- Sanchez’s equalizes late on
- Coquelin sent off for Arsenal
- Kane, Alderweireld put Spurs ahead
- Spurs two points off Leicester
LONDON — Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal played out a hugely entertaining 2-2 draw at White Hart Lane on Saturday, as an epic North London Derby played out.
[ POCH: “One team was best. Spurs.” ]
Arsenal took the lead against the run of play in the first half with Aaron Ramsey‘s delicate back heel putting them 1-0 up at the break, but a pivotal five minutes in the second half saw the game turned on its head.
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However, with just 15 minutes to go Alexis Sanchez finished coolly to make it 2-2 and Arsenal snatched a point from the jaws of defeat to not only keep their title hopes alive but put a dent in their hopes of their biggest rivals.
With the draw Spurs stay in second and are two points behind leaders Leicester, while Arsenal stay in third and are five points behind the Foxes.
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The game began at a frantic pace with Tottenham doing much of the pressing. Mousa Dembele launched into two thundering tackles with Alexis Sanchez on the halfway line and as the Chilean complained, Dembele put his finger to his lips. Feisty.
Arsenal looked dangerous on the break but Welbeck was devoid of proper service and instead it was Spurs who continued to dominate the tempo of the game. Hugo Lloris had a nervy moment inside the first 20 minutes as a back pass to him bobbled up and he eventually cleared, but the away side rarely threatened in the final third throughout a tight first half despite Welbeck’s best efforts.
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Erik Lamela went close directed Kyle Walker‘s cross-shot towards goal but David Ospina reacted superbly to tip it away. Spurs lost their way a little before the break with Pochettino showing his displeasure by screaming on multiple occasions from the sidelines. And he was left cursing on 38 minutes as the Gunners took the lead against the run of play and with their first shot on target.
A deflection sent the ball into Welbeck’s path and he crossed for Hector Bellerin who slide the ball into Ramsey 10-yards out. The Welshman then sent an audacious back heel flick into the top corner past Lloris to send the away fans wild. 1-0, and first blood, to the Arsenal.
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In the second half Spurs once again started well with Walker having his shot palmed away by Ospina, and then a moment which changed the game arrived.
Kane raced cleared down the left flank and as Coquelin committed himself to the tackle, the Spurs man skipped over him but the Arsenal man’s outstretched leg brought him down. The French midfielder received a second yellow card and had no complaints as he trudged to the sidelines and the Gunners had to play the final 35 minutes with 10-men.
Spurs smelt blood in the water.
Kane, again, went so close to putting Tottenham ahead but his shot at the back post was saved by Ospina and video replays showed his effort was millimeters from crossing the line. That didn’t matter as the game was turned on its head in a matter of minutes.
First a ball to the back post found Alderweireld and his shot across goal went into the bottom corner. 1-1. White Hart Lane erupted.
Two minutes later Spurs led 2-1 as a massive few moments in the title race arrived. A loose ball down the left was kept in by Alli by the corner flag as he got the better of Per Mertesacker and from a seemingly impossible angle Kane picked up the ball and bent a beauty into the far corner. Scenes at the Lane as the local lad scored a splendid goal to put Tottenham 2-1 up.
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Kane went so close to a third for Spurs as they were running riot at the Lane but with 15 minutes to go the Gunners were level. Bellerin played in Sanchez and the Chilean swept home first time. This time it was the away fans who went wild. 2-2.
In the final stages Arsenal brought on Mathieu Flamini to try and grab a point, while Spurs brought on Heung-Min Son to try and win the game. Eriksen had a shot tipped over by Ospina and Ozil had a free kick pushed out by Lloris, then a cross deflected off Gabriel and looped agonizingly over his own goal.
With the final attack of the game Ramsey appeared to be clean through but Kevin Wimmer came from nowhere to block his shot on goal. And a pulsating clash ended even.