Thursday night at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was a night to forget for Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal.
The Gunners, who, prior to kick-off, were four points clear of their London rivals in the fourth spot but following a three-nil thrashing, have now seen their advantage trimmed back to just one point.
With just two domestic games left to play, the race for the top four is wide open and neither Spurs nor Arsenal, know which side will be competing in Europe’s most prestigious cup competition next season.
Set for a dramatic conclusion, Thursday’s game was always going to have huge implications in the enthralling run-in.
However, despite the magnitude of the encounter, it was to be Antonio Conte’s Lilywhites who came away victorious.
A first-half brace from Harry Kane and a second-half third from South Korea international Son Heung-min sealed the game’s result but the tie wasn’t without its drama.
Gunners’ centre-back Rob Holding was shown two yellow cards during the first 45-minutes, consequently resulting in him being sent off.
Referee Paul Tierney had an excellent game overall but found himself in the spotlight early on.
Witnessing Holding, who, at the time, was already on a booking, shoulder barge Son, left Tierney with no choice but to dismiss the English defender.
Discussing the game’s biggest decision, former Premier League referee and CaughtOffside columnist Mark Halsey, said: “When Holding did commit another offence, he deserved to be cautioned for consistently infringing the laws of the game.
“He can have no complaints and he can have no complaints with his second yellow card.
“I actually think he should be thankful to Paul Tierney for giving him a second yellow for reckless use of the arm because it could have quite easily been a straight red for violent conduct.
“Had he been sent off for violent conduct, he’d be banned for three games, instead of one match for two yellows.”
Following Holding’s dismissal on Thursday, the 26-year-old will now miss his side’s penultimate Premier League game against Newcastle United next week.