Hugo Lloris saves the day for Spurs in derby draw with Arsenal

March 2, 2019

 

Tottenham 1 Arsenal 1

 

A penalty save from Hugo Lloris a minute from time spared Spurs the ignominy of defeat in the north London derby – the Frenchman diving to his right to keep out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s lame kick.

Defeat would have been rough justice on Mauricio Pochettino’s side, who enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and chances but who were almost undone by a late Gunners breakaway.

Davinson Sanchez will be the first to buy Lloris a drink tonight, as it was his mistimed tackle on Aubameyang which gifted Arsenal the chance to win it.

This being a derby with no let up, there was still time for a red card deep into five minutes of time added on, Lucas Torreira being dismissed for a tackle on Danny Rose which looked less severe in the replays than in real time.

That Tottenham should collect a first draw of the season in the league in their 29th match will underline the bitter-sweet nature of the result for them.

They wanted more and will feel they should have had more. They wanted revenge for the 4-2 loss at Emirates earlier in the season, even if they had beaten Arsenal in the League Cup since then.

But the Gunners defended manfully, even if they once again failed to keep a clean sheet away from home – the only Premier League team not to have achieved that this season.

The lunchtime kick-off started so well for Arsenal, with Aaron Ramsey scoring after just 16 minutes. Spurs were over-committed in attack and paid the price when Sanchez made a hash of trying to intercept a ball hit from deep.

His mistimed header gave Alexandre Lacazette all the time he needed to prod the ball into space for Ramsey to exploit. The Welshman kept calm as Victor Wanyama gave fruitless chase, rounding Lloris before tapping into an empty net.

Harry Kane levelled from the spot after 74 minutes after being barged in the penalty area by Shkodran Mustafi.

He always seems to score against the Gunners – having bagged the winner when the teams met at Wembley last season – and his kick was unerring.

Kane thought he had scored in the first half too, heading home a free-kick from Christian Eriksen, but a linesman’s flag rescued the Gunners. It summed up a first half of great frustration for the hosts.

It should have been all square at half-time, on balance of play, and would have been but for superb double save from Bernd Leno just before the break. First he kept out a close range volley from Eriksen after Kane had lifted a sumptuous pass over Arsenal heads onto the six yard line, and then thrust out a left arm to divert Sissoko’s follow up, which looked destined for the net.

Lacazette almost made it 2-0 early in the second half, but a cross from the byline by Nacho Monreal was too quick for him and the Frenchman skewed his effort wide from eight yards.

But it was Spurs who built up a head of steam in a second half they dominated. A far-post volley from Toby Alderweireld had home fans up in celebration as the ball rippled the net – but it was only the side netting. Yet the free-kick from Eriksen which had created the chance hinted at what might come.

And so it proved, when referee Anthony Taylor decided Mustafi barged Kane as the pair went for another beautifully flighted Eriksen free-kick.

Aubameyang came on for Lacazette on 56 minutes and could so easily have ended up the hero, stealing Kane’s thunder. But his kick was too close to Lloris, who saved comfortably.

So, once again, the England striker’s contribution proved decisive – as did the small matter of that penalty save at the death. The 185th meeting of these great rivals had once again delivered a riveting script.

Line-ups.

Spurs: Lloris – Trippier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen – Son (Lorente 79), Sissoko, Wanyama (Lamela 59), Eriksen, Rose – Kane. Subs not used: Gazzaniga, Aurier, Moura, Davies, Skipp

Arsenal: Leno – Mustafi, Sokratis, Koscielny, Monreal – Guendouzi (Torreira h/t), Xhaka, Iwobi – Mkhitaryan, Lacazette (Aubametyang 56), Ramsey (Ozil 72). Subs not used: Cech, Maitland-Niles, Suarez, Kolasinac

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