Honours even after penalty drama between Arsenal and Spurs
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Premier League: Tottenham Hotspur 1 Arsenal 1
The points were shared between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal after a dramatic finish to the latest north London derby in the Premier League this afternoon.
Aaron Ramsey’s 16th-minute effort looked set to give the Gunners all three points, but Harry Kane levelled from the spot with 74 on the clock.
It was after this where the drama started when the visitors were awarded a penalty on the stroke of full time.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang stepped up, but Hugo Lloris saved his effort to help the Lilywhites claim a point and draw for the first time in the division this season.
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This was the second consecutive penalty the Frenchman had stopped after denying Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy here last month and it was crucial.
Mauricio Pochettino would no doubt have been pleased to see his men come back from a deficit, but it is now three league games without a win for his faltering team.
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This was the 198th meeting between the two clubs and like most it felt pivotal to both sides season for differing reasons.
If Spurs could return to form and claim victory over Arsenal it would increase the gap between the clubs to seven points with only nine fixtures left.
However, should the Gunners seal a league double over the Lilywhites, just one point would be the difference and it would give Emery’s men a realistic chance of finishing in the top-three.
Pochettino made three changes to the side which lost at Chelsea so disappointingly on Wednesday night.
Harry Winks missed out with a thigh problem and Victor Wanyama replaced him and partnered Moussa Sissoko in the middle.
Spurs went with three centre backs as Jan Vertonghen returned ahead of Erik Lamela, who dropped to the bench, and Danny Rose started as left wing-back with Ben Davies also among the replacements.
There was another stay of execution for Kieran Trippier, although with him higher up the pitch this time, Tottenham would hope he could be far more effective than he was at Stamford Bridge.
For Arsenal, Emery sprung a number of surprises with five changes to the side which had thrashed Bournemouth 5-1 earlier in the week.
Controversially Aubameyang and Mesut Ozil dropped to the bench and so did Sead Kolasinac and Lucas Torreira.
Missing out completely was Carl Jenkinson while Shkodran Mustafi, Granit Xhaka, Ramsey, Alex Iwobi and Alexandre Lacazette came in.
The sun was shining ahead of kick-off under the arch in Brent and Wembley Stadium was filling up slowly.
Arsenal got proceedings underway and created the first chance of note when Iwobi’s pass deflected into the path of Lacazette, but the former Lyon forward dragged his shot wide from 10-yards when he perhaps should have scored.
Back came Spurs and a good move down the right almost created a good opening for Eriksen, but the attack broke down.
The atmosphere, as expected, was terrific with Tottenham supporters making plenty of noise and the visitors also adding to the partisan feel to the clash.
Emery’s team looked the more assured in the opening exchanges, and they made the most of their confidence in the 16th minute.
Spurs were caught high up the pitch and Davinson Sanchez tried to head clear, but got his header wrong and Lacazette latched onto the loose ball and sent Ramsey through on goal.
Lloris initially came, but backtracked and remained on his line and the Welsh international smartly rounded the Frenchman and tapped home despite the best efforts of Wanyama.
It was another terrible goal for Tottenham to concede with Sanchez and Lloris failing to cover themselves in glory.
Arsenal were enjoying their trip to Wembley so far, but the hosts had the ball in the net with 24 on the clock.
Unfortunately for Pochettino’s men, it was ruled out for offside, though it offered a sign of encouragement with Kane brilliantly heading home Trippier’s free kick.
Slowly Spurs were getting into the contest with Rose’s crunching tackle on Lacazette giving the home supporters something to cheer.
Minutes later, with 28 on the clock, Sissoko forced a corner, but it came to nothing and Arsenal remained ahead by the half an hour mark.
Eriksen dragged a shot wide soon after as Rose’s influence continued to grow, but he was one of the few to be playing anywhere near his best in a white shirt.
Vertonghen headed Trippier’s free kick wide 10 minutes before half time, but Bernd Leno had yet to be tested at Wembley.
The same man dragged another effort off target with 39 on the clock from 25-yards as Tottenham continued to huff and puff.
Excellent defending by Sokratis snuffed out a chance for Kane in the 41st minute when Trippier found Eriksen with a first-time pass, but his centre was intercepted well by the Arsenal man.
From this, the Gunners broke up field and Iwobi cut inside from the left and curled towards goal, but Lloris clawed his shot away.
Chances were coming more regularly now and in the 44th minute Spurs wondered how they were not level.
Kane’s chipped pass took a deflection and fell for Eriksen, but he was denied at point-blank range by Leno from 10-yards.
The rebound came for Sissoko and he side-footed towards goal, but again Arsenal’s goalkeeper was there and this time he produced an extraordinary stop to tip the effort over the crossbar.
It was a stunning save and ensured Arsenal led at the break, with Tottenham manager Pochettino walking back to the dugout slightly early ahead of what seemed a big half-time team talk.
Emery made a change during the interval with Torreira replacing Guendouzi, but it was the same XI for Spurs, though they needed to produce some type of response.
Kane tried to do so early on with some outstanding hold up play in the 50th minute, but after passing out wide to Trippier in an encouraging position, he could only smash his cross out for a throw.
The game should have been almost put to bed three minutes later when Iwobi spotted Nacho Monreal’s overlap and the Spaniard cut back for Lacazette, yet he sliced wide from 10-yards.
It was a guilt-edged chance and the French forward didn’t last much longer as in the 56th minute he was replaced by Aubameyang.
Moments earlier Toby Alderweireld had volleyed Eriksen’s free kick wide, but Spurs were still struggling to create in open-play.
Eriksen, in particular, was giving the ball away too often and Pochettino knew he had to change something.
Lamela was the man summoned from the bench and Wanyama made way after getting through 59 minutes with Spurs now playing a 3-4-2-1 formation.
It failed to bring an immediate reaction, though Lamela did curl wide seven minutes later and find Rose in the area with 68 on the clock, but the left-back failed to control and fouled Leno in the process.
Arsenal made their final change with 18 minutes left when Ozil replaced Ramsey while Pochettino had switched shape again.
Rose had been moved into midfield with Vertonghen left-back and Tottenham in a 4-2-3-1 for the final exchanges at Wembley.
Before the Lilywhites even had chance to see if it would work, they were awarded a spot-kick in the 73rd minute.
Eriksen chipped a free kick towards Kane and Mustafi barged the forward into Koscielny and referee Anthony Taylor gave Spurs a penalty.
While it looked a foul, replays showed the England striker was actually offside when the set-piece was played into the area.
After a delay and with Arsenal players getting in his face, Kane was left with the task of beating Leno from 12-yards.
Despite the pressure, the Tottenham number nine fired into the bottom corner for his 15th league goal of the season.
Now, with 16 minutes left, it was all about whether one team could find a winner and Pochettino brought on Fernando Llorente for Son with 79 on the clock.
Despite the number of attacking players on the pitch, the game was very disjointed now with fouls being committed regularly.
A lovely ball from makeshift left-back Vertonghen was cleared in the 88th minute, but it got fans off their feet again with seconds left in Brent.
Then disaster struck for Spurs in the 90th minute when Arsenal were awarded a penalty of their own.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan got away from Vertonghen brilliantly on the right and passed into Aubameyang and Sanchez tried his best to win the ball back, but only brought down the Gabon inside the area.
The Gunners had the chance to retake the lead and inflict a third consecutive league loss on their arch-rivals, but Lloris had other ideas.
Aubameyang’s penalty was weak, but Lloris still had to get behind it and got down low to parry away from goal, but the danger wasn’t over.
Iwobi sent the ball back into the area and Aubameyang looked to have a simple tap-in, but somehow the ball was deflected over by Vertonghen on the line.
We were now into five minutes of stoppage time and in the dying embers of the clash Torreira saw red for a shin-high tackle on Rose.
It was the last noteworthy piece of action in what turned out to be a pulsating derby in the capital.
Come full time it was honours even and while it stops the rot for Tottenham, Arsenal are still only four points behind them with nine fixtures left to play this season.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris (c); Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen; Trippier, Sissoko, Wanyama (Lamela 59), Rose; Eriksen; Kane, Son (Llorente 79).
Unused substitutes: Gazzaniga, Aurier, Davies, Skipp, Moura.
Arsenal: Leno; Mustafi, Sokratis, Koscielny, Monreal; Guendouzi (Torreira 46), Xhaka; Mkhitaryan, Ramsey (Ozil 72), Iwobi; Lacazette (Aubameyang 56).
Unused substitutes: Cech, Maitland-Niles, Kolasinac, Suarez.