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April 20, 2011
• White Hart Lane, London
Referee: M. Atkinson
• Attendance: 36138
R. van der Vaart 7', 71'
T. Huddlestone 44'
T. Walcott 5'
S. Nasri 13'
R. van Persie 41'
90' + 3'
FULL TIME! Final score Spurs 3-3 Arsenal! The Gunners ahead three times through goals by Walcott, Nasri and Van Persie but they couldn't hold onto all three points as a Van der Vaart brace and a goal by Huddlestone secure the draw. A classic at the Lane, that's all from me but keep it with Goal.com for all tonight's match reports, ratings and reaction.
90' + 2'
Spurs on the attack as we enter the final minute. A nervy header from Koscielny just about finds its way to Szcezeny. That will not ease Wenger's increasingly furrowed brow...
Into THREE minutes of stoppage time at the end of the game...
And now Arsenal enjoy some rare pressure. Van Persie hooks a shot across goal before Wilshere attempts a cross but Spurs stand strong at the back although Gallas is really hobbling now.
Time, regrettably, is starting to tick away at White Hart Lane. It's been a fabulous 86 minutes of football so far. Will we have a winner? With the way this game has gone so far, anything is possible.
Chance for the substitute Sandro! He picks up the ball on the edge of the box, runs inside Song, and into the area but fires his shot straight at Szcezeny who looks as surprised as anyone!
Into the last 10 minutes and Arsene Wenger opts to make a double change. On come Arshavin and Bendtner, off go Walcott and Nasri.
More pressure from Spurs and again it's Van der Vaart, he's on a hat-trick remember. The Dutchman swivels in the box and hits a low shot but it lacks the power to beat Szcezeny who dives low to claim.
ANOTHER SUPER SAVE FROM SZCEZENY! Assou-Ekotto flings in a super cross for Crouch who is about six yards from goal. The striker gets a firm head on it but he can't beat the Arsenal keeper who tips it over the bar.
Final change for Spurs and there'll be no appearance from Defoe tonight after all. Instead it's Sandro who arrives, he gives Pavlyuchenko a rest.
WHAT A SAVE GOMES! Nasri tees up his skipper and he smashes a brilliant shot which a flying Gomes fingertips around the post!
WHAT A SAVE SZCEZENY! Van der Vaart does brilliantly down the right, backheeling for Kaboul who crosses for Modric who thinks he's side-footed home but the goalkeeper keeps it out with his foot!
Assist Aaron Lennon
Penalty Goal Rafael van der Vaart
GOAL! VAN DER VAART MAKES NO MISTAKE! The Dutchman coolly slots the kick home, sending Szcezeny the wrong way and Spurs are level! It's 3-3 at White Hart Lane.
PENALTY TO SPURS! An brilliant pass gets Lennon in behind his full back. He's favourite to win the ball, and win it he does, Szcezeny takes him out, referee points straight to the spot!
A rare mistake from Modric. He tries to find Kaboul out wide on the right but can only hit the ball out of play. He looks mortified by the mistake.
News from Jamie Dunn at White Hart Lane. Apparently Jermain Defoe is warming up for Spurs and it looks like he might be getting ready to replace Pavlyuchenko.
Arsenal break and really should score! Walcott goes past Dawson like he isn't there. Has the option to shoot, but Assou-Ekotto forces him to check back. He then slides in a low cross but it simply rolls out of play! Let off for Spurs.
A few nervy moments at the back for Arsenal, but somehow they survive. They have a little over half an hour to hold onto this lead, they couldn't throw it away again could they? Could they?
Lennon picks out Kaboul with a great cross-field ball but he can't control the cross and Clichy can intervene.
Worrying signs for Spurs, Gallas seems to be limping and remember Spurs have used two of their subs already...
GOAL! VAN PERSIE SCO...NO IT WON'T COUNT! The flag is up, the Dutchman was offside, and Spurs can breathe a sigh of relief. Van Persie looks baffled.
A few tempers frayed at White Hart Lane. Van der Vaart fouls Clichy who signals he thinks the Dutchman should be booked. Wilshere then wanders over and joins the argument and the referee opts to have a word with both of them. No cards shown, however.
GOOD SAVE SZCEZENY! Spurs release Van der Vaart, who may just be offside it's a tight call, and he lashes a cross-shot goalwards but a flying Szcezeny paws it away! Good goalkeeping.
Fabregas rides a couple of changes from Huddlestone, Modric then Dawson before losing out. The referee has a look and then decides to pull play back for a free-kick. Meanwhile, Jack Wilshere is on, he's replacing Diaby.
Sagna and Crouch clash and the Arsenal man is left with a bloody lip and will have to go off for some treatment.
Back come Arsenal who win a corner. Van Persie sends the ball but in but Gallas at the near post heads clear.
Kaboul and Van der Vaart stand over the kick. Up steps the Dutchman who curls it over the wall and over the bar...
Yellow Card Johan Djourou
Alex Song's first act of the second half is to earn himself a booking after fouling Modric. The free-kick is whipped into the Arsenal box but the Gunners get it away. Djourou then flattens the little Croatian again and, yep you've guessed it, it's another booking.
Yellow Card Alex Song
Welcome back, couple of changes to tell you about. Spurs make a double change with Lennon replacing Bale and Kaboul coming on for Corluka as Arsenal get this second half underway.
45' + 6'
Over to Jamie Dunn at White Hart Lane for his half-time thoughts: "As usual at White Hart lane, we're being treated to an open, attacking game full of chances and being played at an unstoppable pace. Arsenal have the lead, but Spurs are far from out of this and, given the seasons these two sides have had, anything can happen."
45' + 5'
HALF-TIME! Spurs 2-3 Arsenal at the break and what a first half of football that was. Walcott, Nasri and Van Persie on target for the visitors but Van der Vaart and Huddlestone ensuring Spurs are still in with a shout. Can the second half possibly match that? Let's hope so, join me after the break for all the action.
45' + 4'
The first yellow card of the night and it goes to Clichy He goes flying in on Van der Vaart and leaves the referee little option but to brandish the yellow card.
45' + 3'
Yellow Card Gael Clichy
45' + 1'
Spurs finishing on a real high. Modric weaves into the box, goes down under pressure from Djourou but the referee is right on the spot and waves the appeals away!
Goal Tom Huddlestone
GOAL! SPURS BACK IN IT! Huddlestone with a screamer! What a time to score for the hosts! The midfielder picks up the ball and drills it goalwards, it flies through a host of bodies before nestling in the back of the net!
Now Spurs want a penalty! Bale goes chasing after a ball in the box, out comes Szcezeny who wins the ball but leaves the Welshman in a heap! The home fans cry foul, Bale looks to be in agony but there'll be no spot kick.
Assist Cesc Fàbregas
Goal Robin van Persie
GOAL! VAN PERSIE MAKES IT 3-1! Arsenal with a two goal lead now. Gallas makes a mess of a clearance, Walcott intervenes crosses for Van Persie who heads goalwards, Gomes can only parry back to the Dutchman who fires home!
Bale is back on, looking a little dazed, but otherwise OK. He's probably just surprised that after three goals in the opening 13 minutes we've now gone almost 30 minutes without a goal!
Bale goes up for a ball with Szcezeny and comes off second best. The Welshman goes down holding his head and will need some treatment. He should be OK to continue, though...
Decent stuff by Pavlyuchenko who robs Djourou and homes in on goal before firing in a decent shot. The result is a corner which finds Gallas but he can only head over the bar.
Another Tottenham corner, this one misses everyone. Pavlyuchenko retrieves the ball, finds Huddlestone who crosses, Crouch heads on to Gallas who is just yards from goal...but the flag is up, he's offside!
Corluka wins a corner for Spurs. Van der Vaarta takes it but fellow Dutchman Van Persie heads clear. The ball comes back to Spurs and Modric wriggles into the box before firing at goal but Szcezeny parries it clear!
SO CLOSE TO 3-1! Another great run from Walcott sees him again clear on goal after he is put through by Van Persie. He just has Gomes to beat and beat him he does, but the ball just goes the wrong side of the post and it's agonisingly wide for the Gunner!
Back to Jamie Dunn who informs us that Spurs are not too impressed with some of the Arsenal goalkeeper's antics: "Clive Allen was just shouting 'tell him!' at fourth official Stuart Attwell, presumably because Szczesny was taking his time."
Let's check in with our man Jamie Dunn at the Lane: "Luka Modric is brought down by Abou Diaby - fairly says Martin Atkinson, much to the annoyance of Joe Jordan - and finally we all get a chance to take a breath. An unbelievable start at White Hart Lane, the game is being played at a frantic pace and, at the moment, the Arsenal fans are singing loudest."
Diaby goes flying in on Modric leaving the Croatian in a heap on the turf. The referee waves play on, the crowd boo they are not impressed with the challenge, but on we go.
Now it's Corluka's turn to shoot. He picks up a loose ball and drives a low shot which Szcezeny watches all the way as it slides inches past his post.
Another Huddlestone pass fails to find its target. The midfielder tries to pick out Bale on the left but succeeds only in sending the ball out of play for an Arsenal throw.
A Huddlestone wayward pass almost has Spurs in trouble. Walcott is onto it in a flash but a great challenge from Dawson halts him in his tracks. Spurs then come forward with Van der Vaart letting fly from range and sending the ball narrowly over the bar.
Gallas makes a run forward, and is greeted by jeers by the visiting fans. he's eventually muscled out of it by a combination of his old pal Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy.
More Arsenal pressure with Van Persie having a pop but this time his trusty left foot can't find the target and it flies into the stands.
Van Persie does well on the left and tries to pick out Walcott but Assou-Ekotto manages to interecept. However, Arsenal win the ball back and ping in a cross which Corluka is forced to head behind for a corner.
Assist A. Diaby
Goal Samir Nasri
GOAL! ARSENAL BACK IN FRONT! What a game this is already Let's take a check on Jamie Dunn's view of that goal: "Samir Nasri moves in from the left hand side and isn't tracked, he receives the ball, looks up, takes a touch and lets fly past Gomes. A lung-busting start here at White Hart Lane."
And now back come Spurs! Assou-Ekotto racing down the left and firing in a low ball but Pavlyuchenko hasn't made up the ground which allows Szcezeny to claim.
Good save Gomes! Walcott and Nasri combine to tee up Van Persie who shoots at the near post but the Spurs keeper manages to palm it around the post for a corner. The kick is fired in but straight at Gomes who claims.
Modric wins the ball off Diaby just outside his own box and finds Bale who is urged forwards. The Welshman is held up by Fabregas but manages to retain possession and pick out Modric again.
Assist Vedran Corluka
Goal Rafael van der Vaart
GOAL! INSTANT RESPONSE FROM SPURS! Corluka again on the right picks out Van der Vaart whose brilliant first touch takes him past Diaby and he smashes it past Szcezeny for an equaliser! 1-1 after just seven minutes!
Assist Cesc Fàbregas
Goal Theo Walcott
GOAL! WHAT A START FOR ARSENAL! Fabregas turns and dinks a superb ball forward to Walcott who is miles onside. He races through on goal and calmly slots the ball past Gomes! 1-0 to Arsenal!
Early pressure from the hosts. Corluka wins it on the right and sends in a super cross which a sliding Bale can't quite reach. Modric then picks up possession and fires a shot wide.
Here we go! Spurs kick-off and we are underway at White Hart Lane...
The teams are in the tunnel, so let's quickly check back with Jamie Dunn ahead of kick off. "The stadium is nearly full and the atmosphere on this warm April evening is buzzing as the subs take their places on the benches. Harry Redknapp has opted to play Rafael van der Vaart on the right hand side of midfield and play two up front at the expense of Aaron Lennon in a positive change, while Wenger surprised a few in the press room by starting Jack Wilshere on the bench. I think we're in for an explosive start here."
So here's how things look regarding the table. A win for Spurs will see them move level on points with Manchester City in fourth place, with the two teams scheduled to meet on 10 May. However, a win for for Arsenal will see them cut Manchester United's lead at the top to just four points with five games still to play
Now back to Jamie Dunn, who's been flicking through Harry Redknapp's programme notes: "This is always a massive game for both sets of fans and there is a lot riding on it for each side. Arsenal will be seeking three points to keep alive their title hopes but I am only looking at it from our point of view and we have to keep winning to stay in the race for the top four."
And now for some views from the red half of north London, courtesy of Ed Layzell, 25, a merchandiser from Hertfordshire who thinks it's do or die for Arsenal tonight: "We're still a nearly team: involved in four competitions til very late on, but the Wembley defeat and losing key players to injury and not having cover has cost us silverware for another year. I think the players know anything but a win and the title race is over, so I'm thinking 3-1 to Arsenal."
Goal.com's very own Jamie Dunn is at White Hart Lane tonight and he's been speaking to fans on their way to the ground. Here are the views of Mark Tilley, writer of the Tottenham blog 'The Boys From White Hart Lane: "I can't help but feel the result tonight depends on which Spurs turns up. Will it be the one that creates plenty of chances and sticks them away or the goal-shy one that we've become accustomed to recently? We all know Arsenal will pass it around, play nicely and probably score once but they're liable to collapse. I'm going for an ambitious 3-2 to Spurs with a last minute winner."
So some quick team news ahead of kick off, Spurs make one change with Peter Crouch returning to the starting XI and Aaron Lennon dropping to the bench. Arsenal leave Jack Wilshere on the bench with Abou Diaby coming in to partner Alex Song in midfield.
Arsenal 4-2-3-1: Szcezeny; Sagna, Djourou, Koscielny Clichy; Diaby, Song; Walcott Fabregas, Nasri; Van Persie. Subs: Lehmann, Squillaci, Gibbs, Ramsey, Wilshere, Arshavin, Bendtner
Tottenham 4-4-2: Gomes; Corluka, Dawson, Gallas, Assou-Ekotto; Van der Vaart, Huddlestone, Modric, Bale; Crouch, Pavlyuchenko. Subs: Cudicini, Bassong, Kaboul, Lennon, Pienaar, Sandro, Defoe.
Evening folks and welcome to Goal.com as we bring you live coverage of the north London derby! It’s a must-win game for both teams tonight as Arsenal make the short trip to White Hart Lane in a game that will affect both the title race and the battle for Champions League qualification. Should be a cracker, so let’s take a check on tonight’s teams…
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