And it was exhilarating as always.
Arsenal and Spurs share the spoils of the first North London derby at the Emirates as the match ended as a 2-2 draw, but surely, surely, Arsenal are disappointed to not get all three.
Arsenal were the dominating force throughout the first half but it was Spurs who led by 2-0 by 40 minutes, but Lacazette scored to make it 2-1 before the half ended. Aubameyang then scored to make it 2-2 in the second half and a VAR review saw a third Arsenal goal getting canceled as the match ended in a standstill.
Arsenal started the match brilliantly as they were on the front foot right from the go but it was Spurs who scored first. Horrendous mistakes from Sokratis and David Luiz let Son Heung-Min go clear, who then fed Eric Lamela in space. Lamela’s initial shot was saved by Bernd Leno, but the rebound fell kindly for Christian Eriksen who duly rolled the ball into the net. This was Dane’s 50th goal in the Premier League, making him the first player from Denmark to do so. Minutes later, Son was again in space but his shot was saved by Leno this time. Eriksen on the 38th minute saw his free-kick saved by Leno once again, the German goalkeeper ended the half with five saves. Granit Xhaka then put in a late challenge on Son and Martin Atkinson awarded a penalty to the visitors, which Harry Kane made perfect use of and scored. Nicolas Pepe made his first impact in Arsenal colors as he assisted Alexandre Lacazette to cut the difference into half right before the first half ended. The hosts were the better side while building up, but Spurs struck them hard in the counter during the first half.
The second half was no different as Arsenal were off their tracks very quickly and the neighbors looked sluggish. Arsenal came back into the game as Matteo Guendouzi floated in a beautiful cross for Aubameyang to tap into Hugo Lloris’ goal. The Gunners kept on pushing but found it tough to score, not only because of Lloris’ brilliance at goal, but also their own flurry of missed opportunities. The hosts eventually went forward as a Sead Kolasinac cross was bumbled in, but VAR showed that Kolasinac was well offside for the goal to be counted. Kane missed a glorious opportunity just before the hour-mark as he hit the post, and that was the only meaningful attack from the visitors before Mousa Sissoko missed a chance at the very last moment, to deny his team three points.
This draw means Spurs are now winless for three games in a row, while it’s two for Arsenal. The hosts are currently fifth on the table whereas Spurs are on ninth, the teams behind from table topper Liverpool by five and nine points respectively.
Facts and Stats
- Harry Kane is now the joint top-scorer in North London derbies along with Emmanuel Adebayor and Bobby Smith with 10 goals.
- 19 penalties have now been scored in a North London derby in the Premier League, more than any other fixture.
- Arsenal have conceded a record 13 goals from errors since the start of last season, and Bernd Leno has made six of them which is also a record.
- Spurs have dropped 42 points from winning positions in the Premier League vs Arsenal; 11 more than any other side in the competition.