Tottenham showcases brilliance as they salvage draw in thrilling derby at Arsenal
Tottenham mounted an impressive comeback twice to secure an exhilarating 2-2 draw against Arsenal in the highly-anticipated north London derby on Sunday. Son Heung-min was the hero for Spurs, scoring both goals to rescue his team.
In the first half, Tottenham fell behind due to Cristian Romero’s unfortunate own goal. However, Son quickly equalized, displaying his attacking prowess. Bukayo Saka later regained the lead for Arsenal with a penalty, but Son had the final say with his second goal, ensuring that both teams maintained their unbeaten starts to the Premier League season.
Tottenham currently sits in fourth place in the league table, above fifth-placed Arsenal on goal difference. This hard-fought clash further demonstrated the revival of Tottenham under manager Ange Postecoglou, who arrived from Celtic in the close-season.
Despite their recent struggles against Arsenal, including only one victory in their last 31 league encounters and no away victory since 2010, Tottenham showcased remarkable resilience. Notably, they responded swiftly to Arsenal’s goals, displaying an attractive style of play rarely seen during Antonio Conte’s reign.
Under Postecoglou, Tottenham has scored at least twice in all six league games, impressively maintaining their attacking threat even after the departure of their star striker Harry Kane to Bayern Munich.
For Arsenal, it was a frustrating afternoon as they lost ground to league leaders Manchester City, who now stand four points ahead of them in the title race. Nonetheless, Arsenal tested Tottenham’s resilience early on, with Saka delivering a pinpoint cross that Gabriel Jesus nearly capitalized on with a powerful half-volley saved by Guglielmo Vicario.
If the first chance was well-crafted, Arsenal’s second opportunity was gifted by Tottenham defender Destiny Udogie, whose poor backpass was intercepted by Eddie Nketiah. Vicario, however, denied Nketiah’s fierce strike at his near post.
Amid mounting pressure, Arsenal took the lead in the 26th minute through Saka’s shot, which fortuitously deflected off Romero’s leg and wrong-footed Vicario. To add insult to injury, Saka imitated James Maddison’s goal celebration as he retreated to the center circle.
In the dying minutes of the first half, Tottenham turned the tide and capitalized on Raya’s misjudgment of a cross. Maddison, seeking revenge against Saka, provided an excellent low cross for Son to deftly flick the ball into the net from close range.
Arsenal swiftly regained the lead in the 54th minute after Romero blocked a shot from Ben White with his hand, resulting in a penalty awarded by referee Robert Jones. Saka calmly converted the spot-kick, celebrating with a knee slide.
However, Tottenham’s response was immediate, as just seconds after the penalty, Maddison dispossessed Jorginho in midfield and set up Son for a clinical finish into the far corner.
The match concluded dramatically, with Son coming close to securing a win for Tottenham with a shot into the side-netting. Gabriel Magalhaes then narrowly missed a header for Arsenal, and Saka’s powerful drive was expertly saved by Vicario.
In summary, the Tottenham-Arsenal derby provided an enthralling encounter, illustrating the fighting spirit of both teams. Tottenham showcased their revitalization under Postecoglou, while Arsenal fell short in their pursuit of the league’s top spot.