The North London Derby. All eyes are on the Gunners this Saturday when the early kick off see’s them face against title and local rivals, Tottenham Hotspur. Over the years this prolific fixture has provided more than plenty talking points, and more than enough goals. 31 in just the last 10 games to be exact. Here are some of the most memorable games between the two sides, as we prepare for yet another action packed encounter.
22nd January 2008
Arsenal made the short journey to White Hart for a semi final second leg League Cup match after sharing a 1-1 draw in the Emirates 2 weeks prior, thanks to Theo Walcott’s equaliser 10 minutes from time. This meant Spurs again missed out on a long awaited victory over the Gunners, with the winless stretch reaching 21 games and almost a whole decade.
However, the painful and heartbreaking losses were all to be worth it when the floodlights feel on The Lane that cold Tuesday night. Spurs ran riot and won the game 5-1, making it 6-2 on aggregate. This was Juande Ramos’ first season in charge of Tottenham, enlightening the fans to a sense of what is to come. Unfortunately, this was the Spaniards only win over their North London rivals, as he was sacked in October that year.
29th October 2008
Spurs rallied back in spiritual fashion in front of their rival supporters, scoring twice in the dying minutes to share the points in this Premier League match. This was the closest new manager Harry Redknapp came to defeat in his first 4 games in charge as he tried to fix up the mess Juande Ramos left behind.
Spurs were off to a flyer when David Bentley volleyed the ball into the Arsenal net from 40 yards out, a strike that is a fond picture-esque memory in Spurs fans memories. Both Arsenal centre backs then got a goal each putting the Gunners in front. Arsenal then went 4-2 in front before Jermaine Jenas bent the ball round Almunia in the 89th minute, and Aaron Lennon was the quickest to react from an ambitious volley which smacked the post as he prodded it into an empty net 4 minutes deep into stoppage time.
26th February 2012
To this day I remember this game well. For Arsenal fans, it would be hard to forget punishing your rivals in such a way. Spurs started the game well, which was proved by the scoreboard, as they were 2 goals ahead in 34 minutes thanks to Louis Saha and ex frontman Emmanuel Adebayor. But a brilliant comeback in the latter stages of the first half from Arsenal quickly turned the game around, with both Bacary Sagna and Robin Van Persie scoring to tie the game up at the half way mark.
Arsenal came out with their tails high in the second half, and took advantage shortly thereafter. Tomas Rosicky had his side 3-2 up as he quickly nicked the ball past Brad Friedel at his front post. Theo Walcott was next to get in amongst the goals as his delicate chip and accurate right footed strike saw Arsenal go 5-2 up respectively. One of the greats, as London is painted red with Arsenal fans come full time.
17th November 2012
As Spurs looked to avenge the previous 5-2 defeat, they traveled to the Emirates in November the same year. Adebayor put his side ahead in what looked to be a promising start for Spurs. However, Adebayor is a player like no other and can quickly undo his good work in seconds and shortly after his goal he saw red for a high tackle on Santi Cazorla. Arsenal capitalised on the sending off as Per Mertesacker ferociously headed the ball past Lloris for his first goal for the club. A few minutes before the half time whistle another German popped up for the Gunners as Lukas Podolski sent the ball goal bound, then Cazorla set up Olivier Giroud to go in 3-1 up at the break.
A risk from Andre Villas Boas with his half time substitutes then did not pay off, as Arsenal scored again on the 60th minute mark through Santi Cazorla. Gareth Bale then managed to get a consolation goal, before Theo Walcott again scored in the derby to make it back to back 5-2 wins.
5th March 2016
With both teams after Premier League silver, and drawing back in November at the Emirates, the stakes could not be higher for this matchup. Anything less than 3 points for Gunners, and it’s effectively a goodbye to their title aspirations. In the biggest game of the season to date and perhaps the penultimate one, The Gunners must do everything the can to revive their title hopes and prove to the world they are not over yet.
Now, this is not the first nor the last time someone will say this but, if we don’t win today, Wenger has to go. With a pretty strong assumption Leicester and Spurs will not replicate Arsenal’s 2016 meltdown, there is no chance we will win the league if we lose to Tottenham. And if there are still Wenger supporters after we bottle the league once again, I literally have no idea what planet you are on. If Arsenal cannot win the league when Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United all flop, when will we actually win it? Do or die, Wenger.