Today saw the 198th meeting between North London rivals Spurs and Arsenal, and as has so often been the case it was an encounter full of drama and intrigue.
Straight from the off at Wembley, Arsenal displayed a defensive solidity that has so often been missing on their travels against their top six rivals, and their good start was rewarded after 16 minutes when Aaron Ramsey finished coolly on the counter.
Spurs looked leggy and devoid of ideas of how to break down Unai Emery’s well-drilled defence, but they would be handed the chance to draw level on 74 minutes when the ever unreliable Shkodran Mustafi fouled Harry Kane from a free kick, although the decision was laced with controversy with the Spurs striker clearly offside when the ball was played into the area.
England captain Kane duly dispatched the spot-kick to set up a frantic finish. Arsenal were then handed the opportunity to seal all three points in the last minute when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was awarded a soft penalty after Davison Sanchez made contact with him in the box.
However, the Gunners strikers tame penalty was saved by Spurs ‘keeper Hugo Lloris, before Jan Verthongen pulled off a miraculous block from two yards out to once again deny Aubameyang. Gunners substitute Lucas Torreira was then sent off in the 95th minute for a high challenge on Danny Rose, to conclude an incident-packed ending to the game.
Speaking after the game Spurs talisman Kane felt his side had come out fighting after losing their previous two Premier League games to Burnley and Chelsea.
“We came out in the second-half fighting and we put the pressure on with good tackles and aggression,” Kane told BT Sport.
”We needed to go on and get the second and thankfully Hugo saved the penalty at the end and that point was the least we deserved.”
“Two disappointing results in a week, this was the perfect game, a north London derby to show passion and show fans we are ready to fight for the rest of the season. It’s a point, we wanted three but it stops the losing streak and we can focus on Dortmund and then Southampton.
“In the first half we had the aggression but they caught us on the counter and final ball wasn’t quite right. We had to come out fighting and show what we were made of and thankfully we did.”