As Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur get ready to face each other in the north London derby on Sunday, we at Give Me Football, thought it would be appropriate to look into five of the best derbies in recent years.
This clash never fails to please football fans as it comes with goals, cards, dramas, comebacks and generally top quality football – I'm sure Sunday will be no different.
Going into the derby, Tottenham are sitting in third, four points above rivals Arsenal, who are sitting in fifth, which means whoever comes out on top at White Hart Lane will get a major boost in the race for a top four finish.
Here are my five most memorable Arsenal v Tottenham games:
5) Tottenham 3-3 Arsenal - White Hart Lane - 2011
At the time of this game, Arsenal were very much in the title hunt, while Tottenham were fighting for a Champions League place but the sides couldn't be separated in a thrilling encounter.
An early Theo Walcott goal gave Arsenal the lead, but Rafael Van Der Vaart soon cancelled it out. The away side then went 3-1 up with goals from Samir Nasri and Robin Van Persie, but Tom Huddlestone and another from Van Der Vaart got the host level and dented Arsenal's title hopes.
4) Arsenal 2-3 Tottenham - Emirates Stadium - 2010
Once again, Arsenal were firmly positioned near the top of the table and Tottenham were competing for a top four finish, but on this occasion it was Tottenham that took all three points, despite playing away from home and despite going two goals down.
After Samir Nasri and Marouane Chamakh gave Arsenal a 2-0 lead in the first half it looked like the Gunners were going to continue their impressive form against their fierce rivals, however, the second half was a different story. Goals from Van Der Vaart, Gareth Bale and Younes Kaboul helped Spurs produce a stunning comeback in another epic clash.
3) Arsenal 5-2 Tottenham - Emirates Stadium - 2012
This time it was Arsenal to come from two goals down to produce a stunning win in yet another stunning meeting between the sides.
With Tottenham comfortably ahead in the race to finish above their rivals, it looked like they were going to extend their lead when Louis Saha and an Emmanual Adebayor penalty gave them an early 2-0 lead.
However, goals from Bacary Sagna and Robin Van Persie made sure the teams went in level-pegging at the break. Tomas Rosicky gave the Gunners the lead early in the second half, before a brace from Theo Walcott saw Arsenal storm to a sensational 5-2 victory.
The result appeared to seriously affect Tottenham's form in the final few months of the season and they eventually finished below their closest rivals in fourth – Chelsea’s unlikely Champions League triumph then compounded their disappointment.
2) Tottenham 4-5 Arsenal - White Hart Lane - 2004
One of the best derbies in football saw the two sides produce nine goals between them in a game that few would have predicted in the build up. Looking back, the most surprising fact was that at half-time it was only 1-1, after goals from Noureddine Naybet and Thierry Henry.
A hugely entertaining second half produced seven goals with four going in favour of the away team. Lauren and Patrick Vieira sent Arsenal into a 3-1 lead, but Jermain Defoe got Spurs back in the game soon after. The comeback was short-lived as, just two minutes later, Freddie Ljungberg made it 4-2 to Arsene Wenger’s side. With full-time approaching, Ledley King that got the home side back into it with a 74th minute strike but Arsenal struck again through Robert Pires, giving his side a 5-3 lead with just nine minutes to go.
Frederic Kanoute made it a nervy ending for the Gunners when he halved the deficit in the 88th minute, but the Gunners held out for another memorable win.
1) Tottenham 2-2 Arsenal - White Hart Lane - 2004
Probably not the best game for incidents and goals scored, but it was certainly the best in terms of the result, if you’re an Arsenal fan anyway.
Arsene Wenger’s side went to White Hart Lane needing only a point to secure the Premier League title and the 2-2 draw meant they could brag for years afterwards about winning the league in their rivals’ back garden.
Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira gave his side an early lead, before Robert Pires doubled it as another Premier League and famous derby win were in sight for the Gunners.
However, a second half comeback with goals from Jamie Redknapp and a Robbie Keane penalty, resulting from a moment of madness by Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehman, denied the Gunners all three points. They couldn’t complete the comeback, however, and scupper the ‘Invincibles’ on their march to the Premier League title without losing a single game.
A honourable mention also goes to Harry Redknapp's first game in charge at Tottenham as his side drew 4-4 at the Emirates with Arsenal.
Lets hope when the two teams meet again on Sunday, they will produce another memorable encounter.
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