It was a friendly in name only today as Tottenham Hotspur hosted Arsenal.
There isn’t usually a North London derby before the competitive schedule begins, but there was this afternoon and Spurs secured the bragging rights with a 1-0 victory over Mikel Arteta’s side.
In truth, Tottenham were very good value for the win on a day when Arsenal didn’t threaten all that much going forward.
At times, it didn’t feel like a friendly – for two reasons.
When the Lilywhites fans applauded Bukayo Saka on to the field in the second half, it was a classy gesture in light of the 19-year-old’s Euro 2020 heartbreak – and subsequent abuse online.
But there were also the sort of meaty challenges synonymous with this fixture – and Dele Alli was reprimanded for one.
The 25-year-old Tottenham received a yellow card for what looked a reckless challenge on Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe.
And here’s how some fans of the Emirates Stadium club reacted on Twitter:
Son steps up
Son Heung-min was the hero for the hosts and that could be quite a recurring theme this season.
With Harry Kane potentially leaving, the South Korean will become Spurs’ most important player, but it’s a responsibility that no doubt Son will be ready to shoulder, if it does come to that.
Arsenal kick off their Premier League campaign with a trip to Brentford on Friday, while Nuno Espirito Santo’s side host Manchester City two days later on the Sunday.