Arsenal miss last-minute penalty in derby draw with Spurs
Tottenham manager believes his team should have taken all three points despite late let-off
02 March, 2019 — By Dan Carrier at Wembley
FA Premier League
SPURS 1 (Kane 74 Pen)
ARSENAL 1 (Ramsey 15)
SPURS and Arsenal shared the spoils at Wembley today (Saturday) in dramatic fashion – with Tottenham skipper Hugo Lloris pulling off a last gasp penalty save with the scores at one-all.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s 89th minute spot kick should have sealed a win for Unai Emery’s men – but the Spurs goalkeeper went the right way, got a hand to the shot and ensured the derby ended honours even.
Tottenham had gone behind on 15 minites when Aaron Ramsey scored on the break – but Harry Kane had levelled the game from the spot on 75.
It had all the ingredients a rough and tumble north London derby needs, lacking only in quality. Both sides were guilty of hurried play, of letting the occasion get to them, and as the dust settles in what should be Tottenham’s last game at their temporary Wembley home, you suspect both managers will be happy with the draw.
Speaking after the game, Mauricio Pochettino said he was disappointed his team did not earn all the points, despite their late let off.
He said: “We were better than Arsenal in every aspect, but with the penalty at the end, it felt we went from losing to winning. It was an exciting game with two teams who wanted to play, and wanted to win.”
He added the manner of the draw would boost his side’s flagging confidence after two energy sapping league defeats on the spin against Burnley and Chelsea.
He said: “I am happy with the character shown. It was not our greatest performance but after two defeats it was important to believe and start again on a positive run.”
Ramsey, in his last game derby before he moves to Juventus at the end of the season, gave his team the lead on when he made the most of a Tottenham muddle in the middle of the park. Davinson Sanchez’s header put his side in all sorts of trouble, Ramsey strode through and poked home.
Spurs huffed and puffed to get back on level terms and thought they had done so eight minutes later: a free kick by Kieran Trippier was met by Kane and his guided header beat keeper Bernd Leno – but he was off side when he met the cross.
Spurs enjoyed spells but lacked a cutting edge. Moments before half time, Christian Eriksen saw his point blank effort stopped by Leno. The ball fell for Moussa Sissoko – and his well hit, goal bound shot was some how reached by Leno to spin away for a corner.
Spurs looked ragged for much of the second half and were bereft of ideas, rhythm and fluency. It suited Arsenal, who defended well and were content to counter when the opportunity emerged.
Pochettino needed to shake it up and his answer was unconventional. Jan Vertonghen moved to left back and Danny Rose became a make shift central midfielder. It changed the dynamic. Suddenly Tottenham had more bite and fight and on 73, an Eriksen free kick was swung in and Kane tumbled under pressure. He buried the penalty to bring Spurs back on level terms.
Yet there was still spot kick drama to come.
On the 89th minute, an Arsenal charge saw Aubameyang pushed to the floor by Sanchez – and the forward stepped up to take the kick himself. Lloris read it right and saved. It was a fitting end to a game of plenty of theatricals but not much quality.
SPURS: Lloris, Trippier, Rose, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Sanchez, Son (Llorente, 78), Kane, Wanyama (Lamela, 58) Sissoko, Eriksen.
Subs not used: Gazzaniga, Aurier, Moura, Davies, Skipp.
ARSENAL: Leno, Sokratis, Koscielny, Mkhitaryan, Ramsey (Ozil, 71), Lacazette (Aubmeyang, 55) Iwobi, Monreal, Mustafi, Guendouzi (Torreira, HT) Xhaka
Subs not used: Cech, Maitland-Niles, Suarez, Kolasinec.