Spurs came back from behind to earn a 1-1 draw against rivals Arsenal in the North London derby at Wembley on Saturday. It was an eventful game, typified by the last 20 minutes in which Harry Kane scored a penalty to level things before Hugo Lloris saved a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang spot-kick in stoppage time.
The visitors opened the scoring in the sixteenth minute through Aaron Ramsey and Spurs found it difficult to find a route back into the encounter before Kane was pushed in the area by Arsenal makeshift right-back Shkodran Mustafi and dispatched the resulting penalty with seventy-four minutes on the clock.
However, there was late drama in the game when Aubameyang fell under minimal contact from Davinson Sanchez on the stroke of ninety minutes. That gave him the chance to snatch all three points for Arsenal but Lloris was the hero by saving low to his right before Jan Vertonghen made an even more spectacular block to prevent the Arsenal striker from scoring from the rebound. The frantic end to the match did not end there though, as Lucas Torreira was sent off for a foul on Danny Rose.
The result means Spurs stay in third place in the Premier League, four points ahead of Arsenal, with nine matches to go.
Hugo Lloris Saves Late Penalty For Spurs
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) March 3, 2019
Arsenal started the game the better side and could have been ahead after only two minutes. Alex Iwobi’s cross was deflected into the path of Alexandre Lacazette who could only drag his effort wide from around eight yards out.
Both teams had decent amounts of possession as they aimed to break the deadlock but it was the Gunners who opened the encounter. Kane was dispossessed in the Arsenal box and from there the away team broke quickly, with Lacazette playing through Ramsey who had the entire Spurs half to run into with nobody in front of him. Ramsey rounded Lloris before slotting in the opening goal despite the best efforts of Victor Wanyama, who was making only his second Spurs start of the campaign and first since November.
After their goal, Arsenal dropped off and allowed Spurs to get back into the match. They almost got their equaliser when Kane met Kieran Trippier’s free-kick but his header was ruled offside. Despite Spurs having more and more possession they were struggling to create any real threatening moments for Bernd Leno in the Arsenal goal.
Instead, Lloris was called into action to deny Iwobi after he had cut inside past Trippier in order to get a shot on target. The Spurs equaliser did almost arrive shortly before the interval though. Kane found Christian Eriksen who was around ten yards out but his attempt on the turn was stopped by Leno, who then again denied Moussa Sissoko on the rebound. It was a brilliant bit of goalkeeping from Leno and ensured that Unai Emery’s side went in one up at the break.
The second half started in similar circumstances to the first half, with Arsenal having a great opportunity to score however Lacazette failed to convert after being set up by Nacho Monreal. Mauricio Pochettino’s team then had a chance ten minutes into the half when Toby Alderweireld’s volley hit the side-netting.
With the match still at 1-0, both teams made positive substitutions with Erik Lamela coming on for Victor Wanyama for Spurs. Chances were at a premium for both teams despite the changes but that all changed when Spurs had a free-kick midway in the Arsenal half in the seventy-fourth minute. Kane was pushed by Mustafi at the back post and Anthony Taylor had no choice but to point to the penalty spot, despite the protests of the Arsenal defenders. With the pressure on him, Kane made no mistake by sending Leno the wrong way to put Spurs back in the match.
Martin Keown on Harry Kane: "Is there a better penalty taker in Europe?" pic.twitter.com/HEQIbi3JHg
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) March 2, 2019
That started a frantic end to the game in which it really felt like a derby. Both sides were looking to win and going in strong into every tackle. It looked like it would finish as a draw until Mkhitaryan played a through ball to Aubameyang, who had got the wrong side of Sanchez. Despite not making the most contact, Sanchez was punished by referee Anthony Taylor who awarded Arsenal a penalty in added time. Aubameyang stepped up but never looked confident and his spot-kick was saved by Hugo Lloris much to the joy of the Wembley crowd. Jan Vertonghen then displayed an even more remarkable example of defending by somehow denying the Arsenal striker an attempt on the rebound, when it looked certain that he’d tap in Iwobi’s low cross.
The final action of the game was a red card for Lucas Torreira. The Uruguayan came on at half-time but was given a straight red card for a dangerous tackle on Danny Rose. That was the last major action in a fiery North London derby. It was the first time that Spurs’ first drawn in their past thirty-three Premier League matches.
Spurs v Arsenal Teams
What the Managers Said
Spurs Manager Mauricio Pochettino
“I think if you assess the game I think we were better than Arsenal in all the aspects, but of course in the way that it finished, with the penalty missing by Arsenal, and the action that we didn’t get after because it was a clear penalty on Harry Kane, from lose to win, maybe. I think it was a fantastic game, such an exciting game, great atmosphere with two teams who wanted to play and win the game. It’s always tough to play against Arsenal.”
“It was tough because to concede after 15 minutes was tough for us. But of course I am so happy with the character, the personality and the way that in the end we played. It wasn’t great our performance, but it was very good to draw and then maybe deserve to win. After two defeats it was important today to build again our positive ways. We have a very difficult game on Tuesday against Borussia Dortmund and arriving in a better condition than we arrived today is going to be key.” (Football.London)
Arsenal Manager Unai Emery
“I am proud of the players. We played like a team, together, pushing individually and collectively. The adaptation to the match was good. We could win this match.” (Football.London)
Spurs v Arsenal Man of the Match
— Jan Vertonghen (@JanVertonghen) March 2, 2019
It would be easy for Hugo Lloris to get our man of the match award for his late penalty save but our player of the match goes to Jan Vertonghen. The Belgian was back in the team after a recent hip injury and was required to play at left back for most of the second half. However, it was his goal-saving tackle at the end which saved Spurs a point as he miraculously managed to turn the ball over his own crossbar when it looked like Aubameyang would convert from the rebound.
What’s Up Next for Spurs?
Spurs are immediately in action again as they fly out to Germany on Monday to face Borussia Dortmund in the second leg of their Champions League knockout round on Tuesday. Their next Premier League match is away against Southampton on Saturday 9th March.
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