Belfast Telegraph

Five great north London derbies as Tottenham and Arsenal prepare for battle

Tottenham and Arsenal meet in one of the biggest north London derbies in living memory on Saturday lunchtime.

Both sides retain ambitions of winning the Barclays Premier League despite suffering midweek defeats - making the game at White Hart Lane crucial to their respective title ambitions.

Here, Press Association Sport look at five previous classic encounters between the fierce local rivals.

Tottenham 0 Arsenal 5 - First Division, December 23, 1978

The perfect early Christmas present for Arsenal supporters came in the shape of a 5-0 hammering of their neighbours at White Hart Lane. Spurs had just been promoted back to the top-flight and had signed Argentinian duo Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa - but it was Arsenal's Liam Brady who stole the show. Not only did the Republic of Ireland international score a memorable long-range strike, he helped tee up Alan Sunderland for a hat-trick, with Frank Stapleton also on the scoresheet in a huge win for Terry Neill's side.

Tottenham 3 Arsenal 1 - FA Cup Semi-Final, April 14, 1991

Spurs went into the first-ever FA Cup semi-final to be played at Wembley in poor form but would leave the famous Twin Towers with one of their greatest ever wins. Paul Gascoigne was the man who secured an unlikely victory over the eventual First Division champions, firing in a fantastic free-kick to open the scoring. Gary Lineker added a brace, with Alan Smith scoring a consolation for the Gunners, who then saw Spurs go on to lift the trophy with victory over Nottingham Forest the next month.

Tottenham 5 Arsenal 1 - Carling Cup Semi-Final Second Leg, January 22, 2008

Tottenham would again go on to win a trophy having knocked their rivals out at the semi-final stage. With the first leg at the Emirates Stadium ending 1-1, all was to play for in the return game but it would turn out to be a largely one-sided affair. Jermaine Jenas opened the scoring with a Nicklas Bendtner own goal turning the tie firmly in Tottenham's favour before Robbie Keane and Aaron Lennon added insult to injury. Future Spurs forward Emmanuel Adebayor got one back for Arsenal only for Steed Malbranque to restore the four-goal advantage in stoppage time.

Arsenal 4 Tottenham 4 - Premier League, October 29, 2008

Later in the year the pair would meet in a famous league game - with Tottenham going into the game bottom of the table after a dismal start to the season. Harry Redknapp had just been appointed and Spurs saw for Gunner David Bentley put them ahead with a memorable strike, only for Arsenal defenders Mikael Silvestre and William Gallas turning the game in favour of the title challengers. Robin van Persie and Adebayor struck either side of a Darren Bent effort as three goals were scored in the space of four second-half minutes - with Tottenham leaving the Emirates Stadium with a barely believable point as Aaron Lennon tucked home a stoppage-time rebound.

Arsenal 5 Tottenham 2 - Premier League, February 26, 2012

This time around, Spurs made the short journey to Arsenal above their rivals in the table - but they would leave on the receiving end of a great comeback victory. Louis Saha put the visitors in front before Adebayor doubled their lead with a penalty against his former club, with Redknapp's side in line for a spectacular win. Instead Arsenal hit back as Bacary Sagna and Van Persie had the game level by the interval, with Tomas Rosicky giving them the lead before a Theo Walcott brace secured the win. Remarkably, the next meeting came nine months later and Arsene Wenger's Gunners won 5-2 once again.


From Belfast Telegraph