The North London Derby lived up to its expectations with late drama, controversial decisions and goals from familiar faces to finish 1-1 at the Wembley.
The North London Derby itself is a big fixture for both Tottenham and Arsenal. But with Spurs going from the title race to top-four race in the space of four days and Arsenal trying to stay ahead of Manchester United in the fourth position, the Derby at the Wembley had so much more to offer.
In the end, both the club shared a point with Ramsey’s early goal and Harry Kane’s late penalty, as Aubameyang missed the penalty in the 89th minute. This was Tottenham’s first Premier League draw of the season as they now sit in the 3rd position with 61 points and Arsenal in the 4th with 57 points. But the Gunners could finish the week in the fifth position, as Manchester United face Southampton in just a few minutes.
Ramsey puts Arsenal ahead:
After scoring the 5th goal for Arsenal against Bournemouth on Wednesday, Lacazette had a chance to put Arsenal ahead in the second minute of the game. But the Frenchman missed the chance by some distance. But he soon redeemed himself with a great ball for Aaron Ramsey in the 16th minute after Davison Sanchez’s dreadful error at the halfway line. Ramsey, who will join Juventus in summer finished the move by easily going past LLoris to make it 1-0.
Harry Kane put the ball in the net with a stupendous header in the 24th minute but was rightly flagged offside. Bernd Leno made a remarkable double save late in the first half to first deny Eriksen from the point-blank range and then tipped Sissoko’s shot over the bar.
Drama in the second half:
Lacazette missed yet another chance in the second half and made way for Arsenal’s this season’s top scorer, Aubameyang. Mesut Ozil was also introduced in the 72nd minute as Ramsey came off the field for the very last time in the North London Derby.
Harry Kane won the penalty after Mustafi barged into the striker from Eriksen’s free-kick. And although it looked like an obvious foul in the penalty box, the penalty should have not been awarded as the Kane was in the offside position to start with. But it did not matter a few moments later as he sent Leno in the wrong direction to score the 16th goal of the season and 9th in the EPL North London Derby, most by any player.
The Gunners still had a chance to win the game in the last few minutes after Aubameyang was pushed by Davison Sanchez in the penalty box. Although it looked a very soft penalty, Lloris, who was involved in a horrible mix-up for Trippier’s own goal on Wednesday, redeemed himself to save the Gabon international’s weak effort from the penalty spot. But it was a goal line clearance by Vertonghen from the penalty rebound, which really saved the day for the Spurs.
Arsenal finished the game with 10-men as Lucas Torreira was sent off in the last minute of the game. The Gunners should have probably won the controversial derby to stay safe in the fourth position but the penalty miss now might come back to haunt them at the end of the season.
Tottenham, on the other hand, will be happy despite a below-par performance as the club avoided three straight defeats in one week. The Lilywhites are now 4 point clear off Arsenal and 6 clear off Manchester United (with the game in hand) in the 3rd position. But their title hopes are all but gone with City and Liverpool seven and eight points ahead of the Londoners with a game in hand.
Both the clubs will be involved in midweek European action as Spurs face Dortmund with 3-0 advantage in the UCL Round of 16 and Arsenal will take on Rennes in the first leg of the Round of 16 tie in the Europa League.