The North London derby is upon us again. This fixture is certainly one of the biggest in European club football and both London sides will be keen to continue their impressive runs in the Premier League when they clash lunch time on Sunday.
Arsenal are on an amazing run and has remained unbeaten after the opening day defeat to Liverpool while Spurs remain the only unbeaten side since August.
There are past matches between these team enshrined in immortality although we have also been served to some boring contests.
As the football world look forward to Super Sunday’S 184th North London derby when we all hope to witness more of the evolution of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, as well as the industry of Dele Alli and perhaps Harry Kane, Newslegend.com.ng’s OJO BAMIJI picks out six of the most memorable clashes between these city rivals.
1. Tottenham 2-2 Arsenal: 20003/2004 Premier League Season (25th April 2003)
In a season that saw Arsenal at their most imperious, Spurs would have relished being the only team to beat Arsene
Wenger’s men. But when the Invincible visited White Hart Lane in April, Arsenal only needed a draw to secure the
Premiership crown on their rivals ‘stomping ground just as they had in 1971.
They got it, but only just. Arsenal went 2-0 up after three minutes through a typically fluid counter-attack, goal
scorer Patrick Vieira then turning provider for Robert Pires’s clipped finish.
However, the injury-time winner the Lane craved was not forthcoming and the Tottenham faithful were ultimately forced to either scurry home or look on in envy as Vieira & Co. celebrated the perfect end to a magnificent season.
2. Arsenal 4-4 Tottenham: 2008/2009 Season (29th October 2008)
Spurs’ magical comeback: The Premier League might love to describe itself as the best in the world but few matches
have been as memorable as this eight-goal feast.
David Bentley set the tone with an early volley as stunning for its outrageous opportunism as its execution.
Tottenham’s long win-less streak away at Arsenal continued, but this result felt very much like a victory. Despite
Spurs’ early lead in the derby, Arsenal were 4-2 up with just minutes remaining before Jermaine Jenas curled in what seemed like a late consolation goal in the 89th minute.
But Harry Redknapp’s team wasn’t done, and launched one final attack in the dying moments of stoppage time. And when
Luka Modric’s long-distance strike deflected onto the post, Aaron Lennon was there to tap in the equaliser into an
3. Tottenham 5-1 Arsenal: Carling Cup 2007/08 season (January 22, 2008)
A sparkling Tottenham performance meant they stormed into the League Cup final, to the considerable anger of Arsenal
fans (and players, judging by the quarreling between William Gallas, Emanuel Adebayor and Nicklas Bendtner).
Jermaine Jenas’ low drive on three minutes quickly eroded memories of the late Gunners goal from the first leg (and
the previous 21 unsuccessful attempts at beating Arsene Wenger’s men), and paved the way for his team-mates to run
Bendtner powered a header into his own goal and Keane neatly finished Aaron Lennon’s lobbed pass before returning
the favor to assist the winger’s bottom-corner drive.
Despite Adebayor’s consolation, Steed Malbranque’s late fifth reinstated the four-goal cushion; Tottenham went on to
win the cup that year.
4. Arsenal 2-3 Tottenham: Premier League 2010/2011 Season (20th November 2010)
Tottenham had not beaten Arsenal away in 17 years entering this derby, and that streak looked set to continue as the
Gunners took a 2-0 lead at halftime, with Samir Nasri having scored the first from an impossible angle.
But whatever Redknapp told his team at halftime certainly worked. Gareth Bale started the comeback with a delightful
finish and Cesc Fabregas then inexplicably stuck his arm up to stop a free kick, giving Rafael van der Vaart the
chance to level from the penalty spot.
With Arsenal shell-shocked, Younes Kaboul headed in the winner with four minutes left a goal that left an angry Wenger throwing his water bottle in disgust.
5. Arsenal 5-2 Tottenham: Premier League 2012/2013 Season (26th February 2012)
This time it was Arsenal’s turn to claw back a 2-0 deficit in this derby, and in even more emphatic fashion. After Louis Saha’s
early goal for Tottenham, former Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor made himself even less popular with the Gunner
fans by doubling the visitors’ lead with a penalty.
But Wenger’s men were level by halftime as Bacary Sagna and Robin van Persie netted shortly before the break, and
Tomas Rosicky put them ahead for good in the 51st minute. Theo Walcott, who had struggled in the first half, added
two quick goals for a 5-2 win a scoreline that Arsenal repeated at the Emirates the following season.
6. Tottenham 4- 5 Arsenal: Premier League 2004/2005 Season (12th November 2004)
This nine-goal thriller holds the record for being the highest-scoring north London derby. This was a match
described by Jose Mourinho as a “hockey score”.
Tottenham dominated the first half with Noureddine Naybet’s close-range volley opening the scoring and Jens Lehmann
forced into several good saves, but a Henry strike in first-half injury time inspired a different Arsenal
performance in the second period.
A Lauren penalty took the Gunners to three on the hour, and though Jermain Defoe and Ledley King responded to
strikes from Vieira and Freddie Ljungberg respectively, a clever sleight-of-foot and smart finish from Robert Pires
restored Arsenal’s two-goal advantage.
The shambolic defending continued, however, and the Gunners allowed Freddie Kanoute to net and provide a nail-biting
lastfew minutes for nerve-shattered Arsenal fans.