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Page last updated at 21:23 GMT, Wednesday, 20 April 2011 22:23 UK

Tottenham   3 - 3   Arsenal

Rafael van der Vaart (right) celebrates his first goal
Van der Vaart scored twice to earn Spurs a deserved point

By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer at White Hart Lane

Arsenal's Premier League title hopes were dealt another devastating blow as they squandered a two-goal lead to draw a north London derby classic with Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger needed victory desperately to apply pressure on Manchester United after the leaders drew at Newcastle United on Tuesday - but this share of the spoils leaves Arsenal third in the table and six points adrift with only five games left.

In a contest that was enthralling from first whistle to last, Theo Walcott put the visitors in front early on only for Rafael van der Vaart to peg them back as Spurs drew level quickly.

Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie looked to have given the Gunners command as the interval approached, but Tom Huddlestone's goal for the home side right on half-time was pivotal, giving Harry Redknapp's side renewed hope.

Redknapp pleased to match Arsenal

And it was justified as Van der Vaart scored from the spot with 20 minutes left after Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny fouled substitute Aaron Lennon, giving Spurs a point they deserved and moving them to within two points of fourth-placed Manchester City as the hunt for a place in next season's Champions League intensifies.

Wenger, animated throughout, looked resigned at the end of a magnificent game that was a credit to both sides - something that will be little consolation to the Gunners' boss as he now stares at the prospect of another season without a trophy.

The north London duo provided a feast of flowing attacking football, a candidate for the Premier League's best game of the season, that allowed Szczesny and his Spurs counterpart Heurelho Gomes to excel by producing a series of outstanding saves.

And there was little doubt Redknapp was the more satisfied manager when referee Martin Atkinson blew the whistle on a breathless evening in which Arsenal stretched their unbeaten league run to 16 games but probably lost their battle to win the title.

Wenger surprisingly left out Jack Wilshere to accommodate Alex Song in central midfield - and the teenager was as gripped as everyone inside White Hart Lane by a sensational first half.

Arsenal struck the first blow after five minutes when Walcott's pace took him on to Cesc Fabregas's pass and away from the Spurs defence to roll a cool finish beyond Gomes into the corner.

The celebrations lasted less than two minutes as Redknapp's side struck back swiftly, Van der Vaart scoring at Szczensy's near post from Vedran Corluka's pass into the area.

Wenger promises title fight

In a scintillating opening spell, the Gunners were back in front with only 12 minutes gone. Abou Diaby found Nasri 20 yards out and his shot took a faint touch off Michael Dawson to beat the unsighted Gomes.

Walcott's speed was posing a problem Spurs were struggling to solve and he was inches away from increasing the visitors' lead after 28 minutes when he was released by Van Persie - and Spurs were almost on the mark themselves when the industrious Luka Modric saw his shot blocked by Szczesny.

Wenger's men looked to have put daylight between themselves and their opponents five minutes before the interval. Van Persie was the scorer from close range after Gomes had done brilliantly to claw out his header.

It was a lead that was reduced only five minutes later as the half came to a stunning conclusion, Huddlestone thumping a finish past the motionless Szczesny after Fabregas could only partially clear.

The hosts also had presentable claims for a penalty rejected by referee Atkinson when Modric tangled with Johan Djourou as he raced into the box.

Redknapp was forced into a double change at the start of the second half, with Gareth Bale and Corluka being replaced by Younes Kaboul and Lennon. Bale had been struggling badly after two hefty collisions with keeper Szczesny - although on both occasions the Arsenal keeper's challenges were perfectly acceptable.

The Gunners had not been found wanting in the physical exchanges and both Song and Djourou were booked early in the second half for fouls on Modric as Spurs pressed forward in an attempt to force an equaliser.

Wenger then introduced Wilshere for Diaby, who had picked up a knock, and cut a tortured figure in the technical area as Walcott once again sliced the home side open, only to see his delivery fly across the face of goal without any team-mate able to apply the decisive touch.

Redknapp's men had exerted more control and levelled again with 20 minutes left, Van der Vaart scoring from the spot after Szczesny had fouled Lennon.

Arsenal's talented young keeper then made amends with a crucial point-blank block from Modric when it seemed certain the Croat would give Spurs the lead for the first time in this rollercoaster encounter.

Gomes was hardly idle at the other end, twice saving well from Fabregas as the visitors knew a draw would not be sufficient as they chase down Manchester United.

Szczesny was next to excel with a save of agility and excellence to turn Peter Crouch's goalbound header over the bar. He followed this up with further saves from Van der Vaart and Spurs substitute Sandro.

Honours ended even - but for Wenger and his players this may well prove to be the final setback in a frustrating and fruitless hunt for the title.

Live text and stats

 

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Barclays Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Tottenham 3-3 Arsenal FT
(HT 2-3)
  • Van der Vaart 7
  • Huddlestone 44
  • Van der Vaart (pen) 70
  • Walcott 5
  • Nasri 12
  • Van Persie 40

Tottenham

Substitutes

Arsenal

Substitutes

Ref: AtkinsonAtt: 36,138
TOTTENHAM
ARSENAL

Possession

  • Tottenham 50%
  • Arsenal 50%

Attempts on target

  • Tottenham 9
  • Arsenal 9

Attempts off target

  • Tottenham 7
  • Arsenal 4

Corners

  • Tottenham 7
  • Arsenal 6

Fouls

  • Tottenham 8
  • Arsenal 13
  • Final Result
  • Full Time
  • 90:00+3:35 The final whistle is blown by the referee.
  • 90:00+3:07 Francesc Fabregas takes a shot from a long way out which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
  • 90:00+1:02 Luka Modric crosses the ball, clearance by Bacary Sagna.
  • 90:00+0:08 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Benoit Assou-Ekotto by Jack Wilshere. Heurelho Gomes takes the indirect free kick.
  • 87:47 Francesc Fabregas takes a shot. Michael Dawson gets a block in.
  • 86:26 Aaron Lennon gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gael Clichy. Free kick taken by Wojciech Szczesny.
  • 83:04 Raniere Sandro takes a shot. Save by Wojciech Szczesny.
  • 82:27 Foul by Robin van Persie on Michael Dawson, free kick awarded. Michael Dawson restarts play with the free kick.
  • 80:56 The official flags Robin van Persie offside. Michael Dawson takes the indirect free kick.
  • 80:56 Substitution Andrey Arshavin is brought on as a substitute for Theo Walcott.
  • 80:56 Substitution (Arsenal) makes a substitution, with Nicklas Bendtner coming on for Samir Nasri.
  • Correction - 78:10 Foul by Rafael Van der Vaart on Gael Clichy, free kick awarded. The ball is crossed by Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Peter Crouch takes a shot. Save made by Wojciech Szczesny. Rafael Van der Vaart takes the inswinging corner, save by Wojciech Szczesny. Jack Wilshere takes the indirect free kick. Corner from left by-line taken by Luka Modric. Rafael Van der Vaart takes a shot. Wojciech Szczesny makes a comfortable save.
  • 78:10 Rafael Van der Vaart concedes a free kick for a foul on Gael Clichy. The ball is delivered by Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Peter Crouch takes a shot. Save by Wojciech Szczesny. Corner taken by Rafael Van der Vaart from the left by-line to the near post, save by Wojciech Szczesny. Wojciech Szczesny takes the indirect free kick. Corner taken by Luka Modric from the left by-line. Rafael Van der Vaart takes a shot. Comfortable save by Wojciech Szczesny.
  • 77:08 Wojciech Szczesny takes the free kick.
  • 77:08 Substitution Raniere Sandro is brought on as a substitute for Roman Pavlyuchenko.
  • 77:08 The ball is sent over by Aaron Lennon, Unfair challenge on Samir Nasri by Peter Crouch results in a free kick.
  • 76:22 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Aaron Lennon by Jack Wilshere. Michael Dawson takes the free kick.
  • 75:23 Corner taken by Robin van Persie from the right by-line, save made by Heurelho Gomes.
  • 75:13 Alex Song produces a cross, Younes Kaboul makes a clearance.
  • 74:40 Corner taken by Samir Nasri from the left by-line, save by Heurelho Gomes.
  • Correction - 74:29 Francesc Fabregas takes a shot. Heurelho Gomes makes a save.
  • 74:29 Robin van Persie takes a shot. Heurelho Gomes makes a save.
  • 74:20 Gael Clichy sends in a cross, William Gallas manages to make a clearance.
  • 73:22 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Peter Crouch by Johan Djourou. Benoit Assou-Ekotto crosses the ball in from the free kick.
  • Correction - 72:44 Francesc Fabregas takes a shot. Save by Heurelho Gomes.
  • 72:44 Francesc Fabregas takes a shot. Save made by Heurelho Gomes.
  • 71:52 Luka Modric takes a shot. Save by Wojciech Szczesny.
  • 69:58 Aaron Lennon provided the assist for the goal.
  • 69:58 GOAL - Rafael Van der VaartTottenham 3 - 3 Arsenal Rafael Van der Vaart scores a power penalty. Tottenham 3-3 Arsenal.
  • 69:19 Wojciech Szczesny challenges Aaron Lennon unfairly and gives away a Penalty.
  • 67:25 Robin van Persie crosses the ball, save by Heurelho Gomes.
  • 63:53 Effort from inside the area by Theo Walcott misses to the right of the goal.
  • 61:04 The ball is delivered by Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
  • 59:34 The assistant referee signals for offside against Younes Kaboul. Wojciech Szczesny takes the free kick.
  • 57:20 Free kick awarded for a foul by Peter Crouch on Alex Song. Wojciech Szczesny takes the free kick.
  • 56:53 The referee blows for offside. Indirect free kick taken by Heurelho Gomes.
  • 55:24 Free kick awarded for a foul by Rafael Van der Vaart on Gael Clichy. Francesc Fabregas delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, clearance by Peter Crouch.
  • 54:11 A cross is delivered by Rafael Van der Vaart, save by Wojciech Szczesny.
  • 53:52 Inswinging corner taken by Rafael Van der Vaart from the right by-line, save by Wojciech Szczesny.
  • 53:29 Rafael Van der Vaart takes a shot. Save made by Wojciech Szczesny.
  • 51:55 Substitution Vassiriki Diaby leaves the field to be replaced by Jack Wilshere.
  • 50:49 Francesc Fabregas fouled by Tom Huddlestone, the ref awards a free kick. Samir Nasri produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick, Rafael Van der Vaart gets a block in.
  • 48:20 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Robin van Persie from the right by-line to the near post, clearance made by Roman Pavlyuchenko.
  • 48:13 Theo Walcott sends in a cross, clearance made by William Gallas.
  • 46:26 Shot on goal comes in from Rafael Van der Vaart from the free kick.
  • 46:26 Booking The referee shows Johan Djourou a yellow card.
  • 46:15 Foul by Johan Djourou on Luka Modric, free kick awarded.
  • 45:33 Free kick crossed by Rafael Van der Vaart.
  • 45:33 Booking The referee cautions Alex Song for unsporting behaviour.
  • 45:27 Luka Modric fouled by Alex Song, the ref awards a free kick.
  • 45:01 The second half has started.
  • 45:01 Substitution Aaron Lennon replaces Gareth Bale.
  • 45:01 Substitution Younes Kaboul comes on in place of Vedran Corluka.
  • Half Time
  • 45:00+4:41 The ref blows to signal half-time.
  • 45:00+3:41 Michael Dawson takes the free kick.
  • 45:00+3:41 Booking Gael Clichy booked.
  • 45:00+3:37 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Rafael Van der Vaart by Gael Clichy.
  • 45:00+1:40 Michael Dawson challenges Francesc Fabregas unfairly and gives away a free kick. Francesc Fabregas takes the indirect free kick.
  • 45:00+0:48 Centre by Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Laurent Koscielny makes a clearance.
  • 45:00 The ball is sent over by Rafael Van der Vaart, Johan Djourou makes a clearance.
  • 44:40 Corner taken by Rafael Van der Vaart from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Laurent Koscielny.
  • 44:17 Free kick awarded for a foul by Johan Djourou on Roman Pavlyuchenko. Indirect free kick taken by Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
  • 43:27 GOAL - Tom HuddlestoneTottenham 2 - 3 Arsenal Tom Huddlestone fires in a goal from a long way out to the bottom left corner of the goal. Tottenham 2-3 Arsenal.
  • 39:57 Assist on the goal came from Francesc Fabregas.
  • 39:57 GOAL - Robin van PersieTottenham 1 - 3 Arsenal Goal scored by Robin van Persie from close in high into the middle of the goal. Tottenham 1-3 Arsenal.
  • 39:54 Robin van Persie takes a shot. Save by Heurelho Gomes.
  • 38:11 Francesc Fabregas is adjudged to have handled the ball. Indirect free kick taken by Michael Dawson.
  • 34:15 Corner taken by Rafael Van der Vaart from the left by-line to the near post, Close range header by William Gallas misses to the right of the target.
  • 33:55 Roman Pavlyuchenko takes a shot. Blocked by Johan Djourou.
  • 31:40 Tom Huddlestone sends in a cross.
  • 31:15 Outswinging corner taken by Rafael Van der Vaart from the left by-line played to the near post.
  • 30:33 Luka Modric takes a shot. Save made by Wojciech Szczesny.
  • 30:04 Rafael Van der Vaart takes a outswinging corner from the right by-line to the near post, clearance by Robin van Persie.
  • 29:54 The ball is sent over by Gareth Bale.
  • 28:08 Theo Walcott has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the target.
  • 25:34 The ball is swung over by Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Header by Peter Crouch from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the target.
  • 22:45 The ball is crossed by Gareth Bale, save by Wojciech Szczesny.
  • 21:50 Vedran Corluka has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide right of the target.
  • 20:05 Rafael Van der Vaart produces a right-footed effort from long distance that goes harmlessly over the bar.
  • Correction - 20:05 Effort on goal by Rafael Van der Vaart from a long way out goes over the bar.
  • 19:33 Unfair challenge on Luka Modric by Vassiriki Diaby results in a free kick. Rafael Van der Vaart takes the indirect free kick.
  • Correction - 19:33 Vassiriki Diaby gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Luka Modric. Indirect free kick taken by Rafael Van der Vaart.
  • 19:06 Alex Song concedes a free kick for a foul on Rafael Van der Vaart. Rafael Van der Vaart takes the free kick.
  • Correction - 18:13 Gareth Bale fouled by Bacary Sagna, the ref awards a free kick. Luka Modric restarts play with the free kick.
  • 18:13 Bacary Sagna challenges Gareth Bale unfairly and gives away a free kick. Luka Modric takes the free kick.
  • 15:32 Robin van Persie produces a right-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses wide left of the target.
  • 15:01 Inswinging corner taken by Samir Nasri, Peter Crouch makes a clearance.
  • 14:54 The ball is crossed by Theo Walcott, Vedran Corluka manages to make a clearance.
  • 13:57 Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Samir Nasri, clearance by Michael Dawson.
  • 13:44 Bacary Sagna sends in a cross, clearance made by Vedran Corluka.
  • 11:48 Assist on the goal came from Vassiriki Diaby.
  • 11:48 GOAL - Samir NasriTottenham 1 - 2 Arsenal Samir Nasri grabs a goal from outside the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Tottenham 1-2 Arsenal.
  • 11:05 Centre by Benoit Assou-Ekotto, save by Wojciech Szczesny.
  • 10:47 Corner taken right-footed by Samir Nasri from the left by-line, Heurelho Gomes makes a comfortable save.
  • 10:28 Robin van Persie takes a shot. Heurelho Gomes makes a save.
  • 9:45 Vedran Corluka delivers the ball.
  • 7:29 Shot from just outside the area by Peter Crouch misses to the left of the target.
  • 6:20 Assist by Vedran Corluka.
  • 6:20 GOAL - Rafael Van der VaartTottenham 1 - 1 Arsenal Rafael Van der Vaart finds the back of the net with a goal from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Tottenham 1-1 Arsenal.
  • 5:21 Vassiriki Diaby challenges Luka Modric unfairly and gives away a free kick. Benoit Assou-Ekotto takes the free kick.
  • 4:11 The assist for the goal came from Francesc Fabregas.
  • 4:11 GOAL - Theo WalcottTottenham 0 - 1 Arsenal Theo Walcott gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Tottenham 0-1 Arsenal.
  • 1:49 Free kick awarded for a foul by Tom Huddlestone on Francesc Fabregas. Free kick taken by Francesc Fabregas.
  • 1:19 Shot from just outside the penalty box by Luka Modric misses to the left of the target.
  • 1:06 The ball is crossed by Vedran Corluka.
  • 0:00 The game gets underway.

Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



Print Sponsor




Barclays Premier League results

20 Apr 2011 23:59 UK


Barclays Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 20 Apr 2011 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Man Utd 33 38 70
2 Chelsea 33 34 64
3 Arsenal 33 32 64
4 Man City 32 20 56
5 Tottenham 32 8 54
6 Liverpool 33 7 49
7 Everton 33 6 47
8 Bolton 32 3 43
9 Newcastle 33 1 40
10 Aston Villa 33 -12 40
11 West Brom 33 -15 39
12 Fulham 32 1 38
13 Stoke 32 -3 38
14 Sunderland 33 -12 38
15 Birmingham 33 -12 38
16 Blackburn 33 -14 35
17 Wigan 33 -21 34
18 Blackpool 33 -22 33
19 West Ham 33 -19 32
20 Wolves 32 -20 32

see also
Wednesday football as it happened
20 Apr 11 |  Football
We will fight for title - Wenger
21 Apr 11 |  Arsenal



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