Tottenham 2-2 Arsenal: 10-man Gunners fight back to halt Spurs

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  • 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.

[ MORE: 3 things we learned ]

First Francis Coquelin was sent off for two yellows and then Toby Alderweireld equalized and Harry Kane bent in a beauty to put Spurs 2-1 up against the 10-men.

[ MORE: Wenger unsure on title hopes ]

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.

[ MORE: Watch full match replays

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.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings

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.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

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.

VIDEO: Giroud delivers for Chelsea v. Spurs

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Olivier Giroud delivered a stunning finish to put Chelsea ahead against Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge.

Giroud, starting for the first time since November, used all of his experience to run the Spurs defense ragged and provide a threatening focal point for the Chelsea attack.

The Frenchman, 33, jumped off the bench and had a goal disallowed by VAR in the 2-0 defeat against Man United on Monday but even after a VAR check for offside against Spurs, this time his goal stood.

Click play on the video above to watch the clinical finish.

It was a good job Giroud didn’t leave Chelsea in the January transfer window (as a move to Spurs seemed highly likely) after all.

Watch Live: Chelsea v. Tottenham

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Chelsea host Tottenham Hotspur in a massive London derby on Saturday (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) at Stamford Bridge.

With Frank Lampard‘s slumping Chelsea in fourth and just one point ahead of Jose Mourinho’s fifth-place Tottenham, this is a massive game in the battle for Champions League qualification.

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Injuries are piling up for both sides but Chelsea’s lack of clinical finishing has hurt them for several months as they’ve won just four of their last 14 Premier League games. Mourinho knows this is a good time for him to take his team to Stamford Bridge, even with his own injury crisis to deal with.

Not only does the Mourinho storyline carry significant weight ahead of Saturday’s showdown at the Bridge, so too does the two sides’ increasingly tight battle for a top-four finish. As recently as Jan. 17, Chelsea enjoyed a nine-point lead on Tottenham, but the Blues’ current run of just one win from their last six PL games has seen that advantage shrink to a single point with the very real possibility of flipping two points in the opposite direction once the full-time whistle blows.

On the other hand, Spurs would already be miles clear if not for dropping a combined seven points from three games against the current 12th-, 19th- and 20th-place sides in recent weeks.

In team news Chelsea are without N’Golo Kante, Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi who are all out injured. Olivier Giroud starts up front with Tammy Abraham only fit enough for the bench, while Chelsea have three center backs and Ross Barkley and Mason Mount come into the starting lineup.

Tottenham must do without Heung-Min Son for potentially the rest of the season after he suffered a broken arm. Mourinho must turn to other attacking options with Harry Kane also out until April. Dele Alli has been left on the bench as Spurs go with what also looks like a back five.


LINEUPS

Hodgson vows to sign new Crystal Palace contract

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Roy Hodgson has revealed that he has been offered a contract extension to remain at Crystal Palace beyond the 2020-21 Premier League season, and also hinted that he is highly likely to accept it.

[ MORE: Mourinho: Top-four without Kane, Son would be “something incredible” ]

Following a period of turmoil and instability which saw them drop dangerously close to the relegation zone prior to his arrival in 2017, Hodgson has steadied the ship and guided the Eagles to 11th- and 12th-place finishes in his first two seasons and has them sitting just a point out of 12th with a dozen games to go this season. At no point in his tenure has Palace flirted with relegation, and that’s apparently enough to earn a new deal to remain in charge — quotes from Sky Sports:

“The club have presented me with a contract and although the chairman has been away this week I’ve had a cursory glance through it. It all looks fine to me so I am pretty certain that at some point soon we’ll sit down and get it signed.

“If I am going to stay, it will be because I believe funds will be made available because we’ve had the intention to improve the squad and the team for a while now.

“We all realize you can’t make improvements to the actual team without spending some money. But I would never make those type of demands, because you can’t make any guarantees in the transfer market.

“All you can do is have good intention and if I signed for another year, I would sign because I believed the intentions are true and that something will happen going into the next season.”

As for the transfer situation, that’s something that’ll need to be sorted out in very short order if Palace plan to maintain their current place in the PL’s hierarchy, otherwise they’ll learn a harsh — and quick — lesson about standing still while everyone else is moving forward.

Mourinho: Top-four without Kane, Son would be ‘something incredible’

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Jose Mourinho fancies himself either as a realist or a master of mind games — you be the judge, based on your own level of love or hate for the Portuguese manager — as Tottenham Hotspur embark upon their final dozen games of the 2019-20 Premier League season.

[ MORE: Premier League Preview: Chelsea v. Tottenham Hotspur ]

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s trip to Stamford Bridge where he’ll take on his former club Chelsea (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and NBCSports.com), Mourinho attempted to put into perspective the level of heroics that will be required for Tottenham to finish in the top-four.

Perhaps he has a point, given the long-term injuries to Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, forwards who account for 20 of Spurs’ 43 PL goals this season and who will also miss the majority, if not all, of the rest of the season — quotes from the Guardian:

“Tottenham without Harry or Sonny, without one of them, doesn’t win a match since 2014. That means a lot. That means that Sonny and Harry score the majority of goals that Tottenham scores. This season was so, so negatively special that we are going to be without them both at the same time for a lot of matches.

“If we manage to finish top four it’s something incredible. Incredible achievement for the boys. So we have to give everything we have.”

As for their chances of doing, so? Well, let’s just say Mourinho is more than happy to pile the pressure onto others and divert it away from his own team, as he has routinely done throughout his career — quotes from Sky Sports:

“At this moment, Tottenham, Manchester United, Arsenal, Sheffield United, Wolverhampton, Everton — we are the underdogs.

“We have ambitions to be there but we are one, two, three points behind Chelsea, so they have an advantage to all of us. That’s obvious. It’s not a big advantage but it is an advantage.

“Chelsea, in this moment, are favorites for the fourth position, considering Leicester has nine points more at this stage of the season.”

Over the course of their next nine PL games, Spurs will face all six sides currently within five points of fourth place. They will almost certainly be without both Kane and Son for the vast majority of those critical six-pointers.