At this early stage of the season, it was only last month that the two giants of North London: Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur met at the Emirates. Arsenal had six points from their first three games, while Spurs had four – and as always, it wasn’t just a battle for Premier League points, but a battle for bragging rights in the capital.
Much like their previous meeting last season on March 2nd, the game ended in a score draw. This time 2-2, with the visitors taking a two-goal lead (through Christian Eriksen and a Harry Kane penalty), before the Gunners pegged them back (courtesy of the deadly duo: Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang). Since the Premier League era, Arsenal have won the most North London Derbies with 20 victories, to Spurs’ 12 (with 23 matches ending with honours even).
While last weekend’s contest was certainly entertaining, both sides are long-shots in Premier League betting odds. Let’s delve into the archive and take a look at some of the highest-scoring matches in North London Derby history – well since 1992-93…
2004-05: Tottenham 4-5 Arsenal
In this thrilling encounter, Spurs went ahead but it was Arsenal who ended the game on top. The first half saw the hosts dominate possession and so nearly go into the break with the lead – however, Noureddine Naybet’s volley was cancelled out by Thierry Henry’s injury-time goal.
The second half was all Arsenal, with Lauren’s penalty putting the visitors in front and Patrick Vieira adding a third on the hour-mark. In what was a cat-and-mouse chase, Jermain Defoe pulled one back, before Freddie Ljungberg restored the two-goal cushion. Ledley King headed home Spurs’ third, but once again Robert Pires secured the win – with Freddie Kanoute finishing the scoring in the dying minutes to give Spurs that little bit of pride.
It was Martin Jol’s first game in charge of the Lilywhites, having taken over from Jacques Santini and there’s no doubt the score-line left him with food for thought – as the side succumbed to their fifth successive defeat.
2008-09: Arsenal 4-4 Tottenham
Two late Tottenham goals turned this game into an eight-goal thriller, in which the points were shared. But it was Spurs in fact who went ahead at the Emirates, through a David Bentley 40-yard worldie. Mikael Silvestre’s header put the Gunners level at half time, following some suspect goalkeeping from Heurelho Gomes.
Arsenal were quick to capitalise after the break, with William Gallas putting the hosts in front, before Emmanuel Adebayor added a third. It was time for more goalkeeping mishaps and this time Manuel Almunia fumbled, to allow Darren Bent to pounce and pull a goal back. Robin Van Persie must have thought the points were safe when he slotted home from eight yards out – but it wasn’t over yet. Jermaine Jenas pulled one back for the visitors before stoppage time and the comeback was complete in the 94th minute, when Aaron Lennon scored a poacher’s goal after Luka Modric’s strike hit the post.
Spurs may have stuck rooted to the bottom of the table; however, the club were soon revitalised with Harry Redknapp at the helm.
2011-12: Arsenal 5-2 Tottenham
In successive seasons (2011-12 and 2012-13), Spurs succumbed to brutal 5-2 defeats at the Emirates. The former makes this list for the host’s incredible comeback. Ahead of the game, Spurs were third in table with Arsenal in fourth, and 10 points separating the bitter rivals.
An early goal from Louis Saha was followed up after half an hour, with former Arsenal man Adebayor converting a penalty – and Spurs were in the ascendancy. But before the half was out, the scores were level – and it was the Gunners who went in at the break buoyant. Whatever Arsene Wenger said to his team at the break clearly worked, as the Gunners were resurgent and a further three goals in 22 minutes completed the comeback.
Tomas Rosicky put Arsenal in front just after the break and a quick-fire double from Theo Walcott not only humiliated Redknapp’s side, but also the home fans that had taunted the winger in the first half. To compound further misery on Spurs, Scott Parker received his marching orders for a second yellow card after he fouled Thomas Vermaelen and the visitors played out the closing minutes with 10 men.