Tottenham Hotspur managed to maintain the four-point gap between themselves and Arsenal after drawing 1-1 with the Gunners at Wembley Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Unai Emery’s men struck the first blow just after the quarter of an hour mark as Aaron Ramsey was given the freedom of Wembley to get in behind the Spurs defence and put Arsenal in front with a simple finish. The visitors were dominant throughout the majority of the game but Spurs equalised as Harry Kane struck from the penalty spot with just over 15 minutes to go.
The Gunners really should have won the game in the final few seconds as they earned their own penalty but the chance was passed up by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Lucas Torreira saw red in the final few seconds as frustrations boiled over for Arsenal.
Perfect start for the Gunners
Arsenal could have seized the lead within a few minutes as Alexandre Lacazette found space beyond the Tottenham defence. However, it was a difficult chance as the Frenchman skewed his volley wide.
The Gunners did eventually edge ahead though and it was the departing Ramsey who struck in what could be his last ever North London derby. The Welshman was released behind a static Spurs’ defence and with only Hugo Lloris in front of him, skipped around the Frenchman and finished low into the empty net.
Spurs equaliser ruled out
Tottenham thought they soon had an equaliser as Harry Kane thundered home a header from a deep free-kick, however his strike was chalked off by the linesman’s flag.
Despite that, it was still the Gunners in the ascendency and Alex Iwobi also went close as the first-half drew to a close as Arsenal hit their hosts on the counter-attack. The Nigerian curled a great effort towards the top corner but Lloris did well to punch the ball away.
Spurs could have been heading into the break level had it not been for two great interventions by Arsenal stopper Bernd Leno. The German at first halted Christian Eriksen’s close-range effort before getting up swiftly to excellently tip away Moussa Sissoko’s powerful shot on the rebound.
Kane equalises from the spot
Lacazette should have doubled the Gunners’ lead as he latched onto Nacho Monreal’s cutback but he could only put the ball wide. Toby Alderweireld then also went close as he found space at the back post but could only lash his volley into the side-netting.
The biggest opportunity of the second-half went to Spurs though and it was from the penalty spot as Kane was nudged in the area by Shkodran Mustafi. The England captain predictably took the responsibility and was cool enough to send Leno the wrong way for his ninth goal in North London derbies.
Penalty problems for Aubameyang
The game took a late twist as Pierre Emerick Aubameyang was played in by Mkhitaryan in the final few seconds. The Gabonese forward was fouled by Davinson Sanchez, with the referee pointing to the spot. He stepped up but his unconvincing effort was palmed away by Lloris. Jan Vertonghen also produced a stunning block to deny the forward on the rebound and ensure that the points were shared.
With Arsenal pressing for a winning goal, the frustrations appeared to show as Lucas Torreira lunged into a challenge with Danny Rose. The Uruguayan was given a straight red to leave the Gunners with ten men.
Once again, Spurs were not that convincing against their great rivals. In an attacking sense, they really were disappointing and might feel slightly fortunate to be coming away with a point. Arsenal meanwhile will rue their missed opportunities as a victory could have been huge in the race for the Premier League top four.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris (6); Sanchez (7), Alderweireld (6), Vertonghen (6); Rose (7), Sissoko (7), Wanyama (6) (Lamela (6), 59′), Trippier (6); Eriksen (6); Kane (7), Son (5) (Llorente (N/A), 79′).
Arsenal: Leno (7); Monreal (6), Koscielny (6), Sokratis (6), Mustafi (5); Xhaka (6), Guendouzi (6) (Torreira (6), 46′) ; Iwobi (), Ramsey (7) (Ozil (6), 72′), Mkhitaryan (7); Lacazette (6) (Aubameyang (6), 56′).
Goals: Ramsey (16′), Kane PEN (74′)
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Yellow Cards: Mkhitaryan (58′), Lamela (63′), Rose (69′), Xhaka (74′), Llorente (84′)
Red Cards: Torreira (90+5′)
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