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Monday, November 8, 1999 Published at 11:08 GMT

Spurs stifle depleted Gunners

Steffen Iversen sets Spurs on their way

Tottenham 2-1 Arsenal

Spurs confirmed their George Graham revival with a 2-1 victory over Arsenal in a hard-fought North London derby.

Referee David Elleray issued 10 yellow cards and reduced the Gunners to nine men, first when he dismissed Fredrik Ljungberg for violent conduct in the 53rd minute and then when Martin Keown earned a second booking in stoppage time.

But by then Tottenham had already done the damage - Steffen Iversen and Tim Sherwood scoring to put them 2-0 up after 20 minutes.

Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira pulled one back with a header but the home side survived a bruising encounter at White Hart Lane for their first win against Arsenal at home since 1995.

Arsenal barely missed a stride and produced by far the most fluent, attacking football during the last 37 minutes.

By the end Spurs were unrecognisable from the team who dominated their neighbours during the opening quarter of the match.

Iversen opened their account after just seven minutes. Oyvind Leonhardsen floated the ball over a static Gunners defence and the Norwegian striker nipped in to steer home his ninth goal of the season.

Spurs were two ahead 13 minutes later, this time through Sherwood.

It came after Emmanuel Petit conceded a free-kick on the left edge of the box for a bad foul on Armstrong, which earned the Frenchman the first booking of the game.

Stephen Clemence tapped the ball to David Ginola, he trapped it, and Sherwood curled a brilliant right-foot strike around the wall and inside the far post.

During this opening spell, Spurs' defence was at its most robust.

Chris Perry and Sol Campbell silenced Nwankwo Kanu and Dennis Bergkamp, the Dutchman looking more and more frustrated as the committed white shirts swamped his style.

But the strikers took up so much of their attention they failed to deal with the simplest of free-kicks six minutes before half-time.

Petit curled in a deep free-kick, conceded wen Edinburgh felled Ljungberg on the right flank, and Vieira rose unchallenged to head the ball in off the post.

The niggling battle between the pair exploded dramatically into life seven minutes into the second half and it was Ljungberg who was penalised.

The Tottenham full-back arrived late with a sliding tackle and as he lay on the floor, the Swedish winger shoved his face away to spark a mass confrontation.

Vieira protested too strongly and was booked for dissent - his fifth domestic of the season which will turn his six-match ban into seven matches.

Arsenal poured forward belying they depleted numbers and for a good half an hour were the dominant force.

Arsene Wenger replaced Kanu with Davor Suker after 72 minutes and he missed a glorious chance for an equaliser not long after.

Marc Overmars could have scored from his pass but had his own chance to score when the re-bound of keeper Ian Walker fell kindly for him.

But he hit his left-foot shot tamely giving Walker time to get to his feet and make an admirable double save.

It is four years since Spurs have beaten Arsenal at White Hart Lane and they could not have done it in more memorable fashion.

Teams: Tottenham: Walker, Carr, Perry, Campbell, Edinburgh, Leonhardsen, Sherwood, Clemence, Ginola, Iversen, Armstrong.
Subs: Baardsen, Vega, Fox, Dominguez, Young.
Arsenal: Seaman, Dixon, Keown, Adams, Winterburn, Ljungberg, Petit, Vieira, Overmars, Kanu, Bergkamp.
Subs: Manninger, Vivas, Suker, Grimandi, Upson.
Referee: David Elleray (Harrow-on-the-Hill)

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