in the wrong for walking off the pitch in the build-up to Tottenham's second goal in the 2-0 North London derby defeat.

Mikel Arteta accused Thomas Partey of failing to grasp the gravity of the situation after he left the field injured in the build-up to Tottenham's crucial second goal in Sunday's north London derby.

After Heung-Min Son's stunning long-range strike had given Spurs the lead on the counter at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Arsenal were hit by another break in first-half stoppage-time as the injured Partey vacated midfield and allowed Harry Kane to double the lead.

Arteta was seen attempting to push Partey back onto the field moments before Kane rifled Spurs into an insurmountable lead, and the Gunners boss admitted his player was in the wrong to leave the pitch.

"Thomas is out, he's limping, he's in pain, he has to come off and we lost a man in that crucial transition moment," Arteta told Sky Sports. "He has to fall on the floor.

"I wanted him on the pitch, doing whatever he could for the team in that situation. No one expected him not to be in that position."

Speaking in his post-match press conference, Arteta added: "I was trying to push him back on the pitch, I don't think he realised the gravity of the situation when he left his position.

"That was probably because he was in a lot of pain. There is nothing we can do at the moment to resolve that."

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Alex Scott and Graeme Souness were critical of Thomas Partey's decision to walk off the pitch in the build-up to Tottenham's second goal in Arsenal's 2-0 Premier League defeat.

Asked if he was frustrated or annoyed with Partey's exit, Arteta replied: "It was too quick, we were through, I think it was a four-against-three situation for us to play the final ball and we were through. Suddenly they were coming to us and Thomas is walking to me and I am trying to push him.

"I haven't spoken to him. I don't know exactly how it happened and if he felt something really serious. I will look at it and we will talk about it."

Arteta: The goals will come

Arsenal were not outplayed at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium but rarely threatened Spurs, delivering a league-high 44 crosses into the area throughout the duration of the game but failing to find the target.

It means the Gunners have now won just one of their last seven Premier League matches, while Arteta is coming under increasing pressure on the back of Arsenal's worst league start since 1981/82.

For Arteta the salutation to Arsenal's problems is simple one: "By scoring goals. Very simple. We need to score goals. It is not sustainable.

"It doesn't matter what we do in other departments if we don't score, we need to put the ball into the net urgently. At the moment it looks like we need a lot to score a goal.

"In terms of the performance, they did everything that I asked them to do. We played the way we had to play this game. All the stats are in our favour, at the end of the day it is about putting the ball in the back of the net."

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Tottenham's win over Arsenal in the Premier League.

Jose salutes 'world-class' Kane and Son

While Arsenal are enduring their worst start to a campaign in almost 40 years, Jose Mourinho's Tottenham are enjoying their best start to a Premier League season in years.

A seventh win of the season extended their unbeaten run in the league to 10 games and moved them two points clear at the top of the table, once again Son and Kane were front and centre.

Son and Kane set up each other's first-half strikes, meaning they have now combined for 11 goals this season, with Kane's strike a landmark 11th against the Gunners, making him the highest scorer in the history of north London derbies.

Goalscorer Harry Kane celebrates with Heung-min Son
Image: Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son have combined for 11 goals in the Premier League this season.

"You know they are world-class," Mourinho said. "It's as simple as that, but when we play against (Manchester) City, after the game I was speaking to the Portuguese boy, (City defender Ruben) Dias.

"I was telling him, 'You are not going to play one single match in the Premier League where the strikers are not good'. This is the Premier League.

"But I have to admit that Harry and Sonny are world-class players and on the top of what they do they have a very good sense of the team.

"They have a very good sense of the balance that they need and they also do incredible tactical work for the team when the team doesn't have the ball. So top players, amazing."

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Jose Mourinho praised forwards Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son for their off-the-ball work, stating they give everything for the team as Spurs beat Arsenal in the 2-0 in the Premier League.

Are Spurs title contenders?

After a win over City on November 21 and a draw at Chelsea last week, this victory reinforces belief that Spurs are strong title contenders this season, even if Mourinho has been keen to continue to downplay his side's chances.

"We can lose everywhere in the Premier League, we can go to any team and lose, any team can come here and beat us," he added.

"Of course people could expect this last three matches, three or four points or six and lose one.

"We did seven (points), we didn't concede one goal against phenomenal teams, of course we are in a good moment and the team is in a good place mentally, but nothing changes."

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