Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang rescued a point for Arsenal as the Gunners fought back from two goals down in a breathless North London derby with Tottenham.
Christian Eriksen tapped in the opener to give Spurs an early advantage before a Harry Kane penalty late in the half seemed to put them in control.
Alexandre Lacazette pulled a crucial goal back for the home side, smashing in from a tight angle just before the break.
Arsenal piled on the pressure in the second half and were rewarded as Aubameyang struck with twenty minutes to go to level the game at 2-2 and share the points between the two sides.
With Manchester City and Liverpool both winning on Saturday, the Premier League table is already looking bleak for the remaining ‘big six’ teams hoping to break the duopoly. And with Chelsea and Manchester United both dropping points once again, this was an opportunity the North London clubs needed to take.
It was Tottenham who took the first step to seizing that opportunity just ten minutes into the game. David Luiz was caught in possession high up the pitch allowing Spurs to break in a way they’ve become famous for under Mauricio Pochettino.
The always electric Son Heung-min raced forward to feed Erik Lamela, and the Argentine’s low shot across Bernd Leno could only be parried into the path of Christian Eriksen to tap in with ease.
Arsenal pushed forward looking for an immediate reply, but always looked vulnerable to a Tottenham sucker punch. Despite getting in behind a shaky looking away back line on several occasions, as the first half drew to a close Spurs landed a second blow.
Harry Winks showed great skill to create space in a wide position before laying the ball off to Son inside the Arsenal area. The South Korean was then inexplicably wiped out by a sliding Granit Xhaka leaving referee Martin Atkinson no option but to award a penalty.
Harry Kane stepped up to convert emphatically, as he did in this fixture last season, smashing the ball low to Leno’s right to send the white half off North London into ecstasy.
10 - No player has scored more goals in games between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur in all competitions than Harry Kane (joint-most with Emmanuel Adebayor and Bobby Smith). Occasion. pic.twitter.com/7GeXJg7J3o— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 1, 2019
As Pochettino’s side looked to see out the opening period and take a comfortable lead into the break, the Gunners struck back.
Spurs failed time after time to clear their lines allowing Nicolas Pepe to thread through to Lacazette. Two deft touches helped the French striker skip past his marker before burying a fierce left-footed drive past Hugo Lloris.
The second period ebbed and flowed just as much as the first but neither team could find the decisive touch to swing momentum in their favour.
Matteo Guendouzi came close just shy of the hour mark with a shot from distance that Lloris turned around his far post after a flowing move from the home side.
Minutes later it was Tottenham’s turn to narrowly miss out. Harry Kane found a pocket of space in the area and his fizzing shot from an acute angle came back off the post and drifted to safety.
That miss would come back to bite Spurs ten minutes later. As Arsenal started to take control of the game Unai Emery shuffled his attacking line up by removing goalscorer Lacazette and shifting Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang into a central striker role.
The move paid off immediately. Guendouzi’s clever cross from a central position was met by the onrushing Aubameyang to poke in with his studs ahead of Lloris.
7 - Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored in seven successive @premierleague starts at the Emirates; only Thierry Henry in October 2000 went on a longer run at home for Arsenal in the competition (9 at Highbury). Potent. pic.twitter.com/4KyolSZj8u— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 1, 2019
Trailing 2-1 at half time and staging a fightback to secure a 4-2 win in the same fixture last season, the home fans watched in expectation and anticipation as Arsenal threw everything in the final stages of the game to repeat the feat.
A clever free kick routine looked to have won it for the Gunners late on only for Sokratis’ finish at the far post to be correctly ruled out for offside during the build up.
The points and bragging rights were shared in North London moving Arsenal up to 5th in the Premier League table, while Spurs climb to 9th.
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