Spurs and Arsenal a thrilling watch, admits Crouch
PETER Crouch admits that part of him wanted to be on the sofa last night, watching the thrilling north London derby as a spectator, as Tottenham and Arsenal created one of the games of the season.
Spurs came back from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 with the Gunners at White Hart Lane, notching up 30 goals in seven derbies since Harry Redknapp’s arrival in the capital in October 2008.
The 64-year-old’s second game in charge was the famous 4-4 draw at the Emirates, when Tottenham fought back from 4-2 down to equalise in injury-time.
Spurs repeated the feat in Islington earlier this season, overturning a 2-0 half-time deficit to triumph 3-2 away from home – and they were at it again last night, breaking Arsenal hearts by coming back from 3-1 down to earn a 3-3 draw at the Lane, and nearly win their third league derby in a row.
“I’m gutted I missed out on watching it really, it was a great game of football,” said Crouch. “I thought in the end only one team was going to win it. Obviously they were dangerous on the break but I thought in the second half we were fantastic and deserved to win it.
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“You could see both team were going all out for the win. The draw is a little bit frustrating, but we’ve still closed the gap on Man City. It’s two points now, with the same games played, so it might rest on going up there [to Eastlands] again.”
Spurs travel to face Manchester City on Tuesday, May 10, in a 90-minute showdown which could decide who takes the fourth and final Champions League spot – just as it did last year, when Crouch struck the winner in the 1-0 win that booked Tottenham’s place in Europe’s premier competition.
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“They’re at home,” the Spurs striker continued. “If I was the manager I’d come out and play, but that’s up to them.
“I hope they do because hopefully it’s an entertaining game of football. Everyone will be watching it and it’s like a cup final in many ways. Man City are probably under more pressure than we are but that doesn’t mean we have any less desire.
“We have probably got a bit more freedom but there is pressure on us because we’ve loved every minute of the Champions League this year. It’s been fantastic and it’s what we want again next season. We’ve proved we can play against the best and that’s where we want to be.”
Having memorably beaten Inter Milan and AC Milan in Europe this season, Spurs’ draw with Arsenal has provided further evidence of their ability to match the top teams.
Redknapp’s side will certainly be tested again before the end of the campaign, as they eye upcoming trips to Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool.
However, Tottenham will also host West Bromwich Albion, Blackpool and Birmingham at White Hart Lane during their run-in.
All three sides currently sit in the bottom half of the table – but Crouch points out that Spurs have consistently dropped points against the supposedly weaker teams this season.
“Against the top teams we’ve been magnificent for a couple of years now,” he said. “If you’ve got any aspirations of winning the league you have to make sure you win games against lower teams in the division, and we’ve slipped up a few times this season.
“They’re the most frustrating points to have dropped, but on the big occasion we’re fantastic.”