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A draw in the North London derby ought to be something Arsenal as the away team in this fixture should accept as a good result. However, the players, managers and fans are likely to be unhappy about the result.
Arsenal came into the game at Wembley 4 points behind their North London arch rivals and things were looking good when Aaron Ramsey gave them the lead in the 16th minute rounding off Hugo Lloris from a long ball into the Spurs penalty box.
However, Spurs equalized in the 74th minute after piking himself up following a Shkodran Mustafi challenge that brought him down from an offside position. Controversy or not, Harry Kane converted the penalty.
The game was open towards the end with both teams going for the win. However, Arsenal got a break with referee deeming Davinson Sanchez’s challenge on Pierre-Emerick Aubemayang as a foul and a penalty. The Gabonese striker got up and struck a poor penalty saved by Lloris and could not convert the follow-up attempt as Jan Vertonghen put in an amazing World Class tackle.
To make matters worse for the Gunners, Lucas Torreira got a straight red card in the 95th minute for a dangerous tackle on Danny Rose compounding the woes of Arsenal.
Things might get worse if Manchester United can win their match against Southampton later this afternoon. The Red devils would go 4th ahead of Arsenal.
Unai Emery told BT Sport: “We are fine in our way, today being competitive and adapting our performance. It demanded a lot of transition for us and it is good, not the result because we can win, but we can be stronger in our mentality after this match going forward.
“One month ago I said to everybody VAR is coming forward – it is difficult for referees. You can analyse with TV and it is easy but referees can’t use that now. Maybe today’s match is different with that but I understand it is difficult. The referee is a big personality – it is not easy to balance the two teams but I like this referee.
“We need to be together to be strong like a team. We need a keeper like Leno today and Ramsey’s last derby, maybe he can play more in the future, but for now I am happy for him.
“We are thinking each match for three points, to continue in our way, our target is clear. We can be proud of everybody in our work. We showed everybody we are creating and doing it our way.”
Harry Kane speaking to the BBC said: “It was another good derby, a passionate one, it had a bit of everything. In the first half we were disappointed; we created a few chances but were not clinical enough. The second-half was just about fighting for the team and club and we did that and we got the goal we deserved. Towards the end of the game it went a bit crazy.
“For us it was important to stop the losing streak, at this point it might give us a little boost with a big game in the Champions League and then Southampton.”
While both sides would be happy they did not lose, Tottenham Hotspur have managed to maintain their 4-point lead of Arsenal and this might prove vital in the race for a top 4 finish at the end of the season.