Harry Kane has admitted that he and his teammates wanted to avenge their 3-1 loss at the Emirates earlier in the season.
Nothing other than three points would have been enough for Spurs in the North London derby if they were to have a realistic shot of qualifying for the Champions League.
It proved to be a near-perfect night for the Lilywhites in the end, with the home side turning out comfortable 3-0 winners and not even having to break a sweat in the second half, thanks to the numerical advantage they had after Rob Holding’s sending off.
Kane, who was already the highest scorer in the history of North London derbies heading into the clash, added another brace to his tally.
The Tottenham striker told Football.London after the win: “I enjoy the fixture, I look forward to it throughout the whole year.
“There’s something special about the north London derby. Something with the fans and around the club, and the whole build-up to the game and especially this one.
“It’s the first big one we’ve had over the last few years where there was a lot of pressure and a lot of points to play for in a big Champions League push. So it was nice to come out on top.
“That [first] game [at the Emirates Stadium] was a really disappointing day for us, away against them. I think we had that in the back of our minds. We had a real determination to go out there and win tonight. And we put in a great performance from start to finish.
“Credit to the boys, credit to the staff who worked really hard throughout the whole week, to prepare for this game, and we delivered on the night.”
Many who were in attendance at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium raved about the atmosphere, with Gary Neville even insisting that it was the best atmosphere he had seen in any Premier League stadium this season (Sky Sports’ Gary Neville Podcast).
Kane admitted that he was pleased with the way he and his teammates handled the pressure of the occasion.
When asked if this was Tottenham’s biggest win at the new stadium, the striker responded: “I think so.
“There was a lot of anticipation before the game, during the week. The atmosphere was electric from the start. The pressure was on us to deliver tonight and I thought we handled that really well.
“We started the game well. Took our chances and then second half we controlled it really nicely, especially with the game on Sunday as well.
“I think we showed our experience, the experience in the squad. In a big game like this, at home, in our stadium, we knew we had to win. Otherwise, Champions League was pretty much dead for us.
“So it was nice to respond that way, and show that we’re capable of playing that way under that pressure. But, like I said, and like we know, it means nothing if we don’t go and win on Sunday now.”
Kane stressed the importance of building on Thursday’s win by overturning Burnley and putting pressure on the Gunners before they travel to Newcastle on Monday.
The England captain added: “There are still two games to go. It was important to win, of course.
“We play before them on Sunday, they play Monday night, so I feel like if we can win that, we obviously put a bit more pressure on them when they’ve got a tough game away to Newcastle, but we can only control us and what we can do.
“Obviously, Burnley are fighting for points themselves, so they’ll be coming here to make it difficult for us. We’ve got to be ready for that.”
Spurs Web Opinion
I had a feeling ahead of the match that whichever team handled the occasion better was going to end up on the winning side.
Arsenal’s inexperience clearly told on the night, with many of their players not having played in a derby of this magnitude. I was impressed with the way we had our heads screwed on throughout the ninety minutes.
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