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Saturday, 17 November, 2001, 17:06 GMT
Sol suffers in derby draw
Sol Campbell received a hostile reception on his return to White Hart Lane with Arsenal
Eye on the ball: Campbell in the thick of the action

E-mail your reaction to Football Talk

Spurs 1-1 Arsenal

Sol Campbell's dream of a winning return to Spurs was wrecked as Arsenal keeper Richard Wright gifted Gus Poyet an injury-time equaliser.

Campbell looked to have silenced the taunts of a vengeful White Hart Lane, with the Gunners on course to edge out their north London rivals.


You've got to take the stick and I understand it - but football is a tough game and you must be big
Arsenal's Sol Campbell
Robert Pires' 81st minute goal put Arsenal on the brink of victory until Wright suffered a shocking last-second lapse.

He was comfortably behind Poyet's drive in the third minute of stoppage time, but allowed the ball to squirm from his grasp to give grateful Spurs a share of the points.

It was a bitter moment for Arsenal, and particularly Campbell.

He was forced to endure a cascade of abuse on his comeback to the club he left to join arch-rivals Arsenal in the summer

Spurs fans gave Sol Campbell a predictably hostile reception on his return to White Hart Lane
Spurs fans taunt Sol Campbell
Campbell's reception was predictably hostile, with White Hart Lane adorned with abusive banners and festooned by white balloons branded "Judas."

The villian of a highly-charged piece removed any lingering tension from his system with his first touch of real intent, a clattering challenge that took out both Les Ferdinand and Gustavo Poyet.

The Campbell sub-plot overshadowed early exchanges which resembled two dogs fighting over a bone.

And nowhere was that misplaced spirit better exemplified than in the battle between Martin Keown and Les Ferdinand - both eventually booked by referee Jeff Winter.

Football occasionally broke out amid the hostilities, and Spurs were desperately unlucky not to take the lead after 26 minutes.

Spurs fans gave Sol Campbell a predictably hostile reception on his return to White Hart Lane
Campbell runs out at Spurs
Richards, the 8m defender signed to replace Campbell from Southampton, met Christian Ziege's corner perfectly, but his header bounced off the bar.

Arsenal had shown little attacking initiative, and were grateful to see Ferdinand's goal ruled out on the stroke of half-time for handball.

Arsenal players demanded the red card for Ferdinand, who had already been booked.

Poyet's late runs from midfield were troubling Arsenal, and he stole in once more to head over the bar.

Arsenal had just announced their arrival in the game as an attacking force, with Sullivan diving to his left to save spectacularly from Pires.

Spurs fans directed abuse at Sol Campbell on his return to White Hart Lane
The balloon goes up for Campbell
Campbell-baiting was finally giving way to the football Spurs and Arsenal are capable of producing.

Wright was forced into a scrambling save from Poyet - and then Sullivan repeated his heroics to deny Pires once more.

Spurs boss Hoddle attempted to counter Arsenal's growing authority by replacing Ferdinand with Sergei Rebrov, while Wenger hauled off the disappointing Dennis Bergkamp for Kanu.

Campbell endured a nightmare moment with 13 minutes left when he sliced the ball agonisingly close to his own goal - but he was spared by an offside flag.


I knew Sol would handle the pressure, but I would like to concentrate on the fantastic courage and character of my players
Spurs manager Glenn Hoddle
But the increasing danger from Pires finally bore fruit for Arsenal with nine minutes left when the French star finally struck.

He took advantage of good work by Sylvain Wiltord to score from 25 yards - although Spurs keeper Sullivan should have saved after getting a firm contact on the ball.

Arsenal looked to be heading for victory - until Wright's slip brought joy for Spurs and Poyet.


Spurs: Sullivan, Perry, King, Richards, Taricco, Freund, Anderton, Poyet, Ziege, Ferdinand, Sheringham. Subs: Beasant, Bunjevcevic, Rebrov, Thatcher, Davies.

Arsenal: Wright, Lauren, Campbell, Keown, Cole, Parlour, Vieira, Grimandi, Pires, Bergkamp, Wiltord. Subs: Ljungberg, Taylor, van Bronckhorst, Kanu, Tavlaridis.

Referee: J Winter (Stockton-on-Tees)

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Mike Ingham
"Sol Campbell was dignified throughout"
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
"I'm very disappointed because we should have got three points"
Links to more Eng Prem stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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