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Dublin: 11 °C Tuesday 7 April, 2020


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Good afternoon and welcome our first liveblog of a hectically busy day of sport. It’s the North London Derby first up as Arsenal travel to White Hart Lane looking to move above Manchester United into third place and further ahead of their opponents in the race for Champions League.

Spurs will have other ideas however as they come into this game on a run of form that’s seen them win their last two league games as well as book their place in the League Cup final in Wembley.

With a full Spurs squad for Mauricio Pochettino to choose from and with Alexis Sanchez sidelined for The Gunners the home side will fancy their chances of leapfrogging their North London counterparts in the league table.

Team news to follow.

With a full strength squad to choose from for this match Pochettino has elected to bring Dier and Bentaleb back into the team. Harry Kanae remains up front with in-form Christian Eriksen playing off the left.

Spurs: Lloris; Walker, Dier, Vertonghen, Rose; Bentaleb, Mason, Lamela, Dembele, Eriksen; Kane.

Arsene Wenger was left with a selection conundrum for today’s game after Alexis Sanchez was ruled out during the week with a hamstring injury. Danny Welbeck returns to the starting lineup with Theo Walcott dropping to the bench desite netting in his last two appearances.

Arsenal: Ospina; Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Coquelin, Ramsey, Welbeck, Cazorla, Ozil; Giroud.

Calling today a busy day of sport is probably the understatement of the, admittedly quite short so far, year. Christmas Day for sports fans might be more apt. Between seven Premier League games, including two derbies, the Madrid Derby, Six Nations rugby and a multitude of GAA action this evening you would absolutely be forgiven for spending the day in a horizontal position on the couch with a mixture of food and drinks to keep you going.

You have my best wishes if you’re doing just that, it’s going to be one hell of a ride with the first mouth-watering match kicking off before we’ve even reached an acceptable time to start thinking about lunch.

Your first interesting factoid of the day: Hugo Lloris has played every single minute of Spurs’ 23 league games this season.

Right, so lets get some debate going.

Spurs fans, is Harry Kane the real deal? He’s certainly been impressive so far but will he show the consistency needed to be considered a real top player?

And, Arsenal fans, has Arsene Wenger made the right decision in keeping David Ospina in the team in place of Wojciech Szczesny? Three clean sheets in three Premier League games so far for Ospina.

Give your opinions in the comments below.

The players are in the tunnel, the overly-dramatic music is blaring, we’re nearly there!


Kick off - We’re underway in the 175th North London Derby.


It’s been scrappy enough so far with neither team managing to put too many passes together. Welbeck has started on the right for Arsenal with Ozil coming in off the left, Wenger has obviously decided that Welbeck and Bellerin need to double up on Eriksen.


First half-chance of the game results in a great save from Ospina. Monreal had gone down the left and squared into the Spurs box but Rose hastily cleared. Lamela dropped deep and picked the ball up before finding Kane on the left. The North London native cut in onto his right foot and tried to curl one inside the far post but Ospina touched it around the post.


Ospina seemed to hurt himself making that save and required some treatment, allowing Szczesny a short warm-up jog but the Colombian is good to carry on.


A well-worked goal from Arsenal but not without some good fortune along the way. Giroud won the ball just inside the Arsenal half and laid it off to Welbeck on the wing. He surged past Rose with a sharp turn of pace before squaring to Giroud. The Frenchman’s attempted shot was sliced and going a long way wide but Ozil reacted to it quickly to slot home from eight yards.


This game is really heating up now. Danny Rose just had an effort from 20 yards that Ospina saved well before it was cleared. The game is being dominated by the Rose, Eriksen/Welbeck, Bellerin wing.


It’s been a hectic few minutes for Ryan Mason. First he came through the back of Ozil to concede a free-kick and see his name taken in Martin Atkinson’s book. That was followed by a handball in his own box that saw Atkinson wave away Arsenal appeals for a penalty before he committed another foul seconds later.


Kane keeps dropping out onto the left wing where he is seeing a lot of the ball. Lamela has barely touched it yet on the far side, Spurs need to get him into the game more.

Bentaleb flashes a tame shot a long way wide from a long way out.


Close yet again from Rose as he shuttles a low shot across Ospina and narrowly wide. The left-back has been excellent in attack so far but lacking defensively, as shown by Welbeck for the opener.


Arsenal’s defensive structure has been fantastic so far. Every time Spurs have the ball all eleven Arsenal players drop behind it and are restricting Dembele in the middle of the pitch.


Almost a spectacular goal from Mason! The midfielder picked it up 30 yards out and hit a swerving shot for the right top corner but Ospina matched it yet again. The Colombian has made four excellent saves so far.


Spurs look stumped by Arsenal’s defensive system with Dembele getting absolutely no space in the middle and Lamela looking very isolated on the right wing.


Harry Kane picks up a booking for a very late tackle on Giroud.


Lamela lobs a ball into the box towards the head of Kane. Ospina came a long way out of his goal and was absolutely nowhere near it but, luckily for him, Mertesacker was able to head clear before Kane could take it down.


Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal - White Hart Lane Fair to say Dembele wasn't getting past Mertesacker here. Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images


Kyle Walker flies down the right wing somewhere near the speed of light, resulting in Monreal having to bring him down and pick up a yellow card.

The free-kick is dipped into the six yard box by Eriksen and Welbeck clears for a corner. The resulting set-play comes to nothing.


Jealous of his team mate being shown a booking Welbeck now decides he wants to see his name in the referee’s book and so fouls Rose on the wing.


Half-time - So Arsenal go into the break with a lead of a solitary goal. It’s been an even enough game so far with Arsenal’s defensive strategy limiting Spurs creativity and forcing them to shoot from distance. A change might be needed for the home side at the break. Dembele, for one, is being completely stifled.


We’re back underway at the Lane for what should be a fiery second half. There was a small clash between Welbeck and Rose at the end of that first half but nothing came of it. Both sides look to be lining out the same as they did for the first period.


Welbeck and Rose are at it again after the former Manchester United man pushed the Spurs full-back. Welbeck needs to be really, really careful as he’s already on a yellow card.


It’s somewhat surprising that Pochettino didn’t make a change at half-time, especially give how well Arsenal have played defensively. Bringing Chadli on for Dembele may have given the home side more power in the attack as Dembele has been disappointing so far.


Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal - White Hart Lane It seems Martin Atkinson didn't think much of the Welbeck and Rose clash. Look at him there, having a chuckle. Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images


Koscielny slides in on Dembele on the right wing, missing the ball and taking the Belgian down. He’s now also been added to Martin Atkinson’s growing list of yellow card receivees.

Eriksen’s delivery from the subsequent free-kick is absolutely dreadful. Not only did it not beat the first man but it didn’t even get above waist height.


Well who’d of thunk it? Harry Kane, the Tottenham fan from North London (as we’re constantly reminded) equalises for his boyhood club against their fiercest rivals. Fairytale stuff.

Eriksen’s corner from the right is a much improved delivery allowing Dembele to flick it on at the near post. The Belgian’s header is saved well by Ospina but drops to Kane, the boyhood Spurs fan from North London, six yards out to stab home.


That goal has spurred Spurs on and they nearly netted a second immediately after a penalty box scramble eventually fell to Rose to shoot but it was blocked and eventually cleared. We’ve most certainly got a game on our hands now.


Arsenal aren’t lying down however. A super effort from Welbeck 25 yards out it matched by a super save from Lloris. The resulting corner finds the head of Koscielny in the six yard box but Lloris saves yet again.


Now it’s Spurs’ chance to whip a corner in. This time Eriksen curls one in from the right, finding Dier who’s twisting away from goal but manages to get a header on target. Ospina is equal to it though.

Bentaleb tries his luck next, forcing Ospina into another strong save. The ball drops to Kane in the box but Ospina saves again, not that it would have mattered because Kane was offside. This game has taken off!


Lamela catches Monreal with a swinging elbow as they challenge for a header. It wasn’t deliberate however, and Martin Atkinson realised so. He’s had a good game so far, the referee.


In other news, Santi Cazorla is replaced by Tomas Rosicky for Arsenal.


Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal - White Hart Lane Hugo Lloris celebrates Spurs' equaliser. Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images


Eriksen wins a free-kick 30 yards out — a highly dangerous situation these days. It’s a decent effort from the Dane but it dips narrowly over the bar.


Ozil picks it up on the left wing and swings a cross into the box. It’s slightly behind Giroud but he manages to direct a header towards goal regardless but it flashes just wide.

Nacer Chadli has replaced Demebele for Spurs.


Welbeck has been withdrawn after a good performance marred somewhat by his clashes with Rose. Theo Walcott is on.


Ramsey is fouled before Mason kicks the ball away, earning him a yellow card.


Giroud is the latest player to pick up a booking for a late foul on Mason.


Is Harry Kane the real deal?

Harry Kane is absolutely the real deal. What a goal this was. Eriksen’s superb cross from the left meets the head of the backtracking Kane who somehow manages to get up and guide a header back the way it came, leaving Ospina wrong-footed. Exquisite football.


Stambouli has come on to replace Lamela for Spurs while Akpom replaces Coquelin for the visitors. Four minutes have been added on and you can feel the tension in the air!


It’s scrappy and tense with Arsenal desperately searching for an equaliser. Bentaleb is the latest to receive a booking. Ozil’s cross from the subsequent free-kick comes to nothing.


We’re into the final minute and Arsenal have a corner. Ozil to take…


The corner is a poor one and is cleared by Stambouli. Bentaleb streaks clear and is fouled by Ramsey who picks up a booking for his troubles. Mason has also been replaced by Paulinho.


Full-time – It’s all over and Spurs have come from behind to win and overtake Arsenal in the league.

Well what an incredible football match that was! A few deep breaths are certainly needed after that. Arsenal weren’t bad, Spurs were superb and Harry Kane was out of this world.

If there was any doubt about whether Kane really is the big deal that can all be dispelled now. His two goals today see Spurs overtake Arsenal and move into fourth place. The importance of this victory for the home side is huge as they look to secure the final Champions League place.

That’s all from me today, enjoy the rest of today’s sport, if that match is anything to go by you’re in for a treat!