VIDEO: The FIVE best North London Derbies in recent memory?

Tottenham 2 – 1 Arsenal (White Hart Lane, League, 2010)

Tottenham finally managed to beat their bitter rivals in a home league game for the first time since 1999. Coming late in the season both teams were desperate for points. Arsenal in a bid to keep dieing title hopes alive and Spurs to keep alive dreams of a first voyage into the Champions League, with a difficult tie against Chelsea waiting at the weekend. For the first time in recent history Spurs were comfortably the better side in a league game against their North London rivals and deserved victors. Bale showed signs of what he could do with a superb run at the Arsenal defence, with a finish of equal quality. Whilst at the other end Gomes kept Tottenham’s lead intact dispelling questions over his quality as the last line of defence. Also I prefer this video to any highlights package.

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Tottenham 2 – 2 Arsenal (White Hart Lane, League, 2004)

Despite a late equaliser from a Robbie Keane penalty Spurs suffer the ultimate humiliation of having their bitter rivals win the Premier League at their ground. A result which has since led to chants from Arsenal fans of “We won the league at S**** Hart Lane.” The attacking duo of Bergkamp and Henry were instrumental in cutting through the Spurs defence, particularly with the latter’s pace and Pires providing the guile from midfield.

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Arsenal 4 – 4 Tottenham (Highbury, League, 2008)

A remarkable late comeback by Spurs, scoring twice in the last five minutes to snatch a unlikely point in a game that in which they were outplayed for large periods. Yet the game proved to be true of the mantra that form goes out of the window when it’s a derby. It was Harry Redknapp’s first official game in charge of Tottenham following the sacking of Juande Ramos, having not officially been in charge of the 2-0 victory over Bolton. Spurs game into the game still in the relegation zone and reeling from a terrible start to a season that had supposed to have promised so much. Arsenal on the other hand were competing at the other end of the table. Before the match Fabregas had added to the flames of the derby atmosphere by saying that the Arsenal ladies team could get a draw against Spurs. Either he was made to eat his words or he did not think much of his team mates.

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Tottenham 4 – 5 Arsenal (White Hart Lane, League, 2004)

This meeting at White Hart Lane was a nine goal thriller, with nine different names on the score sheet. It was also Martin Jol’s first game in charge of Tottenham, in a little theme developing in this list of North London derbies, following his appointment to succeed Jacques Santini. Tottenham, although defeated, certainly exposed the defensive frailties of a team that had only two previously ended a run of 49 Premier League games unbeaten at Old Trafford.

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Tottenham 3 – 1 Arsenal (Wembley, F.A. Cup, 1991)

Finally the F.A cup semi final between the two rivals saw Tottenham progress and go on to win their last F.A cup, beating Nottingham Forest in the final. The game itself witnessed Gazza become a White Hart Lane hero with a superb free kick, pelted into the top corner from a distance of about 30 yards to open the scoring. A strike he goes on to describe as “wasn’t bad, was it?” in the post match interview. Lineker then extended Tottenham’s lead with a typical poached finish just inside the six yard box. Alan Smith pulled one back for Arsenal before a great solo effort by Lineker secured Tottenham’s win, aided greatly though by some questionable goalkeeping by Seamen who had a day to forget.

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Other Notable mentions

As I deliberately tried to look at more recent matches, a few classics from a year or two back may have bee overlooked. Including when Arsenal first won the league at White Hart Lane in 1971 and in 1978 when under George Graham and the tag of “boring, boring Arsenal” they were able to beat Spurs an emphatic 5-0 at White Hart Lane. Also I have to mention when Spurs were able to end a run of eight years without victory in the North London derby with a 5-1 demolition in the Carling Cup, albeit over a weakened Arsenal side.

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