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Bukayo Saka has become inevitable for Arsenal as Tottenham's naivety shows - Premier League hits and misses

Plus: Ange Postecoglou sees the size of the task he faces to take Spurs to the top and Brighton's hopes of a return to Europe are wrecked by Bournemouth; Arsenal remained a point clear of Manchester City at the Premier League summit after both won on Sunday

Like Robben, Saka has become inevitable

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Watch free highlights Arsenal's 3-2 win over Tottenham

"I feel sorry for Ben Davies, in a way, but you know Saka is coming back on his left," said Paul Merson of Arsenal's second goal in their thrilling 3-2 win over Tottenham. "You cannot let him do that."

You cannot let him. But, increasingly, you cannot stop him either.

The 22-year-old has become inevitable. Like the former Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid winger Arjen Robben, you know exactly what is coming next. You just don't know how to stop it.

Davies is not the first defender to find this out. It is what Saka does.

Image: Bukayo Saka's Premier League heat map and open-play goal map for the 2023/24 Premier League season

His latest goal was his 15th in the Premier League this season and the majority of them have come from almost exactly the same place; many in almost exactly the same style. That curling finish into the far corner, having cut in from the right, is becoming his finish.

Thierry Henry perfected something similar from the opposite side of the box, of course. But it was another Arsenal legend whose scoring feats came to mind on this occasion. Saka is the first English player to reach 15 Premier League goals for the club since Ian Wright. It is not bad company to keep.

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Sky Sports' Paul Gilmour and Declan Olley dissect a chaotic North London Derby

His role in the victory went beyond that goal, though. Saka worked tirelessly off the ball and also set up the opener, his inswinging corner flying into the net off the head of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.

Image: The majority of Arsenal's attacking threat has come down the right-hand channel this season

He just keeps getting better. Last season, he produced 26 goals and assists combined, his highest total. This term, with 19 goals and 14 assists in all competitions, he is already up to 33.

Further improvement feels as inevitable as his latest goal.
Nick Wright

Spurs' naivety costs them when it matters

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Ange Postecoglou says Spurs made it too easy for Arsenal on Sunday

"They are a team that deals with the details well and we aren't." Ange Postecoglou's analysis neatly encapsulated the difference between Tottenham and Arsenal in Sunday's north London derby.

Had you not been paying close attention, you would have been perplexed to see the side in red leading 3-0 at half-time, but the devil was in the detail for Mikel Arteta's title challengers.

Two set-piece goals and a swift counter were all they needed. It got tense at the end but proved to be enough to take all three points in one of their biggest games of the season.

Spurs' set-piece vulnerability will come under more intense scrutiny now, but Postecoglou insists their issues run far deeper than that. "If I thought fixing defensive set-pieces was the answer to us bridging the gap then I'd put all my time and effort into that," he said.

"Our defensive set-pieces for those first two goals were very poor," he added. "But there is a lot more than that to fix."

Arteta has had nearly five years to work on those details, while Postecoglou is still early in his journey with Spurs. Taking that next step and addressing those shortcomings will define how his tenure is judged.

Spurs' naivety was laid bare by a side that have had to learn the hard way. Pain is inevitable on the journey with Postecoglou - Sunday's failure to stop Arsenal being a case in point - but necessary if Spurs are to ever bridge the gap.
Zinny Boswell

City show nerves of steel in pursuit of glory

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Highlights from the Premier League match between Nottingham Forest and Manchester City

Manchester City will not stop until they have reeled Premier League leaders Arsenal fully in.

They may have to wait until the final days of the season to do so, in the backyard of their fiercest rivals, but Pep Guardiola continues to find the answers. Even when the pitch is as dry as a bone.

As Liverpool have faltered, City have been described as juggernauts. A well-oiled machine. It's time they were defined in footballing terms, as a group of exceptional players who continue to cope under pressure. Make no mistake, this was a test. Forest gave them an almighty scare, but could not convert several golden chances.


Unlike Liverpool, City keep up with Arsenal. They have got on with it. There have been wild claims. There has been illness, with Phil Foden absent at the City Ground.

Here, the 'League Two striker' moved clear as the Premier League's top goalscorer. They find all sorts of ways to win, from a simple corner or through the old one-two - Kevin De Bruyne to Erling Haaland.

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Roy Keane joked that Erling Haaland is back up to a Championship player

Arsenal will be buoyed by a north London derby win but those celebrations will have been tempered by the events that unfolded 128 miles away.

This win ensured Guardiola's 300th Premier League match in charge of City ended in success. It is now 19 league games unbeaten as they perform their perennial trick of coming good just when it matters the most and they know they will be champions for a fourth successive year if they win their remaining four games.
Ben Grounds

Brighton's hopes of a European return all but over

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Highlights from the Premier League match between Bournemouth and Brighton.

In spite of the added rigours of playing in European competition for the first time, Brighton always looked in with a shout of qualifying for a second time - for the first half of the season, at least.

But this has been a true season of two halves, and, with four games left to play, those hopes are hanging by a thread.

Since the turn of the year, they have won only two of their 15 games and picked up 14 of the 45 points on offer. What's more, they have only scored four goals in their last nine games and found themselves no match for Manchester City and Brighton this week.

Even if they do manage to string together four straight wins, they will only reach 56 points; fifth-placed Tottenham are already on 60, Manchester United have 54 and Newcastle have 53.

Speaking in his press conference after the defeat at the Vitality Stadium, Roberto De Zerbi suggested the Seagulls are too far from the European positions and do not have a clear target anymore, so are suffering with motivation as a result.

It's hard to argue against that, but this tough period will likely shape what Brighton do next season to avoid a repeat - albeit without playing in a fourth competition.
Dan Long

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