MX23RW : Monday, October 19 15:36:27| >> :120:16740:16740:
Mar 5, 2016 at 12.45pm UK at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Attendance: 35,762
SpursTottenham Hotspur
Alderweireld (60'), Kane (62')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Ramsey (39'), Sanchez (76')

Live Commentary: Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 Arsenal - as it happened

Relive the absorbing North London derby between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal in the Premier League with Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates.

Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal clashed in one of the biggest North London derbies in recent memory on Saturday lunchtime, with both teams contenders for the Premier League title this season.

The two sides were looking to bounce back after surprise midweek defeats, but neither could do so as 10-man Arsenal managed to earn a 2-2 draw and stay within three points of their arch-rivals.

Relive an enthralling contest with Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates below.

Morning all! The time has come for one of the biggest North London derbies in recent memory as Spurs take on Arsenal in a match would could end up deciding the fate of the Premier League title. Loads to get through between now and kickoff in about an hour and we'll start with the team news. Some bold choices by Mr Wenger...

SPURS XI: Lloris; Walker, Alderweireld, Wimmer, Rose; Dembele, Dier; Lamela, Eriksen, Alli; Kane
Subs: Vorm, Davies, Trippier, Carroll, Chadli, Mason, Son

ARSENAL XI: Ospina; Bellerin, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Gibbs; Elneny, Coquelin; Ramsey, Ozil, Sanchez; Welbeck
Subs: Macey, Chambers, Monreal, Flamini, Campbell, Walcott, Giroud

Arsenal come into this match having lost three games in a row for the first time in almost six years and Arsene Wenger has decided to shake things up. We knew that Petr Cech would be replaced by David Ospina in goal, but it is elsewhere that intrigues. In midfield, January signing Mohamed Elneny comes in for his first league start, while Danny Welbeck gets the nod ahead of both Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott in attack.

There's one other change for the Gunners from Wednesday night's 2-1 defeat to Swansea and it comes at left-back with Kieran Gibbs, who scored the equaliser in the reverse fixture against Spurs, preferred to Nacho Monreal.

So it's four changes in total for the Gunners and Spurs have done the same, with Mauricio Pochettino also tinkering with his lineup. It was always expected that the two full-backs - Kyle Walker and Danny Rose - would swap back in for Kieran Trippier and Ben Davies, but the big news for the home side is that Moussa Dembele is back for his first league start since the Valentine's Day win at Manchester City last month.

Spurs' other change from Wednesday night's 1-0 loss at West Ham is on the left of the attacking-midfield three, with Dele Alli returning to take Nacer Chadli's place. Can the highly-rated teenager rise to the occasion today?

Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur (20) celebrates with Kyle Walker (2) as he scores their second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa at White Hart Lane on November 2, 2015© Getty Images

So there we have it then. Four changes but no real surprises from Spurs, but what a huge day for Mohamed Elneny. Wenger must feel that two defensively-minded holding players is a better than playing Aaron Ramsey back there and leaving his side vulnerable against the likes of Alli and Christian Eriksen. Plenty of pressure on Danny Welbeck's shoulders as well as he leads the line.

With Cech out injured, Ospina makes his first league start of the season in goal and that means that English youngster Matt Macey is named in the Gunners' matchday squad for the fifth time this season. The 21-year-old is yet to make his debut for Arsenal. Imagine if Ospina got injured today!

Ospina's handling of the occasion could be a key factor today, while elsewhere in the Arsenal backline you'd pick out Gabriel Paulista, who starts today with Laurent Koscielny also injured. The Brazilian has not played all that well in the Gunners' last two matches and today comes up against one of the top strikers in the league in Harry Kane.

STAT: Masked man Kane was one of the club's underperformers at the Boleyn Ground on Wednesday, squandering multiple chances in the second half, but he is confident that he and his teammates will bounce back against the Gunners. He has good reason to believe so as well, having scored 13 goals in 17 Premier League London derbies and three in two Premier League appearances against Arsenal.

Remember this header in last year's league game at White Hart Lane?

Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur heads the winning goal during the Barclays Premier League match against Arsenal at White Hart Lane on February 7, 2015© Getty Images

Kane also scored Spurs' opener in the reverse fixture at the Emirates. It was a game Spurs really played well in but ultimately failed to win as Gibbs came off the bench to level the score late on.

H2H: Arsenal won 2-1 at Spurs in this season's other meeting in the League Cup, but Spurs have lost just one of their last seven Premier League games against the Gunners at White Hart Lane (W4 D2 L1). Should the visitors win today, it would be the first time since 1986-87 that they have won away at their rivals twice in the same season.

You want more head-to-head info? Sure. Arsenal have scored exactly one goal in each of their last six Premier League games against Spurs and each of the last four trips to White Hart Lane.

A home clean sheet seems unlikely given that Arsenal have scored in 41 of their last 42 meetings with Spurs in all competitions, but the Gunners have several players really off-colour at the moment.

One of those is star forward Alexis Sanchez, who said this week that he and his teammates have lacked a "certain hunger", a quite astonishing admission given his side's plight of late. Wenger quickly dismissed the Chilean's words, but things do not look rosy for the Gunners. Sanchez is one of those who must step it up - he has failed to score in the league for 11 matches since October, with his only goal in his last 10 appearances in all competitions coming against Championship side Burnley in the FA Cup.

Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal miskicks during the Premier League match against Swansea City on March 2, 2016© Getty Images

Time to look at the Premier League table, wouldn't you say? Spurs start the day three points above their bitter rivals and will not be overtaken unless they lose by an 11-goal margin. Even if this crazy season, that ain't gonna happen. Leicester are top by three points, but Spurs know that a win would take them to the summit for a few hours at least before the Foxes' match away at Watford later this evening.

Should Spurs end the weekend top, it would be the first time in 52 years that they have led the top flight in March. They are chasing a first league title since 1961 and it would be some achievement if they could do so with such a young side.


Aha! I thought the decision to drop Monreal was an odd one and Wenger has just revealed to BT Sport that the Spanish full-back is struggling with a "slight calf problem". Still, it's a great chance for Gibbs and he will be keen to impress.

Looking at the bookies' odds, Spurs are clear favourites in today's match and it's not often that that has happened in recent times. They may have lost in midweek at West Ham, but before that Pochettino's men had won six league games in a row. Can they make it seven out of eight today?

PREDICTION: Just 10 minutes to go now! It's a big cliche, but today's match will be about who handles the occasion better. With a deafening atmosphere at White Hart Lane, Spurs should be more confident and I'm backing Pochettino's side to win 2-1.

As for you guys, just over half (50.6%) of you have also gone for a Spurs win on our pre-match preview. 34.7% reckon Arsenal, with just 14.6% picking the draw.

"I can remember, I think once, we won the championship here." Good one Arsene!

STAT: This fixture is the most common in Premier League history to see the team scoring first not going on to win (14 draws and eight comeback wins). There's often drama in the North London derby!

One of the things in Arsenal's favour today is their strong record in big, top-of-the-table clashes - Arsene Wenger's side have taken an unrivalled 10 points from games against the current top four this season, while Spurs have earned eight.

Arry's got his mask on again today

Harry Kane and his large, broken nose warm up ahead of the Premier League game between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal on March 5, 2016© Getty Images

KICKOFF! And we're off! Spurs get us underway. Absolutely bouncing at White Hart Lane!

First Spurs crowd out Sanchez, but then the Chilean and Welbeck pressure Alderweireld and almost nick the ball from the Belgian in the Spurs box. The Belgian has had a tremendous season, helping Spurs to the best defensive record in the league, but he doesn't need to take chances like that!

Spurs have a moment of their own in the other area as Kane launches a quick throw into the box where Alli is dispossessed by Gabriel just as he was trying to shoot.

First shot of the match comes from Kane, whose weak effort is an easy one for Ospina to grab. Moments before Arsenal had a great chance on the counter-attack but Ramsey failed to take the ball in his stride. Very open start!

SHOT! Better effort this time from Kane as he finds space on the left before trying to bend it in from a tight angle. It's well-hit but far too close to Ospina.

SHOT! Kane looks in the mood today! This time he drives one from the other side that takes a nick off Gabriel to go out for a second Spurs corner...

Eriksen's first inswinger is headed out for another corner, but the second delivery is worse than the first and Arsenal clear. Welbeck picks it up and he is dispossessed by Rose as he tried to counter. That's two decent openings on the break that Arsenal have wasted.

Today's referee is Michael Oliver and he gives Coquelin a talking to but rightly does not book the midfielder after his mistimed tackle on Kane. Would have been very harsh.

All smiles before kickoff

Arsene Wenger and Mauricio Pochettino shake hands prior to the Premier League game between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal on March 5, 2016© Getty Images

One thing very evident early on is how frantic Arsenal's pressing is. West Ham beat Spurs playing a similar way in midweek, so maybe Wenger thinks his side can do so as well.

Nice pass from Ramsey sends Welbeck away down the right. The striker tries to beat Wimmer with a couple of step-overs but stands on the ball. He then regains possession before having a shot blocked by Rose.

Free kick to Spurs about 30 yards out, right of centre. Good chance to put it in the box and test out the Arsenal backline...

Lamela instead tries to shoot and slaps it straight into the wall. Disappointing.

Mertesacker's silly foul on Alli gives Spurs a free kick on the other side and although this one gets over the wall from Eriksen, it's very easy for Ospina on the line.

Dodgy moment at the back for Spurs as Lloris takes a heavy touch from Rose's backpass and just about recovers with Welbeck closing him down quickly.

Here's one of Kane's early efforts

Harry Kane takes a shot past Gabriel during the Premier League game between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal on March 5, 2016© AFP

Careless play from Ramsey deep in his own half as Rose steals the ball and then looks for Lamela in the middle. It's just ahead of the Argentine though and Arsenal hack clear. Spurs the better team so far.

Ozil has been so quiet thus far but he almost sets up Welbeck with a clever flick that is read by Alderweireld. Sanchez has also seen very little of the ball.

SAVE! What a save from Ospina! Who needs Petr Cech? Walker fires over a cross from the right and Lamela does really well to divert it goalwards, with Ospina making an instinctive stop.

BOOKING! The noise levels have surged up as Bellerin is yellow-carded for hauling over Rose. Free kick on the left for Spurs...

BOOKING! Eriksen put it into a dangerous area but Ospina held the free kick well. Moments later Lamela joins Bellerin in the book for bringing down Welbeck as the Arsenal man looked to sprint upfield. Good spot by Oliver.

BOOKING! Three yellow cards in as many minutes as Coquelin uses his hands to stop the ball on the ground after being crowded out by three Spurs players. Oliver tried to play the advantage but then came back and booked the Frenchman.

Lloris comes off his line to spectacularly clear the ball away with his head. Ozil collects in the centre circle and tries to beat the Frenchman from halfway, but Alli gets a toe in to put the German off.

First corner to Arsenal as Welbeck spins away down the left and has his cross-shot blocked away by Alderweireld.

Shocker from Sanchez as it barely reaches Kane at the front post.

This one was a decent ball in, but on the whole the set pieces have been below-par

Toby Alderweireld, Eric Dier and Per Mertesacker jump for the ball during the Premier League game between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal on March 5, 2016© AFP

Star-man so far for Spurs has been Dembele, who has completed 100% of his passes and completed three take-ons. When he's in this kind of mood it's so hard to get the ball off him.


Arsenal take the lead against the run of play! Welbeck breaks away down the left and pulls the ball back for Bellerin. He slides it back into the middle where Ramsey flicks home even though the ball was behind him. Top finish!

Spurs look a little rattled! Arsenal break forward and they have a three-on-three situation. Sanchez finds Ozil, who then returns it to the Chilean and his cutback fails to find a teammate.

Spurs need half time here. Arsenal have stepped it up since the goal and a second for the visitors would be such a blow for Spurs, who had played pretty well for 40-odd minutes.

Fear not, Spurs fans!

One added minute at the end of the first half.


It's Arsenal in front at the interval thanks to Ramsey's inventive 39th-minute finish. Spurs were the better side for most of that half, but the one real chance they created was superbly saved by Ospina. Big second half ahead and we'll be back shortly to guide you through it, don't go anywhere!

Aaron Ramsey celebrates scoring the opener during the Premier League game between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal on March 5, 2016© AFP

Here come the two sides back out for the second half. No changes from either manager. As it stands, Arsenal are moving level on points with Spurs and that would open the door for Leicester to go six clear with a win at Watford in today's 5.30pm kickoff.

KICKOFF! Back underway at White Hart Lane. Can Spurs fight back against their bitter rivals just as they did last season when Kane scored that memorable double?

London Fashion Week was a couple of weeks back, Arsene

Arsene Wenger dons his coat during the Premier League game between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal on March 5, 2016© Getty Images

Not a great start to the second half from Spurs, but Pochettino's side are yet to lose back-to-back games this season, so they usually do show good character after a loss.

SHOT! Arsenal keep backing off Walker, so the right-back thinks why not and drills at goal from 20 yards. Decent strike, but it was swerving back in towards Ospina and the Colombian beat it out.

Almost wonderful from Sanchez as he brings down a high ball in the box before Walker pokes it away. Spurs look more open at the back in the second half and that is a dangerous game to play with the likes of Sanchez, Welbeck and Ozil.


What on earth is he doing?! Coquelin, already on a yellow card, slides in and brings down Kane. Easy decision for Oliver and Coquelin knows what he's done.

SAVE! Spurs obviously buoyed by that red card and they're so close to equalising as Kane pulls away to the back post and shoots at goal from a corner. Ospina is a behind the line and the ball looks in, but the replays shot that it was millimetres from crossing. Incredible!


Game well and truly on at White Hart Lane! The ball drops Alderweireld's way at a corner and the Belgian produces a fine low half-volley from a tight angle. Ospina can't keep that one out!


Oh my goodness me, what a goal! Wimmer's hopeful ball over the top is brilliantly tracked down by Alli, who backheels the ball to Kane. The striker has no right to shoot from a narrow angle but produces an awesome curling finish that pings into the net off the far post. Wonderful!

SHOT! What a turnaround after that Coquelin red card! Dier now tests Ospina with a swerving low drive. Spurs going for the kill here.

He also has four goals in three Premier League games against Arsenal!

BOOKING! Sanchez is cautioned for a petulant shove off the ball on Lamela.

SPURS SUB: That's Lamela's last involvement as Ryan Mason comes on for him to bulk up the midfield.

STAT: Arsenal have now conceded 2+ goals in FOUR consecutive games across all competitions.

Spurs well on top in driving rain now at White Hart Lane as Kane spins in the box before dragging a shot wide of the mark.

BOOKING! Dier into the book for tugging back Welbeck. Giroud on shortly for Arsenal...

ARSENAL SUB: It's Elneny off. Wenger has to go for it here.


I was just typing that Arsenal will have a chance or two in the final 15 minutes and they've just taken one! Bellerin gets his second assist, slipping the ball in to Sanchez, who doesn't strike it that cleanly but the ball bobbles past Lloris into the far corner. It's so slippy out there in this heavy rain!

Arsenal would definitely take a point given that they are down to 10 men, but how many men are Spurs willing to push forward as they chase top of the table?

SPURS SUB: Change at left-back for the home side. Davies on for Rose.

It should be 10 against 10! Dier clearly tugs Giroud's shirt and then slides in to wipe out the Frenchman, but Oliver decides against booking the Spurs midfielder for a second time!

SAVE! Loads of room for Alli 20 yards out, but his driven low shot is easy enough for Ospina to save.

SPURS SUB: Third and final change from Poch, with Son Heung-Min on for Dembele.

Mason next to have a go, but his tame effort drifts wide of the mark.

Arsenal, even though they are a man down, have numbers forward but Alexis makes a real mess of a through-ball trying to find Welbeck.

ARSENAL SUB: Wenger's second swap sees Flamini on for Welbeck. Can the Frenchman stay out of trouble? Remember he gifted Barca a penalty last month in the Champions League shortly after coming on.

SHOT! Eriksen produces a fine dipping effort that Ospina spectacularly tips over the top. One for the cameras, if you will.

Arsenal win a free kick 30 yards out and Sanchez's curling effort is up and over the wall, but Lloris is across and punches it clear.

CLOSE! Oh my word! Eriksen's low cross should easily be dealt with by Gabriel, but the Brazilian defender slices it wildly and the ball loops over Ospina and onto the roof of the net. So close!

ARSENAL SUB: Last throw of the dice from Wenger as Campbell comes on for Ozil.

As four minutes of added time are signalled, here's the moment Alexis ended his near-five-month wait for a Premier League goal.

Alexis Sanchez celebrates his equaliser during the Premier League game between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal on March 5, 2016© Getty Images

CHANCE! Imagine if Arsenal nicked it! Ramsey goes through on goal but just as he is about to slot home Wimmer slides in and deflects his shot up and away for a corner.

Spurs now come forward and their last chance falls Eriksen's way, but the Dane skews it off target.


Leicester are the winners this afternoon then as Spurs and Arsenal play out an enthralling 2-2 draw. Arsenal looked very comfortable at one point, but once Coquelin was sent off Spurs took the lead and seemed on course for the top of the table. Arsenal hit back, though, and they will be happy with a point, although they will drop eight behind Leicester should the Foxes beat Watford later.

Francis Coquelin sees red during the Premier League game between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal on March 5, 2016© Getty Images

Thanks very much for joining SM this afternoon. Click back to the homepage now for loads more live Premier League action. See ya!

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Dele Alli celebrates scoring during the game between Everton and Tottenham Hotspur on January 3, 2016
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