Arsenal beat Tottenham in north London derby

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Olivier Giroud was the hero for Arsenal, as his 23rd-minute strike was enough to see off Tottenham Hotspur in the north London derby at the Emirates Stadium.

The victory relieves some of the pressure on Arsene Wenger whose side move ahead of Spurs, whose 100 percent record was halted, and into fourth place in the Barclays Premier League.

With Gareth Bale’s world-record transfer to Real Madrid imminent, Andre Villas-Boas’ side seemed to settle quicker in the opening stages and enjoyed the majority of possession playing some nice football.

Santi Cazorla’s clever free kick was a whisker wide of the target for the hosts early on and despite Spurs dominating, it was the Gunners who went in front after 23 minutes.

A swift move up the pitch saw Michael Dawson play Theo Walcott onside, before the latter pulled the ball across the area for Giroud to nip in ahead of the Tottenham captain to flick the ball home past his good friend Hugo Lloris.

England boss Roy Hodgson must have feared the worst when Jack Wilshere limped off just before half-time, with next week’s World Cup qualifiers in mind. However initial fears of a recurrence of his ankle problems were quickly put to one side, as it was confirmed that he was suffering from stomach cramps.

Spurs also lost a central midfielder in the second half, as summer signing Etienne Capoue was stretchered off after falling awkwardly on his left ankle in a challenge with Cazorla.

Substitute Jermain Defoe came closest to equalising for Spurs when his deflected drive was well reached by Wojciech Szczesny, but Arsenal held on for a massive three points.

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