|Bukayo Saka does the James Maddison celebration after firing Arsenal in front in their 2-2 draw against Tottenham on Sunday. (Photo credit: Sky Sports)|
Arsenal dropped points at home yet again to slip to fifth in the Premier League after Tottenham Hotspur came back twice to level at the Emirates in the 194th installment of the North London Derby.
Arsenal lost Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Martinelli to injuries and had to start Eddy Nketiah and Gabriel Jesus together upfront, with Fabio Vieira named in midfield and Kai Havertz on the bench as Arsenal hoped for a fast start against Spurs.
Tottenham looked settled from the blast of the whistle, with James Maddison and Yves Bissouma plugging away in midfield, but Arsenal took the ascendancy after the first ten minutes, and Spurs struggled to keep up.
Bukayo Saka’s cross was deflected home by Christian Romero to hand Arsenal the lead, and the Gunners should have scored more in the first half, with Gabriel Jesus missing a big chance to make it 2-0 after Madders was caught in possession.
Arsenal was made to pay for their missed chances towards the end of the first half. After David Raya made a sensational stop to deny Heung Min Son, one that drew applause from Aaron Ramsdale on the Arsenal bench, the Korean forward levelled matters.
Neat work between Destiny Udogie and Madison set Heung Min Son up for a simple tap in past Raya for 1-1. Arsenal tried to up the intensity as the half wore on, but Spurs stood firm to go into the break with both sides level.
Arsenal fans had their hearts in their mouths at the start of the second half, with the sight of Jorginho and Kai Havertz coming on for Declan Rice and Vieira. It was noted later that Rice got injured in the first half, and no one knows the severity of the injury.
Spurs grew into the game in the second half, but it was Arsenal that scored again. Romero handled the box and only avoided sending it off because Bissouma was right behind him. Saka stepped up and fired past Vicario to hand Arsenal the lead.
They say you’re most vulnerable after you just scored, and Jorginho was caught napping on the ball by Madison, who went on to set up Heung Min Son for the Korean’s second goal, and it all happened within one minute of Arsenal’s second goal.
Spurs took the initiative from there, and the Gunners struggled to keep up. There were chances at both ends, but the two goalkeepers didn’t have saves to make. The game ended 2-2, with Spurs in 4th on the log and Arsenal in 5th.