LONDON - A quick-fire double set Arsenal on their way to a comfortable 3-0 Premier League victory over north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
A close first half was transformed minutes before the break when Robin van Persie met Bacary Sagna's low cross for Arsenal's first goal before Spaniard Cesc Fabregas scored a brilliant second moments later.
Sagna and Van Persie combined once more after the break for Arsenal's third and the Dutchman's seventh this season, while substitute Eduardo da Silva spurned an easy chance for a fourth.
Fabregas' goal was the highlight of the match, with the midfielder seizing on a loose ball before scything through the Spurs defence and firing past a shell-shocked Heurelho Gomes just 11 seconds after the restart from Van Persie's strike.
"I'm sitting there two or three minutes before half-time saying I fancy us today, but we walked in 2-0 down," Spurs manager Harry Redknapp told reporters.
"It was a real knockout blow. I was angry with the goals but not the performance."
It got worse for Spurs after the break in bizarre circumstances.
Both teams stopped playing after the linesman had flagged for Benoit Assou-Ekotto's foul on Arsenal striker Eduardo but referee Mark Clattenburg signalled the advantage and Sagna and van Persie reacted quickest for the third goal.
"We took advantage of the mistakes Tottenham made but we provoked them as well and could have scored more," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told Sky Sports News.
Eduardo should have added a fourth but fired wide as the hosts quickly found their rhythm while Spurs struggled to test Manuel Almunia who was back in the Arsenal goal after a five-game absence.
Spurs, who stay fourth, fought back from two goals down for a shock 4-4 draw at the Emirates last season but this time David Bentley, making his first start since January, was the closest they came to scoring with a free-kick tipped over by Almunia.
"I am very confident that we will win (the title) but we are in October so come back in May," Wenger added.comments