COMPETITION Premier League 
DATE Saturday 5th March 2016
VENUE White Hart Lane
PREVIEW No preview produced.
PREDICTION Tottenham Hotspur    1        Arsenal    1

BT Sport - (live coverage)
Sky Sports 1 -  Game of the Day -  Saturday 20.00
Match of the Day  (BBC 1) - Saturday 22.35 (highlights)   [repeated at 07:40 Sunday]  Also available online.
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Radio :  
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Commentary may be found on
>   BBC Radio Five Live (live coverage)  606/939 MW
TalkSport (DAB or 589 MW)
Absolute Radio  (1215 AM/MW)

If available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard in these countries on these stations ...
Australia (Melbourne)
SEN  -  116 AM  Live Transmissions: TWI, Saturday. 12.45 & 15.00 matches
Australia (Sydney) 
Radio 2  -  1611AM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 12.45 Match
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South Africa 
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North America (USA, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean) 
Sirius Satellite Radio  Live transmission: Saturday - 12.45, 15.00 (TWI) & 17.15 (BBC) Sunday - 14.00 & 16.05 (BBC) Mon, Tue, Wed - Various times (BBC)

Internet :   Live webcast  - subscribers only
BBC London - click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.

Tottenham Hotspur  2 (0)                                                                       
Premier League
Saturday 5th March 2016
White Hart Lane
Arsenal  2 (1)

Kick off 12:45
Alderweireld  59m 18s
Kane  61m 16s
Ramsey  38m 07s
Sanchez  75m 01s
Lamela  (foul on Welbeck)  28
Dier  (foul on Welbeck)  73 


Bellerin  (foul on Rose)  26
Coquelin  (handball)  29
Sanchez  (push on Lamela)  66   

Francis Coquelin  (foul on Kane)  55

Crowd :   35,762 Weather :  Raining throughout
Referee : Michael Oliver (Northumberland) Assistant Referees :  Mr. M. Mularkey; Mr. S.Child
Fourth Official :  Ray East  
Spurs kicked off and played towards the Park Lane end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 7 minutes.
Tottenham Hotspur : kit Arsenal : kit
  1  Hugo LLORIS (c)

  2  Kyle WALKER
27  Kevin WIMMER
  3  Danny ROSE  (33  Ben DAVIES  78)

15  Eric DIER     
19  Mousa DEMBELE  (  7  Heung-Min SON  82)

11  Erik LAMELA       ( 8  Ryan MASON  67)
23  Christian ERIKSEN
20  Dele ALLI

10  Harry KANE 

Unused subs: 
13  Michel VORM
16  Kieran TRIPPIER
22  Nacer CHADLI 

  13  David OSPINA

24  Hector BELLERIN
  4  Per MERTESACKER  (c)
  3  Kieran GIBBS

  8  Mohamed ELNENY  (12  Olivier GIROUD  75)
34  Francis COQUELIN

16  Aaron RAMSEY 
11  Mezut OZIL  (28  Joel CAMPBELL  90)
17  Alexis SANCHEZ 

23  Danny WELBECK  (20  Mathieu FLAMINI  85)

Unused subs: 
49  Matt MACEY
21  Calum CHAMBERS
18  Nacho MONREAL

Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino Manager :  Arsene Wenger
Sponsor :   AIA Shirt sponsor :  Emirates
Kit Supplier :  Under Armour Kit Supplier :   Puma
Match report

For a match that the media were labelling the most important North London derby in 50 years, the two teams put in a rumbustious effort to draw 2-2, with a game that had almost everything ... apart from a winning goal for Tottenham.  With the ridiculous challenge from Francis Coquelin on Harry Kane when he was already on a yellow card that brought his expulsion form the match, Tottenham dominated with some sources putting David Ospina as the man of the match, while he stopped a lot of shots, but didn't know much about them.

There was controversy throughout, with Bellerin and Coquelin picking up early bookings, while Coquelin may have seen yellow before that for a tackle with his studs off the floor on Lamela.  Lamela also got booked for an off the ball incident with Welbeck, who made his only telling contribution to the game by going down what seemed to be a bit easily.  So, when Wenger complained that Eric Dier should also have seen red for a second bookable offence, he did have a point.  The second foul was no worse than the first and the inconsistency of Michael Oliver was there for all to see.  Even to the extent that Bellerin also perpetrated another bad tackle and should also have gone.  It was strange, as early in the match, Oliver was letting a lot of physical contact go, but that lessened as the game went on.  And he booked Sanchez for a spat wit Lamela, only to allow the Chilean to abuse him and his linesman for some time after the yellow card had been shown to him.

Much like the previous game at Highbury, Spurs dominated possession and dictated play, but Arsenal play on the break and twice caught Spurs out, while they were bombarding the Arsenal goal, with shots blocked and kept out by any means.  In the opening exchanges, Danny Rose was finding lots of space on his wing, but there was often not enough support for him to make the best use of it.  With Mousa Dembele back in the side, there was an extra strength on the ball and in the tackle, with him regularly tackling back to dispossess Arsenal players looking to move forward from the halfway line.  Making the most of the possession was what let Spurs down and there were two chances soon after each other around five minutes.  Kane firstly got onto Eriksen's pass lifted over the defence, but from the left side, he couldn't get enough power in it and the keeper saved, while his second opportunity came from Lamela's persistence and when it got to Harry, his effort took a touch off Gabriel that helped it over the top. 

On the other side of the pitch, Walker was starting to get into the game, but the final ball only found a red shirt.  Rash fouls gave Tottenham a couple of free-kicks about 25 yards out, but the result was nothing dangerous for the Arsenal defence.  In fact, the insistence in playing the ball out from the back almost cost Spurs.  Toby played a square ball 25 yards out, but straight to Welbeck.  Danny Rose got back to win the ball off the striker, knocking it back to Hugo, but his touch was heavy and he had to hurriedly kick it out for a throw before it was nicked off him.  With 25 minutes gone, Tottenham created their best chance so far, with Walker's low, driven cross being met by Erik Lamela arriving at the edge of the six yard box to flick it goalwards.  The keeper responded sharply to dive to his right and push the ball away. 

A flurry of yellow cards for two fouls down on our left wing and for Lamela's bump into Welbeck signalled a tetchy and ragged period of the game.  Lloris came out of his area to head away a long through-ball, but it went straight to Ozil in the centre circle.  His intended shot sliced off the side of his boot and went out for a throw-in.  While Spurs had been pushing forward the better of the two, it was Arsenal who took the lead against the run of play.  A lucky bounce on their left wing handed Welbeck possession and his low ball across the box found Bellerin at the far side of the area.  He drilled the ball back across goal and Ramsey concocted a goal with an instinctive back-heel to see the ball rise past Lloris and into the net.  38 minutes gone and one down.  It wasn't the way things had been planned and not even on the balance of play would you say the Gooners deserved to be in the lead.

Spurs looked stunned by the goal and for a while Arsenal had the run of the game, but failed to make much of it, with Sanchez putting a ball waist high across the face of goal, with no red shirt on the end of it.  When Arsenal did find a head with a cross, Welbeck put his near post effort straight at Hugo.  Tottenham did hit back just before the break, but when Eriksen put the ball into the path of Danny Rose on the left, he drove a shot-cross that evaded everyone and the far post too.

The second half started with Tottenham pressing hard and putting a couple of crosses in that were over-hit, but when Dembele put the ball in front of Kyle Walker, he drove a low, fierce shot that Ospina fumbled in saving, as he did most of the day.  At the other end Lloris had to be on his toes, collecting a long ball from Ozil that was aimed at Welbeck and then taking the ball off Sanchez's toe when he found a bit of space on the edge of the box.  But then, when Rose poked the ball down the line to Harry Kane, his pace left Coquelin for dead and the Arsenal man desperately dived into the tackle, brining Kane down and leaving the referee no option other than to pull out a yellow to go with his first and follow it with a red.  Even Wenger didn't complain about that !!  The decision changed the dynamic of the game and Spurs sensed there was something in it for them.

A free kick was played square by Eriksen for Rose to hit, but Elneny blocked it (one of the few things he did in the match) and then Danny turned provided with a chest high ball that Dele Alli took down expertly and turned on to strike a volley at goal that hit Gabriel and ballooned off for a corner.  Erik Lamela took it and the ball went through everyone to the far post, where Harry Kane was stationed.  With a quick shot, Kane drove it into the ground and Ospina managed to get behind it, but he was behind the line too. The referee waved his watch in the air to show that it hadn't signalled that the ball had fully crossed the line and subsequent comments showed it was a centimetre from being a goal. The goalkeeper didn't know much about it as it hit him in the stomach and he carried on for a bit before falling on the floor needing treatment for being winded.

When Rose made another burst down the left, his cross was touched out for a corner. Eriksen played it in and the ball found Lamela, who got a touch on it to take the ball down in front of Toby Alderweireld, who drilled a low left foot shot through Ramsey and Opsina to see the net bulge and make the score 1-1. The team celebrated together and rushed back to the centre circle as they had the momentum now that they were level.

Within a couple of minutes Spurs were ahead. A long ball down the left side from Wimmer was chased down by Alli, who got to the ball just before it crossed the dead ball line ahead of Mertesacker and he had the presence of mind to back-heel the ball to keep it in and Harry Kane had followed up behind him. Wide near the touchline, the striker looked to come inside and as he reached the line of the penalty box, with Gabriel not closing him down, Harry curled the ball around the defender and past the weakly diving figure of Ospina to see the ball enter the net off the inside of the far post. It was an intuitive strike from Kane, who has a knack for knowing exactly where to put the ball to score.

But 2-1 wasn't enough for Spurs, as they continued to attack. Eriksen fashioned a chance for Dier, who drove in a powerful low shot that Ospina managed to shovel away. In the next attack, Lamela was being hassled by Sanchez, who wrestled the Argentinian as he shielded the ball going over the line. Sanchez then reacted wildly and the referee had to call the Arsenal captain over to him to explain things before booking the forward. It did not stop him chuntering on at the linesman and the referee long after the yellow card had been shown. When he started playing again, he pulled a low shot across goal, but well wide and then Rose did the same at the other end. Then Kane played a one-two with Walker and getting the ball with Elneny at his back, turned him to shoot just wide.

Dier picked up a yellow for holding back Welbeck and then, as the rain fell down, Kane missed a couple of volleys which sliced off his boot as he tried shots from outrageous angles. Giroud came on for Arsenal and while he wasn't involved, they moved forward, with Rose making a last ditch block as Bellerin shot from inside the box. In the next move in the 76th minute, Bellerin played a ball into the right side of the penalty area and Sanchez got there ahead of Wimmer and hit a low shot that skipped off the wet turf and over Hugo's out-stretched hand to equalise.

It was a blow and another breakaway goal against the run of play. And the play kept going at the Arsenal goal, with Alli forcing Ospina to save with a trademark turn and shot, before Mason took a pass from Son and curled a shot that was deflected just wide. Christian Eriksen tried an early shot from just outside the box and Ospina was forced to tip the ball over the bar. Before those chances, there was the incident when Dier might have seen a second yellow card. But more or less straight after Bellerin fouled Alli and could also have gone.

Tottenham still had to be wary and a handball by Wimmer gave Sanchez a chance to shoot from a dead ball at 30 yards and he got it around the wall, but not with sufficient power to beat Lloris, who dived to his left to punch the ball out for a throw-in. But Spurs went close when Eriksen played a low cross in from the left and Gabriel tried to clear it, but swung at it wildly and the ball went behind him, over Ospina and only just over the bar.

Spurs were grateful to Kevin Wimmer when a through pass into the box found Ramsey breaking forward and looked to shoot with only Lloris facing him, but there was enough of a presence to put him off and block his shot diverting it over the top.

That was well into injury time, but there was one last chance when Dier crossed the ball and it dropped for Eriksen, whose shot went wide and with it the chance to snatch a win, having to settle for a point.

Which of the two teams would have been happier with the point ? Well, Arsenal probably, but definitely Leicester City, who went five points clear at the top with an evening win at Watford. It wasn't a bad performance for Spurs, but the lack of the killer instinct when on top and it is a lesson that they will put right. The draw might have affected both sides' chances of getting past Leicester, but I know which side has the brighter future and the ability to develop and which is a team lacking a heart. St. Totteringham's Day might yet come this season, but the signs are that it might be a day that we don't have to worry about for much longer. And for those from Woolwich, one draw against the team a place above them doesn't paper over the cracks.

Peter O'Hanrahanrahan




Arsenal were the first club in the Football League to be widely disliked.


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What you thought
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Other scores during this week :
Chelsea 1 Stoke City 1 Saturday
Everton 2 West Ham United 3 Saturday
Manchester City 4 Aston Villa 0 Saturday
Newcastle United 1 Bournemouth 3 Saturday
Southampton 1 Sunderland 1 Saturday
Swansea City 1 Norwich City 0 Saturday
Watford 0 Leicester City 1 Saturday
West Bromwich Albion 1 Manchester United 0 Sunday
Crystal Palace 1 Liverpool 2 Sunday



League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Leicester City 29 17 9 3 52 31 60 +21
2 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 29 15 10 4 51 24 55 +27
3 Arsenal 29 15 7 7 46 30 52 +16
4 Manchester City 28 16 5 8 52 31 50 +21
5 West Ham United 29 13 10 6 45 33 49 +12
6 Manchester United 29 13 8 7 37 27 47 +10
7 Liverpool 28 12 8 8 42 35 44 +7
8 Stoke City 29 12 7 10 31 34 43 -3
9 Southampton 29 11 8 10 36 29 42 +7
10 Chelsea 29 10 10 9 43 39 40 +4
11 Everton 28 9 11 8 51 39 38 +12
12 Watford 29 10 7 12 29 30 37 -1
13 West Bromwich Albion 29 10 9 10 29 36 39 -7
14 Bournemouth 29 9 8 12 35 45 35 -10
15 Crystal Palace 29 9 6 14 32 39 33 -7
16 Swansea City 29 8 9 12 28 37 33 -9
17 Sunderland 29 6 7 16 35 54 25 -19
18 Norwich City 29 6 6 17 31 54 24 -23
19 Newcastle United 28 6 6 16 28 53 24 -25
20 Aston Villa 29 3 7 19 22 55 16 -33


Position before match :  2nd
Position after match :  2nd
Position after the weekend :  2nd


* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone will think so.


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