Tue, Dec 04, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Gunners fight back to down Spurs in spiky derby

AP, LONDON

Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette, right, scores against Tottenham Hotspur in their Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium in London on Sunday.

Photo: Reuters

Arsenal on Sunday scored three goals in the second half to come from behind to beat Tottenham Hotspur 4-2 in a dramatic north London derby that saw clashes between players, fans lighting flares and throwing projectiles onto the pitch, two penalties and a red card.

The Gunners extended their unbeaten run to 19 games and moved back into the English Premier League’s top four.

“It’s a very big victory,” Arsenal manager Unai Emery said. “We gave our supporters an important victory. It’s special for us, too, but above all it’s three points.”

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang converted a penalty in the 10th minute to put the Gunners ahead at the Emirates Stadium.

A Tottenham Hotspur supporter was arrested for throwing a banana skin onto the pitch after Aubameyang scored and celebrated in front of the away fans.

Arsenal then dominated play for most of the first half, before Spurs turned the game around with two goals in four minutes for a 2-1 halftime lead, but Aubameyang equalized in the 56th minute, with a beautiful curling shot, before substitute Alexandre Lacazette and Lucas Torreira sent the home fans into a frenzy with goals of their own in the 74th and 77th.

Fans lit flares in the stands after the final two goals.

For Torreira, it was his first Arsenal goal since signing over the summer and he ripped off his shirt and ran to the corner to celebrate. It was a visible indication of how much the match meant to the Arsenal players.

The Gunners moved above their London rivals on goal-difference into fourth place with 30 points.

After his first north London derby, Emery urged his players not to get carried away with the victory and for them to focus on a “very difficult” game against Manchester United at Old Trafford tomorrow.

He said that Arsenal and Spurs are equal, despite his team’s superior goal-difference.

“We are both together, 30 points in the table,” Emery said.

Jan Vertonghen was sent off in the 85th minute after a second yellow card was shown for a challenge on Lacazette.

Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino felt the red card was harsh.

“I think it was unlucky,” he said. “He [Vertonghen] touched the ball, and it’s impossible when you are running like that to the ball and then stop. He wanted to touch the ball. It was a dangerous action, but it was unlucky because he touched the ball.”

“The game was very competitive, but when we conceded the third goal, I think it was tough for us to come back mentally,” he added.

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