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Ranked! The best North London derbies of the Premier League era

The North London derby might just be our favourite neighbourly dispute. Arsenal against Tottenham, for so much of the Premier League era, has entertained, while containing the right mixture of animosity and evenness.

Sunday’s showdown might just be the biggest local grudge match for some time, as Spurs look to derail the Premier League title challenge of their arch-rivals. Ange Postecoglou’s side, meanwhile, can not afford any slip-ups of their own as the club look to chase down Aston Villa and earn a place in the Champions League.

Ahead of their clash, we’ve ranked the best North London derbies of the Premier League era.

5. Tottenham 3-3 Arsenal (2011)

Spurs threw a spanner in the works of Arsenal’s title challenge during a pulsating six-goal draw between the teams in 2010/11.

A win for Arsenal would have kept them in touch with Manchester United as the Premier League entered the final five games of the campaign, though the Gunners blew a two-goal lead to draw with their North London neighbours.

Theo Walcott opened the scoring early on in an entertaining start to the contest, but Rafael van der Vaart responded to bring Spurs level on seven minutes. Samir Nasri restored Arsenal’s lead just moments later and Robin van Persie made it 3-1 five minutes before the interval.

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Arsenal’s advantage failed to last, however, and Tom Huddlestone pulled one back on the brink of half-time. Van der Vaart’s second-half penalty salvaged a result for Spurs, to conclude a dramatic derby draw.

4. Arsenal 2-3 Tottenham (2010)

The first meeting of the 2010/11 season had also been a cracker, as Spurs produced a stirring comeback to secure their first-ever win at the Emirates.

Arsenal dominated the first half and took a deserved lead through Samir Nasri and Marouane Chamakh at half-time. However, a dressing room dressing down appeared to work for the visitors, who came out after the break as a team transformed.

Gareth Bale gave Spurs a lifeline with a fine finish and Harry Redknapp’s team levelled from the penalty spot. Cesc Fabregas was penalised for a handball and Rafael van der Vaart made no mistake from 12 yards.

Younes Kaboul completed the comeback for Spurs five minutes from time, as the Frenchman headed home Van der Vaart’s free-kick to hand Spurs their first win at Arsenal for 17 years.

3. Tottenham 2-2 Arsenal (2004)

Tottenham faced a nightmare situation in the closing weeks of the 2003/04 season, as Arsenal arrived at White Hart Lane needing just a point to be crowned champions.

Arsene Wenger’s side were in the midst of a historic unbeaten season in the Premier League and were soon celebrating at the home of their arch-rivals.

Arsenal eased into a two-goal lead through Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires, as the away contingent began to grow in excitement at an impending Premier League crown. Spurs, however, were not prepared to roll over and Jamie Redknapp pulled a goal back before Robbie Keane equalised late on from the penalty spot.

It was not enough to p*** on the parade of Arsenal, however, who kickstarted their title celebrations at White Hart Lane at full-time.

Not that they ever mention it…

2. Tottenham 4-5 Arsenal

Surprisingly, the highest-scoring North London derby of the Premier League era did not begin with a bang.

Noureddine Naybet’s effort had fired Spurs in front at White Hart Lane before Thierry Henry equalised on the stroke of half-time. Nothing particularly memorable.

Fast forward 45 minutes later,Β  and an end-to-end game saw Arsenal edge a nine-goal thriller. Lauren scored a second for Arsenal from the penalty spot on 53 minutes and Patrick Vieira made it 3-1 on the hour, after robbing Stephen Carr of possession and charging through to score. However, each Arsenal attempt to pull away was met with a Spurs response.

Jermain Defoe’s sensational strike reduced the deficit, only for Freddie Ljungberg to restore the two-goal cushion for Arsenal after a clever reverse pass from Robert Pires.

Ledley King headed in for Spurs to make it 4-3, Robert Pires then showed lovely footwork inside the area to score Arsenal’s fifth, and there was still time for Freddie Kanoute to make it 5-4 with another goal for Spurs.

Breathless action in the second half.

1. Arsenal 4-4 Tottenham (2008)

You would think a nine-goal thriller would be enough for the top spot, wouldn’t you?

Well, you’d be wrong.

The best North London derby of the Premier League era came in 2008, as Arsenal and Spurs produced a truly chaotic clash at the Emirates.

David Bentley opened the scoring for Spurs, against his former club, with an outrageous long-range effort, lobbing Manuel Almunia on the volley from just outside the centre circle.

Mikael Silvestre headed in an equaliser for Arsenal and William Gallas completed the turnaround for the Gunners shortly after half-time. Emmanuel Adebayor provided Arsenal with breathing room after bundling in from close range, but Darren Bent reacted first to a loose ball to make it 3-2.

Robin van Persie’s goal moments later looked to have won Arsenal the game, only for Spurs to stage a stunning late comeback. Jermaine Jenas curled in a sublime effort on 89 minutes, setting the stage for a Spurs sucker punch in stoppage time.

Luka Modric’s effort dipped against the woodwork and Aaron Lennon was on hand to steal in and score, sparking wild celebrations in front of the travelling Tottenham contingent.

Read –Β Tottenham vs Arsenal – North London Derby Combined XI

See more –Β Eight unforgettable North London Derby moments

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