Arsenal 2-2 Tottenham: Gunners fight back for north London derby draw
Report and highlights as Spurs surrender half-time lead at the Emirates for the second season running in north London derby classic
Last Updated: 02/09/19 6:29am
Arsenal produced a spirited fightback from two goals down to salvage a 2-2 draw with Tottenham in a pulsating north London derby at the Emirates on Super Sunday,
Spurs raced into a two-goal lead inside 40 minutes thanks to Christian Eriksen's 50th Premier League goal and Harry Kane's clinical penalty, awarded after Granit Xhaka's mindless lunge on Heung-min Son in the area.
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But Alexandre Lacazette sparked the Gunners' fightback in first-half stoppage-time, ramming the ball past Hugo Lloris, before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang levelled the contest with 19 minutes remaining with an opportunistic finish.
Arsenal thought they had claimed the north London bragging rights when Sokratis Papastathopoulos bundled the ball in at the back post on 80 minutes, but a VAR review found Sead Kolasinac to be offside in the build-up as Spurs escaped with a point, despite having looked on course for three.
Arsenal: Leno (6), Maitland-Niles (6), Sokratis (6), Luiz (7), Kolasinac (6), Torreira (6), Xhaka (5), Guendouzi (8), Pepe (7), Lacazette (7), Aubameyang (7).
Subs: Mkhitaryan (6), Ceballos (6).
Tottenham: Lloris (7), Sanchez (7), Vertonghen (6), Alderweireld (6), Rose (6), Winks (7), Eriksen (7), Sissoko (6), Lamela (6), Son (6) Kane (6).
Subs: Lo Celso (5), Alli (5).
Man of the Match: Matteo Guendouzi
How Arsenal salvaged derby draw
Arsenal lined up with Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe and Lacazette in attack for the very time and made all of the early running, with Pepe firing the first chance over with barely two minutes of the clock.
But Spurs struck with their very first attack, the recalled Eriksen presented with the simplest of tap-ins after Erik Lamela's drive proved too hot for Bernd Leno to handle in the Arsenal goal.
If Leno was at fault for Spurs' opener, he more than made amends with two saves as the visitors threatened to run riot on the counter, keeping hold of Eriksen's curler on the quarter-hour before producing a sublime fingertip save to tip Son's whipped effort around the post.
Pepe thought he had hauled Arsenal level on 23 minutes when he got on the end of Aubameyang's cross to the back post, but Danny Rose had other ideas, heading the Ivorian's goal-bound header behind for a corner.
Arsenal gifted Spurs the chance to double their lead on 39 minutes when Xhaka's reckless and ridiculous lunge on Son gave referee Martin Atkinson no option but to point to the spot. Up stepped Kane, who ruthlessly fired home from 12 yards to become the north London derby's all-time top scorer with his 10th goal in the fixture.
But just when it seemed Arsenal's worst nightmares were becoming a reality, they pulled one back. Appeals for a Rose handball in the area unsettled the Spurs defence and the Gunners capitalised as Pepe picked out Lacazette, who strode into the area and finished clinically past Lloris at his near post.
Spurs relinquished a 2-1 half-time lead in last season's corresponding fixture and Arsenal threw everything at their north London rivals to conjure up a repeat. Lloris brilliantly tipped Matteo Guendouzi's drive behind on 56 minutes and, from the resulting corner, Lacazette's near-post flick found Sead Kolasinac a yard out, but with the goal at his mercy, he turned the ball wide.
The Emirates breathed a collective sigh of relief on the hour as Kane's swerving drive cannoned off the inside of the post, while substitute Dani Ceballos almost made an immediate impact when his dipping shot drew a fingertip save from Lloris.
But Arsenal finally found the breakthrough they were looking for as Aubameyang drifted in between the Spurs centre-backs and diverted Guendouzi's brilliant cross beyond the wrong-footed Lloris.
The Emirates erupted 10 minutes from time when Sokratis stole a march at the back post to bundle home Kolasinac's cross, but the linesman's decision to rule it out for offside was confirmed by VAR.
The technology was consulted in the final minute when Sokratis appeared to bundle Kane over in the area, but referee Atkinson's decision not to award a penalty was allowed to stand as both sides settled for a share of the spoils.
What the managers said
Arsenal boss Unai Emery: "I'm pretty proud of our work. The match was amazing for everyone watching. We played with our heart, sometimes more than our head. We need the balance. We need to be clearer in our mind. We made some mistakes in the first half. But the fans pushed us and helped us and we deserved to win over the 90 minutes."
Spurs head coach Mauricio Pochettino: "We did very well, were very solid and created a lot of chances. In the first half it was a great 45 minutes and I was a little bit ashamed to concede before half-time. We have massive quality and from tomorrow [when the transfer window shuts] we will all be on the same page. With Eriksen we have to wait but it shows it was the right decision to play him. He showed a great performance and helped the team to get a point here."
- Tottenham have dropped 42 points from winning positions in the Premier League against Arsenal; 11 more than any against any other side in the competition.
- Arsenal have lost just one of their last 27 Premier League home games against Tottenham (W15 D11 L1), a 2-3 loss in November 2010 after being two goals ahead.
- Tottenham are winless in their last eight away league games (D2 L6), last enduring such a run on the road between December 2011-April 2012 (also eight games).
- Since his Premier League debut in August 2016, no player has conceded more penalties in the competition than Arsenal's Granit Xhaka (5).
Arsenal return to action away at Watford on Renault Super Sunday on September 15 - live on Sky Sports Premier League (Kick-off 4.30pm).
Spurs return from the international break a day earlier, with Crystal Palace the visitors at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on September 14 (3pm).