Arsenal will aim to bounce back from their European disappointment in midweek as they host arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur this Sunday at the Emirates. This is one of the most iconic fixtures in English football, and VAVEL looks back at some of the best goals scored by Arsenal in past North London derbies!
5) Mathieu Flamini- Tottenham 1-2 Arsenal- September 2015
If any Arsenal fan were asked to guess the identity of the Arsenal player to score a brace against Tottenham in September’s Capital One Cup clash, Mathieu Flamini would not have been a popular answer. The combative Frenchman is not known for being a prolific goal-scorer; having only scored 11 goals in 220 appearances prior to the White-Hart-Lane clash.
However, Flamini’s second-goal was a superb finish. The ball was in the air for some considerable time, but the defensive-midfielder timed the strike sweetly, giving Michel Vorm no chance. Gunners fans were as shocked as they were jubilant, but this was a crucial result for Arsene Wenger’s men, after they had lost their two previous fixtures away against Dinamo Zagreb and Chelsea.
4) Robin van Persie- Arsenal 5-2 Tottenham- February 2012
Tottenham came to the Emirates in buoyant mood, leading the Gunners in the Premier League table by 10 points. Their optimism increased as a deflected Louis Saha goal and an Emmanuel Adebayor penalty gave them a 2-0 advantage, with Arsenal floundering.
However, Bacary Sagna pulled a goal back just before half-time, before Arsenal’s skipper Robin van Persie produced a sublime strike to restore parity just one minute later. Gary Neville was in awe of the finish, declaring: "It's a wand...that left foot of Robin van Persie's."
Arsenal went on to record a comprehensive 5-2 victory which had significant repercussions for both sides’ seasons. Arsenal went from strength to strength, whereas Tottenham capitulated and finished below their North London rivals once again. Therefore, van Persie’s goal wasn’t just quality, it was a potential turning point in Arsenal’s campaign.
3) Tony Adams- Arsenal 3-1 Tottenham- November 1996
This is one from the memory bank, in Arsène Wenger’s first year as Arsenal manager. Even to this very day, it typifies Wenger’s footballing philosophy, intricate and attacking football. The goal also came from a surprising source; ‘Mr Arsenal’ Tony Adams.
Adams encompassed what it meant to play for Arsenal. The passion and loyalty he had for the club was unparalleled, so to score the decisive goal in a North London Derby meant so much to him. Ian Wright did superbly to evade the challenges of several Spurs defenders, before playing in Dennis Bergkamp. Bergkamp’s typically deft touch gave Adams a sight at goal, and the Arsenal skipper produced a thumping volley to seal the win.
2) Tomas Rosicky- Tottenham 0-1 Arsenal- March 2014
Tomas Rosicky just loves scoring in North London Derbies. Rosicky is a man who thrives on the big occasion and a moment of brilliance from the Czech star sealed Arsenal’s third victory over Tottenham in the 2013/14 season.
The loose ball fell to Rosicky with less than one minute on the clock and he fired an unstoppable effort into the top-corner, giving Hugo Lloris absolutely no chance whatsoever. It was a piece of sheer brilliance from an exquisite technician. Arsenal will miss his influence this weekend.
1) Thierry Henry- Arsenal 3-0 Tottenham- November 2002
Thierry Henry never lost a North-London Derby during his spell at Arsenal. When you consider the sheer magnificence he was capable of; it’s no surprise why. He was a constant thorn in Tottenham’s side and on November 16th 2002, he produced one of the finest individual goals to ever grace a North London Derby.
After receiving the ball deep inside his own-half, he controlled the ball expertly and ghosted past Spurs’ midfield as if they weren’t even there. His burst of pace was exceptional, as he completely deceived Stephen Carr, drifted away from Ledley King before slotting the ball past a helpless Kasey Keller.
This fantastic goal prompted one of Henry’s most iconic celebrations as an Arsenal player. He virtually ran the length of the pitch to celebrate, and this image is now cast in bronze outside the Emirates Stadium, to mark one of the golden moments in Henry’s illustrious Gunners career.