Top 5 Premier League North London Derbies

Top 5 Premier League North London Derbies

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Unai Emery is due for his first North London derby on Sunday as his Arsenal team take on Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham. With both teams in good form and challenging one another for a Champions League qualification spot, it’s set to be a memorable occasion. But can it live up to the hype of the best ever encounters in the Premier League era?

Here’s five of the best:

Tottenham 2-1 Arsenal, 14/04/2010

Tottenham had gone throughout the entire noughties without recording a home league win over their eternal rivals, before a new decade ushered in a new era at Spurs and a team that would regularly beat Arsenal at home, winning five of the last eight league meetings at home since, and establishing themselves as a regular Top Four team. It all changed when Danny Rose, then a teenager, scored an absolutely outrageous volley on his senior debut for the club. He was 30 yards from goal as he sent the ball flying past Manuel Almunia. Gareth Bale doubled the lead early on in the second half before Nicklas Bendtner strike late on made them sweat. The result all but ended Arsenal’s title hopes, four games before the end of the season.

Arsenal 5 – 2 Tottenham, 26/02/2012

After such a long wait, Tottenham fans might have believed they were on for back-to-back away victories when Louis Saha and Emmanuel Adebayor put them two ahead after the half-hour mark. But this time it was Harry Redknapp’s turn to suffer the comeback, unthinkably going into half-time level after a Bacary Sagna header was followed by one of Robin Van Persie’s best-ever strikes. From there, Arsenal ran away with it to complete an eventual 5-2 thrashing as a Tomas Rosicky goal was followed by a brace from Theo Walcott.

Arsenal 2 – 3 Tottenham, 20/11/2010

It’s just over eight years since Tottenham’s first and only win at the Emirates Stadium. It looked to be business as usual for Arsenal when they took a first-half lead initially through Samir Nasir, doubled by Marouane Chamakh. At half-time, they would have expected to be top of the table by the end of the afternoon, but they somehow managed to let their let slip to allow Tottenham to get their first away win in the derby in 17 years. Gareth Bale, establishing himself as one of the most exciting young players on the planet at the time, got one back before Rafael Van Der Vaart equalised from the penalty spot, following an inexplicable handball from Cesc Fabregas. The away section was then sent into meltdown as Younes Kaboul of all people headed in five minutes before full-time after he rose to meet Van der Vaart’s free-kick.

Arsenal 4-4 Tottenham, 29/10/2008

David Bentley was a peripheral figure for Arsenal in their invincibles campaign, but he’d go on to carve his name into North London Derby folklore when his stunning strike gave Tottenham an early lead at The Emirates. Newly appointed boss Harry Redknapp was taking charge of his first match in charge of Spurs after the sacking of Juande Ramos, and the match was certainly one to remember. Defenders Mikael Silvestre and William Gallas put Arsenal ahead either side of half-time before Emmanuel Adebayor made it 3-1. Darren Bent and Van Persie would make it 3-2 and then 4-2, before Jermaine Jenas and Aaron Lennon would somehow steal a point by scoring goals in the 89th and then 94th minute.

Tottenham 4 – 5 Arsenal 13/11/2004

A game neither set of supporters will ever forget and one that’s destined to be repeated on “Best Ever Premier League Games” compilations for eternity. A truly ludicrous eventual scoreline swung one way and another throughout to leave everyone watching unable to catch their breath. The first half was a relatively tame affair as Noureddine Naybet’s (remember him?) volley put Tottenham ahead before Thierry Henry equalised just before the break. But it exploded into life when Lauren put Arsenal ahead shortly after the restart, and their lead was doubled through Patrick Vieira. But Tottenham wouldn’t give up and lived up to their club motto of “to dare is to do”, making it 3-2, before Arsenal made it 4-2, then 4-3, then 5-3 and finally back to 5-4, to set up the tensest minutes of injury time. Arsenal’s list of goalscorers that day reads like a list of their invincible legends: Henry, Lauren, Vieira, Ljungberg, Pires.

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