Harry extends Spurs honeymoon
Tottenham earned a thrilling point against Arsenal following a 4-4 North London derby draw.
By Peter Fraser
Last Updated: 30/10/08 12:49pm
An injury-time Aaron Lennon goal ensured Harry Redknapp's sensational honeymoon period as Tottenham manager continued with a thrilling 4-4 North London derby draw with Arsenal at Emirates Stadium.
Redknapp's shock weekend succession of Juande Ramos sparked an immediate response at Spurs as a first Premier League win of 2008/09 was secured with three points against Bolton on Sunday.
But having made the short journey along the Seven Sisters Road, Tottenham - who have not won at Arsenal since 1993 - and former Pompey boss Redknapp were expecting a sterner test, and the encounter duly provided a memorable meeting.
David Bentley stunned his ex-employers as, 40 yards from goal, the former Arsenal midfielder controlled on his thigh and volleyed an awesome contender for Goal of the Season past Manuel Almunia to give Spurs the lead on 13 minutes.
However, Arsenal were level eight minutes before half-time as Mikael Silvestre - an August arrival from Manchester United - headed his first goal as under-scrutiny Tottenham goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes flapped at a corner.
One minute after the interval, the home side were deservedly in front as William Gallas nodded in a Robin van Persie free-kick, and Emmanuel Adebayor then doubled the advantage from close range.
Almost immediately, Darren Bent set up a nervous finish after Almunia had fumbled, but Van Persie appeared to have secured the points for Arsenal as he smashed in his side's fourth from eight yards out.
But more drama was in store as Jermaine Jenas curled in on 89 minutes to rescue Tottenham hope, before Aaron Lennon grabbed a last-gasp equaliser after Luka Modric had hit a post.
Spurs remain bottom of the table but the comeback proved Cesc Fabregas wrong after he said Arsenal's ladies team would give Redknapp's men a run for their money.
Aside from that remark, there were plenty of points to prove for Spurs' players, and none more so than Bentley, who found his opportunities at Arsenal limited before getting loaned out and sold in 2006.
It was Gareth Bale who had the first opportunity of the match, racing onto Tom Huddlestone's ball over the top in the third minute and finding the side-netting.
But the visitors were ahead 10 minutes later through Bentley's moment of magic.
Van Persie then went close twice, going wide from the edge of the area each time, the first with a free-kick and the second after Theo Walcott laid the ball back.
Gallas also went close, this time after the type of fumble from goalkeeper Gomes that has become commonplace. The ball broke to Gallas but the finish cleared the crossbar.
Walcott drilled straight at Gomes and Gael Clichy fired over the crossbar in their next moves.
Gomes was then at full stretch to deny Fabregas but Arsenal were level from the corner. Van Persie swung over the set-piece and Silvestre headed home.
It took Arsenal less than a minute to take the lead after the restart following a foul by Huddlestone when he hauled back Van Persie.
The Dutchman took the free-kick and Gallas climbed above Vedran Corluka at the near post to head home his fourth goal of the campaign.
There was action in all areas of the pitch, with Benoit Assou-Ekotto booked for tripping Walcott, then Redknapp sent on Lennon for Bale to inject some pace.
Bentley also picked up a caution for a reckless tackle on Clichy, while Huddlestone went in the notebook for blocking the same player.
Adebayor flashed wide from the edge of the area, but he made no mistake when Arsenal broke in the 64th minute.
Van Persie sent Samir Nasri through to lob Gomes, with Adebayor beating Alan Hutton to the ball to force it home.
Bent was sent on and pulled a goal back after Huddlestone's drive was not held cleanly by Almunia, but Van Persie restored the two-goal advantage in the next move.
Hutton's sloppy pass was picked up by Adebayor, who fed Van Persie to lash home.That looked like game over but Jenas found the top corner with a minute of time remaining, setting up a frantic finale in which Lennon snatched a point with a tap-in after Modric went close from range.
|Arsenal||Team Statistics||Tottenham Hotspur|
|1||1st Half Goals||1|
|9||Shots on Target||7|
|8||Shots off Target||5|