Arsenal 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur

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Updated: November 11, 2015
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Brian Jeeves reporting from the Emirates Stadium
 
HARRY Kane bagged his sixth goal in four games, but Tottenham Hotspur had to settle for a share of the spoils after Arsenal substitute Kieran Gibbs squeezed home a second half equaliser in what was a hotly contested North London derby at the Emirates Stadium.
This is always an eagerly anticipated affair, but with both the Gunners and Spurs coming into the game in scintillating Barclays Premier League form, both sets of fans viewed the game cautiously optimistic. Indeed, Arsenal had won their previous five league matches, while Spurs arrived at the Emirates unbeaten in ten. The only question marks over the contests appeared to be how the Gunners would react to a midweek Champions League mauling at the hands of Bayern Munich, and whether Spurs could take full advantage of a worrying spate of injuries which had hit Arsene Wenger’s men.
 
Amidst a raucous atmosphere, early exchanges were unsurprisingly frantic and a little untidy. Arsenal’s Joel Campbell failed to take advantage of Alexis Sanchez’ artistry, while Petr Cech did well to smother a dangerous low centre from Danny Rose as the sides exchanged half-chances.
 
Mousa Dembele’s effort did very little to trouble Cech, while Eric Dier should perhaps have done better when nodding Christian Eriksen’s cross off target. The visitors continued to press Rose’ wild strike was horribly wayward, but Spurs were clearly looking the more likely and just after the half hour mark they grabbed the lead. Harry Kane has been in white hot form of late, he cooly planted the ball low beyond Cech, this after Rose had brilliantly crafted the opening.
 
The goal clearly sent shockwaves ringing around the Emirates, and the in form Kane almost doubled the advantage just before the break, firing at the legs of Cech after Eriksen had played him in.
 
Arsenal returned for the second period with a flea in their ear, and began to attack with a little more intent. Campbell’s left-footed drive forced Hugo Lloris into a brilliant save low to his right as the home side searched for a route back into the game. Meanwhile, at the other end Eriksen was a whisker away from doubling Spurs money when his angled effort deflected agonisingly wide of an upright. But Arsenal were looking a little more like their old self. Olivier Giroud headed Mesut Ozil’s free kick against the bar, much to the collective frustrations of the home crowd.
 
Arsenal continued to ask the sterner questions. Giroud nodded an even better chance just wide, with Lloris flat footed. But Arsenal were almost  made to pay for their wastefulness, firstly when Cech produced an excellent save to thwart Eriksen, and then when Kane fire wide after finding some room in amongst the Gunners rearguard.
 
Spurs had seemingly weathered the Arsenal storm. Cech palmed away Toby Alderweireld’s point blank header, while Kane sent another low drive from distance just wide of the target.  But fourteen minutes remaining Arsenal’s toil payed dividends. Substitute Kieran Gibbs had been on the pitch for only three minutes when he ghosted in at the back post to meet Ozil’s delicous centre and squeeze the ball past Lloris via the post.
 
Arsenal were now in the ascendancy, but were unable to snatch a late victory. Mertesacker and Giroud passed up decent opportunities, while another Giroud effort was turned aside by Frenchman Lloris.
Speaking after the match, spurs Head Coach Mauricio Pochettino said: “I think that we deserved more. The way that we played and the chances we created. It’s true, we conceded some chances, but my feeling is that we deserved to win the game”.
 
I’m very proud of my players, the way that we played, the character that we showed, and the level that we take the game and we play. In six days we have played three games. It’s always difficult when you play Monday, Thursday and Sunday. When the opponent plays Saturday, Wednesday, Sunday they have the advantage. But I am very proud, I am very pleased with my players”.
 
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger stated: “Over all I believe it was a very intense game with complete commitment on both sides. “They showed great mental resources and refused to give up, because Tottenham had a good moment in the second half when it was 1-0. They had one or two good chances and Cech kept us in the game. In the end it is a fair point for both sides”.
 
Tottenham Hotspur are next in Barclays Premier League action on Sunday November 22, when West Ham United are the visitors to White Hart Lane, kick-off 4pm.
 
Arsenal: Petr Cech, Mathieu Debuchy (Mikel Arteta) Per Mertesacker (Capt), Laurent Koscielny, Mesut Ozil, Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez, Nacho Monreal, Santi Cazorla (Mathieu Flamini), Joel Campbell (Kieran Gibbs), Francis Coquelin
 
Arsenal substitutes not used: Gabriel,  David Ospina, Calum Chambers, Alex Iwobi
 
Tottenham Hotspur: Hugo Lloris (Capt), Kyle Walker, Danny Rose, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Harry Kane, Erik Lamela (Heung-Min Son), Eric Dier, Mousa Dembele, Dele Alli (Ryan Mason), Christian Eriksen (Josh Onomah)
 
Tottenham Hotspur substitutes not used: Michel Vorm, Kieran Tripper, Tom Carroll, Ben Davies
 
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Assistants: M Mullarkey and S Childs
Fourth Official: A Marriner
Attendance: 60,060

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