Arsenal 2 Tottenham 2: north London derby was thrilling but flawed

Premier League 
Arsenal 2 Tottenham Hotspur 2

Harry Kane admitted he was not happy after Tottenham Hotspur blew a 2-0 lead at the Emirates Stadium by allowing Arsenal to share the spoils in the first north London derby of the season. 

“I’m a little disappointed,” said Kane. “When you go 2-0 up you expect to win whoever you are playing. The goal before half-time changed the momentum.” 

When Kane converted his penalty on 40 minutes to double the visitors’ advantage after Christian Eriksen’s early effort, Tottenham had looked on course to record their first league win at Arsenal since a 3-2 victory in 2010. 

But Alexandre Lacazette pulled one back for the hosts on the stroke of half-time, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang then levelled on 71 minutes when he glanced in Mattéo Guendouzi’s perfectly-weighted pass. 


If the outstanding Guendouzi was instrumental in inspiring the Arsenal fightback, then Granit Xhaka was responsible for all that was sloppy in the Gunners’s performance. 

Somehow the Swiss has been entrusted with the captain’s armband but it was he who conceded the senseless penalty that Kane converted and his clumsy fouls also lost Arsenal their momentum in the final ten minutes as Tottenham almost stole a late winner. 

That’s five penalties that Xhaka has now conceded since he arrived at the Emirates in 2016, a figure that is exceeded by no other Premier League player.

Kane tried to claim a penalty late on when he went to ground under a challenge from Sokratis but referee Martin Atkinson adjudged there had been minimal contact and the England striker was later accused of diving

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Tottenham also had their misfiring players with Davinson Sanchez out of his depth at right-back and Moussa Sissoko also struggling to show any quality.

Entertaining but error-strewn

The result moves Spurs up to ninth on four points ahead of the international break, while Arsenal are fifth with seven points, five behind leaders Liverpool, who boast the only 100% record in the Premier League after four matches.

But if neither club looks capable of launching a serious challenge to the dominance of Liverpool and Manchester City, their lack of control and composure makes for riveting football. 

It was end-to-end stuff in a frenetic 90 minutes that were best summed up by Arsenal manager Unai Emery: “It was an amazing match… sometimes our heart is more strong than our head.”

Reactions after the north London derby

Gary Lineker: “Premier League football at its pulsating, gripping best.”

Gary Neville: “Absolute madness from Xhaka. He does it week in, week out. Season after season. He doesn’t seem to learn.”

Harry Kane on whether he dived: “I think I should have had a penalty. It’s that stage of the game where he makes a tired tackle. It’s 50/50 for the referee, I’m just trying to shield the ball.”

Jose Mourinho: “The game was completely out of control. If one of the teams had more brains and tactical control, they would win it.”

BBC Sport: “It was thrilling, chaotic, wonderfully entertaining. And packed with the sort of flaws that informed every observer that neither will be anywhere near the top two.” 

READ  Glasgow beat Brondby on penalties to reach last eight

Today’s back pages

‘I’m no diver’ says Tottenham striker Harry Kane

Premier League results

  • Southampton 1 Manchester United 1  
  • Chelsea 2 Sheffield United 2  
  • Crystal Palace 1 Aston Villa 0  
  • Leicester City 3 AFC Bournemouth 1  
  • Manchester City 4 Brighton & Hove Albion 0  
  • Newcastle United 1 Watford 1  
  • West Ham United 2 Norwich City 0  
  • Burnley 0 Liverpool 3  
  • Everton 3 Wolverhampton Wanderers 2  
  • Arsenal 2 Tottenham Hotspur 2



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