Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal shared the spoils during the weekend’s north London derby at the Wembley Stadium. The visitors pounced on an early defensive mistake with Aaron Ramsey finding the scoresheet in the 16th minute, and they managed to sustain the lead heading into the interval.
Following the break, Spurs were the better side in terms of the overall performance, and they managed to finally level the scores in the 74th minute with Harry Kane from the penalty spot, though the decision was wrongly awarded after the assistant failed to spot an offside prior to the foul.
Thereafter, the Gunners had a glorious chance to find the winner after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was fouled in the box before injury time, but the Gabon was wasteful with the resultant penalty which was eventually cleared by the combination of Hugo Lloris and Jan Vertonghen.
Two things we learned:
Arsenal unlucky with the result: Spurs may have upped their performance in the second period of the derby but they never appeared like scoring until Shkodran Mustafi made a blatant push on Kane from a free-kick. Though Mustafi should be blamed for his actions, the Gunners will also feel hard done by the refereeing decision, given Kane was perfectly offside in the lead up. Meanwhile, the Gunners’ late penalty witnessed Vertonghen enter more than five yards into the penalty box prior to Aubameyang’s miss, and the referee should have ordered a retake, as per the rules. Had the VAR been present, the Gunners could have quite easily taken three points from their cross-town rivals.
Tottenham drop into top-four race: In mid-February, the Capital outfit seemed right in the title race with just five points separating them from the top of the standings. However, their performances have since been a huge letdown and a run of one draw and two defeats in the past three matches has dropped them 10 points adrift of leaders Manchester City, who could be leapfrogged by Liverpool on Sunday. As such, Spurs have pretty much dropped into a top four tussle, and they are currently just four points ahead of fifth-placed Arsenal while Chelsea are not far behind with a couple of matches in hand. The Blues, who are presently sixth in the standings, could be within five points off Pochettino’s side with a win over Fulham on Sunday.
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