Football Expert & Columnist
Arsenal 2-2 Tottenham: Jose Mourinho, Sol Campbell react to north London derby draw
Graeme Souness, Jamie Redknapp also give their views on the enthralling north London derby from the Emirates
Last Updated: 02/09/19 7:33pm
Jose Mourinho was back in the Sky Sports studio to see Arsenal come from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Tottenham in the north London derby.
Mourinho was joined by Sol Campbell, Graeme Souness and Jamie Redknapp at the Emirates as Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit back after goals from Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane to ensure the spoils were shared.
Here's what the pundits made of another enthralling north London derby...
'It was good to watch'
Jose Mourinho: "It was funny, emotional and good to watch. If you go a bit further than that and you try to analyse the game, there were some principles of play that were incredible to watch at this level but what matters is the millions of people watching this game, everybody at home and the thousands that were here, they would've enjoyed it."
Sol Campbell: "Tottenham definitely had the first half. They played fantastically, controlled the ball. Their counter-attacks were incredible but Arsenal were guilty of letting them get in those spaces. Arsenal showed great character coming back, though. Getting that goal [in first-half injury time] was crucial. It kind of swung the game and they kicked on from there. It was a great advert for football."
Graeme Souness: "I think a draw was a fair result. Arsenal had to force the issue. Tottenham showed great resilience in withstanding the pressure they were under but when you're 2-0 up in first-half injury time; Danny Rose had the chance to put his foot through it in front of us. Throughout the game, Tottenham were trying to play out from the back. They caused a lot of issues themselves. If they go in 2-0 at half-time, they might have got away with it but that would have been harsh on Arsenal."
Jamie Redknapp: "I think Mauricio Pochettino will be delighted to get out of there with a draw. If they go 3-1 up when Harry Kane hits the post, it's a different game. The best thing about it was that at no stage in the game did any team have any security. It was like a basketball game and this has become the most exciting game in football right now. So many mistakes, great moment, pieces of individual skill."
Spurs' opener: Sokratis at fault
The pundits agreed Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos should have done better in the build-up to Eriksen's opener.
The Greece defender was beaten in the air on halfway by Kane as Spurs mounted a successful counter-attack.
Mourinho: "Sokratis shouldn't go there. He should stay at the line because there's too much pace. For him to cope with that space is very, very difficult. From a situation where you feel very safe at a goal kick, you are suddenly very exposed."
Campbell: "You don't want to be in no man's land. You are there, just go and win it but Sokratis was in two minds. That split second, that's how they get in. Kane gets a little flick on and it's a goal all day. In the second half, they sorted it out but it's too late."
Redknapp: "Sokratis then doesn't react to the rebound. He's level with Eriksen but he doesn't see him."
Souness: "I'm not even sure why he goes to win the first header. He sees his own man in front of him challenging for the ball so just be a sweeper. If you make one mistake at this level in 90 minutes it can cost you a goal and that's a classic example. Wrong choice, wrong position but you are just wondering what's in his head? Is he that good in the air where he thinks he can go and win everything? He sees someone in front of him so he should let him go and win the second ball if there's a flick on."
'No excuses for Xhaka'
Redknapp: "I cannot give Granit Xhaka an excuse. I don't know what's going through his mind. that's a situation where you've got to be cool. You don't challenge like that anywhere on the pitch nowadays. The game has become so sanitised that you can't really go to ground at all, let alone in your own box. It's a crazy piece of play, a moment of madness.
"From a manager's point of view, when you see a player with Xhaka's experience doing that and costing his team. He dives in everywhere, trying to win every ball. There has to be a point when you start to think stay on your feet. Son cannot score from there so you have to assess the situation."
Souness: "The only time you go to ground is when you are trying to block a shot that's on goal or a last-ditch clearance, the rest of the time you need to stay on your feet. You just don't go to ground in your box because you risk everything.
"Heung-Min Son wasn't about to pull the trigger there, was he? He came from Borussia Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga and when he came here he was the most booked player in the league. That means he went to ground a lot in Germany and after four or five years here in the Premier League what's he learnt?"
Mourinho: "No [you never want them to go to ground] and to be honest I train a lot for these situations in the box, also with the hands because everything now is a huge danger. Trying to train situations of one against one in the box without your arms, it's not easy.
"I want my defenders to find balance and train balance without using their arms in the box, and to stay on their feet in a situation like this. With VAR it's getting even more dangerous."
Should Spurs have had a penalty?
Kane thought he had a big claim when he went to ground under a challenge from Sokratis late on.
"I think so," he told Sky Sports. "The defender made a tired tackle. On halfway I think I'd get that foul. the referee probably thinks I'm looking for it. It is 50-50, I could get it in some games."
Did the pundits agree?
Souness: "No, I think he's looking for it. You have to say the Arsenal players has got his hands on Kane's back so it makes it look like a penalty, but Kane is looking for it here. He's ready to go down and looking at him, I'm not sure Kane was convinced. The contact from Sokratis' hands does not warrant that type of fall in my opinion."
Redknapp: "Harry was looking for it, I agree with that, but what I will say is I don't get when a player is going away from goal why you'd even lay your hands on him. That's my problem with it."
Campbell: "Once you get in the box the forward is in control so you have to be careful. he does come across to shield the ball but maybe it's a bit too much and obvious. however, you do run the risk as a defender if you put your hands on the striker."
Mourinho: "I've seen penalties for less but I don't think this is a penalty. Without VAR I'd say no for sure but now, everybody is at risk with VAR. In countries where they've had VAR for a couple of years I've seen worse decisions."
Did Arsenal's front three work?
Redknapp: "Nicolas Pepe's suited to the right so there's no problem there. Lacazette's also very happy in the middle but I would say Aubameyang is a slight problem. He seems a really good guy that will just get on with it but playing wide doesn't suit him.
"As soon as he went central you can see that's where he wants to be. He wants to be between the widths of the post and that's where he does his damage. That's where he scores his goals. He will be fine with it but if you want to get the best out of that team, he has to play in a central position.
"With Liverpool, who play in a similar formation, the three that they have are all happy in their positions. They don't seem to question where they are playing and they are all getting goals, and I just think he's the one player that doesn't seem as comfortable.
"I've got no complaints with how Lacazette played. I thought his performance was brilliant but that's the only problem with this three. Aubameyang is not as happy playing in that wide left role."
Souness: "I think they are three fabulous players and Pepe will be a star in our football. He did a couple of things in tight areas where he got the ball out of his feet and he's a lovely striker of the ball. I think he'll get a lot of goals in our football.
"Can you imagine those three away from home when teams are coming after them? They'll score lots of goals between the three of them. Lacazette's finish was sublime, Aubameyang's finish was sublime and Pepe will get all sorts of goals. They will be a real handful for anyone. Whoever plays against them, you've got to be wary of them."
Mourinho: "They are very good players. Normally, they should be on the pitch together. What the others are saying is right. Aubameyang wants to play in the middle because when he is in the middle he feels like he can score more goals, but maybe he can score just as many playing on the left.
"What happens at Liverpool is Roberto Firmino drops back in between the lines and then he gives more space for Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane to attack these diagonals. I could see Aubameyang playing on the left for Liverpool and scoring a lot of goals.
"For Arsenal, Lacazette doesn't have that quality but they have two options. One with two midfielders and then one in a No 10 role, who can feed the three without bringing Lacazette in between the lines. The other is to bring Pepe from the right inside. If he plays more inside he can feed more diagonal balls to Aubameyang and Lacazette. They have lots of options. These three players are very good and on the bench they had Mkhitaryan, Ozil and Ceballos and they can give a lot.
"From the middle two to the attacking areas I think they have a lot of solutions to develop."
Campbell: "Pepe didn't have his shooting boots on but you can see the quality. He needs to be a bit cuter and show some nous with his final ball in and around the box. Once he gets that, once he gets his shooting range and that one goal, he'll get off the blocks and crack on and be a fantastic player for Arsenal."
Who will finish higher, Arsenal or Spurs?
And finally, the big question and it's a clean sweep for the white half of north London.
Mourinho: "I still think Tottenham. It's Man City and Liverpool and I still think Spurs are the third-best team. However, I like many things in the Arsenal squad."
Campbell: "You have to see how the season develops for both teams. I think it's too early to call now. You can say Spurs have had a more settled side over the last two seasons and they will be looking to get a Champions League spot again. Arsenal will be trying to nick that fourth spot but there's Chelsea and Man Utd there as well. It's far too early to call though."
Souness: "I thought Spurs would definitely finish third, but I'm not so sure now. I do think they will finish above Arsenal though.
Redknapp: "I am going to go with Spurs because I think they will get better. They've got Dele Alli, Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso to come in still, but they've got to stop this slide. They've got only four wins in their last 15 so this is more than just this transfer window. They've got to get better and they've got to improve."