Tottenham peg Arsenal back on derby day (video)

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  • Controversial equalizer for Tottenham 
  • Harry Kane has nine goals in north London derbies, more than any other player in PL history
  • Mauricio Pochettino has never lost a home Premier League game against Arsenal
  • First draw of the season for Tottenham
  • Lloris saves Aubameyang’s 90th minute penalty
  • Torreira sent off in 90th minute

LONDON — Controversy reigned as Tottenham Hotspur drew 1-1 with Arsenal in the north London derby at Wembley on Saturday.

Harry Kane’s penalty kick (which should not have been awarded as he was offside) nicked a point for Spurs after Aaron Ramsey had given a solid Gunners side the lead in the first half.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang then had a 90th minute penalty kick saved by Hugo Lloris as Arsenal missed the perfect chance to close the gap to their bitter rivals with Lucas Torreira sent off in stoppage time for the Gunners.

With the draw, their first of the season, Spurs remain in third on 61 points. Arsenal have 57 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Arsenal had the first big chance of the game as Alex Iwobi‘s deflected shot looped into the air and found Alexandre Lacazette who scuffed the difficult chance wide.

Spurs then did plenty of pressing but just as they got on top, Arsenal took the lead. Harry Kane lost the ball in Arsenal’s box and a long ball forward caught out Davinson Sanchez. Lacazette slotted the ball into Ramsey who raced free, rounded Lloris and tapped the ball home to give the Gunners the lead.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Kane had the ball it the net soon after but his brilliant header from a free kick was correctly ruled offside, while Son continued to run at Arsenal’s defense which held firm despite Eriksen firing an effort wide of the box.

On the counter Arsenal looked dangerous throughout the first half and Alex Iwobi’s curling short was brilliantly pushed away by Lloris. Right on half time Spurs thought they had equalized but Leno made a wonderful double stop to deny Eriksen and then Moussa Sissoko as the home side pushed hard to get level.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

At half time Lucas Torreira came on for Matteo Guendouzi as the youngster was guilty of giving the ball away cheaply on several occasions.

In the second half the same pattern continued, as Spurs got into some great positions but Arsenal launched another great attack which saw Lacazette skew his effort off target from a glorious position inside the box.

Toby Alderweireld then smashed wide at the back post after another dangerous Spurs free kick, with Arsenal bringing on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to try and stretch Tottenham further on the counter.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Substitute Erik Lamela drilled a shot just wide as Spurs pushed hard for an equalizer late on, which they got in controversial circumstances.

A free kick into the box found Kane at the back post and he was bundled over by a combination of Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscileny as Anthony Taylor pointed to the spot.

Replays showed Kane was offside when the cross came in, but Spurs’ main man dispatched the penalty kick to become the all-time leading scorer in north London derbies in PL history.

Arsenal were awarded a penalty kick in the 90th minute as Sanchez brought down Aubameyang in the box but Hugo Lloris saved his spot kick and Spurs somehow cleared the rebound to snatch a draw.

Torreira was sent off for a lunging tackle on Danny Rose in stoppage time as Arsenal also finished the game with 10 men.

Son scores again as Spurs beat Foxes (video)

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  • Spurs third team this season to reach 60 points
  • Foxes play well, but finish six points off seventh
  • Son scores again, Eriksen bags beauty

Heung-Min Son‘s 11th goal of the season put a cap on Tottenham Hotspur’s action-packed 3-1 defeat of Leicester City at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

Davinson Sanchez and Christian Eriksen also scored for Spurs — Eriksen’s a true spectacle (above) — who sit five points back of leaders Liverpool and meet the Reds on March 31.

Son’s 11 goals have come in his last 13 league matches dating back to Nov. 24. Crucially, he’s been red-hot in the absence of Harry Kane and Dele Alli.

Jamie Vardy scored his 100th senior goal after missing a penalty with his first touch of the game for Leicester City, who remains 12th on the table.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Harry Maguire nodded a long free kick on frame, and Hugo Lloris had to slap it over the bar in the name of safety. The ensuing ninth minutes corner was popped over the frame, and Spurs were off the hook.

Harvey Barnes pulled a Leicester shot wide of the far post off a James Maddison feed moments later.

The other side saw a penalty shout become a yellow card to Heung-min Son for simulation after Maguire got a piece of his ankle in the box and Son hit the deck. If it would’ve been awarded, you’d say Son embellished but the contact was sloppy. Shoulder shrug emoji.

Danny Rose continued a fine run of form in the early stages, and had an 18th minute run and shot foiled by Kasper Schmeichel‘s right arm.

A designed set piece allowed Spurs to break through in the 34th, as Christian Eriksen spotted a just onside Sanchez for a 33rd minute header. The goal was the Colombian’s first for Spurs.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

Leicester’s second half was much improved, with Ben Chilwell getting a left-footed shot on target.

That’s when Jamie Vardy got his final instructions, but he wasn’t introduced until after James Maddison won the Foxes their penalty after coming together with Jan Vertonghen.

Vardy came on for Gray, and Maddison gave him the ball. His first touch of the game came from the spot, and Lloris saved the effort!

Three minutes later, Ricardo Pereira‘s clearance skills doomed Leicester for a second-straight week. His effort his Oliver Skipp and wound up on the boot of Eriksen, who ripped a classy long strike past Schmeichel.

Here’s a stat!

Lloris then stopped a hard Barnes drive at the other end, as the Foxes did not quit.

And Vardy got his goal anyway, sliding in front of Toby Alderweireld to get onto the end of a Pereira cross from the right.

Just as Leicester seemed prepared for stoppage time heroics, Son dribbled the better part of 60 yards after meeting a Moussa Sissoko clearance. He beat Schmeichel 1v1 from outside the 18 to close out the win.

Son the hero as Tottenham beat stubborn Newcastle (video)

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  • Son scores later winner
  • Tottenham up to second 
  • Newcastle, Spurs both hit woodwork with headers

Tottenham Hotspur beat Newcastle United 1-0 at Wembley on Saturday, as Heung-Min Son kept Spurs’ title hopes alive.

Missing Harry Kane and Dele Alli through injury, Spurs huffed and puffed throughout but it looked like a stubborn Newcastle would leave London with a point. However, Son’s strike from distance somehow squirmed under Martin Dubravka and in to seal a huge three points.

Son has now scored twice in four days for Spurs since returning from the Asian Cup, and despite being exhausted he has now pushed them four points behind league leaders Liverpool.

With the win Spurs move to second place in the Premier League on 57 points, while Newcastle have 24 points and sit in 14th.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Tottenham had plenty of the ball early on but Newcastle were solid defensively and looked to hit Spurs on the counter.

The first big chance of the game arrived and went to Spurs, as Erik Lamela‘s cross picked out Moura completely unmarked but he somehow headed wide from eight yards out

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Lamela then sent a header against the crossbar from Jan Vertonghen‘s left-wing cross and Moura nodded wide as Spurs continued to push for the opener.

On the break Newcastle almost broke through as first Ayoze Perez and then Salomon Rondon had shots blocked with Tottenham scrambling to get back. Before half time Martin Dubravka saved Moussa Sissoko‘s shot but no Spurs players was on hand to tap home the rebound.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

At the start of the second half Davinson Sanchez nodded a header from a corner wide as Spurs continued to pin Newcastle back.

The Magpies did break down the right and DeAndre Yedlin‘s fine cross was met by Rondon but his wonderful header hit the post and bounced clear as Newcastle came so close to scoring the opener.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Christian Eriksen‘s cheeky flick from close-range was then hooked off the line heroically by Fabian Schar and moments later Hugo Lloris denied Perez’s curler.

Substitute Fernando Llorente had a headed chance at the back post but blamed the sun being in his eyes for getting it horribly wrong. Matt Ritchie cleared another Eriksen flick off the line as Spurs threw everything at Newcastle late on and they broke through in the final few minutes.

A long ball up to Llorente was nodded down to Son and his shot from outside the box somehow squirmed under Dubravka and in. A horrible moment for Newcastle’s goalkeeper but Son, once again, delivered when Spurs needed him most.

What should we expect from Miguel Almiron’s Premier League debut half-season?

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What’s reasonable to expect from Miguel Almiron in his first half season at Newcastle United?

Remember: I wrote reasonable, not realistic. Newcastle smashing its 14-year transfer record to sign the Paraguayan will have supporters thinking big.

[ MORE: Club-by-club grades ]

First things first, Almiron’s first meaningful minutes for Newcastle will be his first serious match action since the MLS Cup Final on Dec. 9. That means there will be some rust on the wiry playmaker who produced 13 goals and 13 assists for the Five Stripes in 2018.

Next: It’s likely that Rafa Benitez views Almiron as that playmaking No. 10 he’s needed, though there’s no guarantee his closest comparison on the Magpies — Ayoze Perez — won’t be a bit more suited to the job while Almiron gets used to the league.

Speaking of which, Perez is a terrific base line for which to judge Almiron. That won’t happen since Perez was a plucked gem from Tenerife while Almiron cost a club record, but follow me here.

The 25-year-old Perez is only a half-year older than Almiron, but arrived Tyneside at the age of 21. Perez also has Almiron by a half-inch.

Perez arrived at Newcastle having torn apart a lesser league, La Liga2, to the tune of 16 goals and 7 assists. He did not come on like a flash, either, with his first six appearances off the bench.

He scored goals in his next three en route to five by New Year’s Day and seven on the Premier League season, where he was deployed by Alan Pardew as an undersized center striker in two-thirds of his matches.

That Newcastle team, as hard as this is to believe, was nearly as offensively wretched as this season’s iteration. Perez was the second-leading goal scorer, behind Papiss Cisse and ahead of a wayward crowd of Moussa Sissoko and Jack Colback (Yes, they were relegated).

Almiron is much more seasoned than Perez, and the Paraguayan’s lesser league of MLS is a lot more physical than La Liga2. Almiron has also been the focal point of a team’s creative center, and will not be thrown off by the responsibility and expectations at a new club. Remember, he cost an MLS expansion team about $8 million.

Benitez may cater to Almiron in a free-ranging role to blood him on the Premier League, ousting Christian Atsu from the lineup instead of Perez at the No. 10.

What’s reasonable, like really reasonable? We’d say a goal — perhaps two given set piece chances — to go with 3-4 assists over his final 14 matches would qualify as a statistical success, but just looking the part and encouraging his owner to back Benitez with similar talent over the summer will be almost as important.

No pressure, kid.

Tottenham never saw cup competitions as a priority, Pochettino says

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Spurs fans have long ribbed Arsenal supporters for treating fourth place in the Premier League like a trophy. They’re now being fed that same mentality from their own manager.

After a 2-0 FA Cup defeat to Crystal Palace in the fourth round, Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino said that his main focus has always been attaining a top four position in the league, and that cup competitions were secondary. He also admitted that’s a controversial point of view.

“We are going to create a debate that to win a trophy is going to help the club,” he said. “I don’t agree with that. That only builds your ego. In reality the most important thing is being consistently in the top four and playing in the Champions League. That is going to help the club to achieve the last step.”

Tottenham is sitting third in the Premier League table, with Chelsea three points back in fourth and fifth-placed Arsenal six behind. Still, Spurs will experience some trepidation at the club’s recent form, crashing out of both the League Cup and the FA Cup in a four-day span. They also needed a last-gasp winner from Harry Winks to beat 19th-placed Fulham in the league last weekend, and fell 1-0 to Manchester United the match before that.

Much of the poor run of form can be attributed to horrible injury luck of late, losing both Harry Kane and Dele Alli to month-long muscle injuries, while Moussa Sissoko has also missed time of late. Still, Spurs’ failure to add in the summer window has led some to criticize the club for failing to plan for such a scenario.

While Pochettino still has a long-term mentality, he believes there is plenty of work to do. “The club is doing fantastically well,” he said after the Crystal Palace loss. “It’s so successful. In the last four or five years we’ve been fighting in different ways to achieve what the club needs, to be in the level of Chelsea, United, City, Arsenal or Liverpool. People wish we could win some trophies. But, being realistic, we are a team not built to win titles still.”

“It’s true, this season has been tough,” Pochettino continued. “But to be a contender is always difficult for us. Now the realistic targets are trying to be in the top four, to try and be close to Manchester City and Liverpool and reduce the gap. Another is to try to beat Dortmund and be in the next round.”