Tottenham scored first but conceded late to earn a point in a 1-1 draw against Arsenal in the North London Derby at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday. In a crazy, end-to-end match, Harry Kane opened the scoring, but substitute Kieran Gibbs found the equalizer in for the Gunners in what was only his second Premier League goal of his career.
It's Remembrance Day in England, so the match was preceded by a short ceremony to honor the fallen war heroes in Great Britain's wars. Poppies were affixed to the jerseys and were omnipresent on signage throughout the Emirates.
Spurs started the match with the same lineup as the one they used to beat Aston Villa on Monday, with the in-form Mousa Dembele playing a defensive #10 role ahead of Dele Alli and Eric Dier in the pivot. Son Heung-Min started the match on the bench. Arsenal earlier confirmed that Hector Bellerin was out of the match with a knock, which meant Matthieu Debuchy deputized at right back, but Laurent Koscielny returned to the starting lineup in central defense. Otherwise, it was the expected lineup for the Gunners.
The match started extremely open as both sides looked to attack from the opening kick. Both sides had opportunities in the final third, but neither were able to muster a shot on target. The match settled down into a midfield battle with both defenses looking extremely competent.
But Harry Kane was the difference in the first half. Danny Rose sprung Kane clear on goal with a gorgeous ball from near the halfway line, and Kane easily slotted it past Cech to put Spurs up 1-0.
Things got a little punchy late in the half after Jan Vertonghen and Olivier Giroud got into an altercation in the box. Both players ended up on the ground at different points in the play, but Martin Atkinson waved play on. The game got a little punchy after that with both sides putting in a little extra mustard into their challenges. The first half ended with Spurs up 1-0.
Arsenal made one change at halftime, bringing in Matthieu Flamini for Santi Cazorla, though it wasn't clear at the time if the switch was tactical or injury related. Spurs rolled on unchanged.
Arsenal had the first good chance of the second half, but Joel Campbell's low shot was deflected away by a diving Hugo Lloris. Spurs nearly doubled their lead in the 51st minute after Christian Eriksen fired a shot from an acute angle at goal, but the ball was partially deflected by Flamini and went agonizingly wide. Giroud then had a header just go over the top of Spurs' goal as both sides looked to score.
Erik Lamela picked up his fifth yellow card in all competitions after a heavy foul on Francis Coquelin, which means he will miss Spurs' next match against West Ham.
Arsenal probably should've equalized in the 60th minute after Olivier Giroud had a free header on goal, but the ball went just wide left and Spurs escaped after a scare.
Spurs finally made their first substitution in the 75th minute as Erik Lamela made way for Son Heung-Min, after a good performance by the Argentine, but one in which he very nearly picked up two yellow cards. And immediately afterwards, the Gunners equalized. Ozil fired in a cross from the right side that was met by Kieran Gibbs, who tapped the ball past Lloris to level the score in the 78th minute.
The match got super frenetic in the final 20 minutes as Arsenal had their tails up and were looking for the winner. Gibbs forced another save from Hugo Lloris, and Giroud was a constant threat inside Spurs' box. Tottenham subbed off Dele Alli for Ryan Mason as Spurs tried to settle back into the match, but Spurs never really looked like scoring again afterwards. The match ended 1-1.
- You guys, Spurs are good! Like, really really good!
- Dele Alli got the MOTM honors on the pitch, but for my money Kyle Walker was Spurs' best player. He was astounding out there, and essentially kept Sanchez in his pocket the entire game. He could've done better helping to close down Ozil on their goal, but that was still one of the best performances I've seen from Walker since he came back from his major injury a couple of seasons ago.
- But yo, Dele Alli played really, really well too.
- Spurs probably should've won that match. Sonny was partially at fault for not pressing Ozil on his cross to Gibbs, and it was some derpy goalkeeping from Hugo, but overall it was a well executed play and a good goal for Arsenal. Still stupid, but credit where credit is due.
- Mousa Dembele continued his string of fantastic performances in Spurs' midfield, particularly after swapping positions with Alli to play in the pivot beside Dier. His strength continues to be an asset against Premier League opposition midfields.
- Erik Lamela had a solid match, but a pretty scary one. He picked up his fifth yellow and will miss the West Ham match, and he could've easily been sent off a couple of times in the second half. Stop giving me a heart attack, Erik.
- This feels like dropped points immediately after the match, but I think a draw was a fair result. Both teams traded punches, and in most circumstances you'd take a point at the Emirates all day long, wouldn't you?
- The draw means Spurs are in fifth place and keep Arsenal from topping the table. So that's good. And Spurs are playing like they're legitimately one of the best four teams in the league. That's pretty good too. This is a really, really good team and I love watching them play this season.
- Now we get a week off for the meaningless international break. Ban international football.