Tottenham 1-1 Arsenal: Gunners rue late penalty miss as north London derby provides riveting drama
Photo: Getty Images - Chris Brunskill/Fantasista

Tottenham 1-1 Arsenal: Gunners rue late penalty miss as north London derby provides riveting drama

Aubameyang missed a late penalty as Arsenal and Spurs drew at Wembley. 

Matt Dawson

The north London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham provided late drama and a frantic finish at Wembley as the two teams drew 1-1. 

Aaron Ramsey opened the scoring on the counter for the Gunners in the first half but Spurs fought back late on through a Harry Kane penalty. 

But the Gunners were denied a simple opportunity of claiming all three points. In the final minute of normal time, Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang was fouled in the area and then saw his resulting kick from 12 yards kept out by Hugo Lloris

Story of the game

In the big games this season Arsenal have had a tendency to start them full of life and with intensity. This was no different against Tottenham on Saturday afternoon as they took the lead with 16 minutes played.

Ramsey, the FA Cup final hero at Wembley on two occasions, was back among the goals at the famous ground. Spurs' defence was suddenly nowhere to be seen as Alexandre Lacazette found the Welshman through on goal.

But there was still a lot of work to do, as with magnificent composure, Ramsey rounded Lloris and found the back of the net. It was a finish that will have had those at Juventus rubbing their hands gleefully. 

But Arsenal would have to ride a significant Spurs storm for the rest of the first half. Had it not been for a remarkable double save from Bernd Leno then the hosts would have found an equaliser. He first denied Christian Eriksen from close range and then reacted superbly to deny Moussa Sissoko on the follow-up moments before the break. 

It hadn't quite gone Spurs' way in the opening period, with Kane, often so potent in these derbies, having a goal disallowed for offside after Kieran Trippier's whipped free-kick from the right.  

The Gunners needed to be more careful in possession of the ball but could easily have found themselves a second. Henrikh Mkhitaryan found Alex Iwobi down the left before he cut inside and forced Lloris into making a diving save to his right four minutes before half time. 

Unai Emery responded to Arsenal's lack of ball retention by introducing Lucas Torreira for Matteo Guendouzi over the interval. 

Lacazette had missed a fantastic opportunity early on in the piece and then put wide another wonderful chance eight minutes into the second half. Iwobi waited on the edge of the area for the overlap of Nacho Monreal, who then picked out Lacazette inside the area but he skewed wide what looked a simple finish.

Aubameyang then swiftly came off the bench to replace the Frenchman.  

Just before the Arsenal change, Spurs could have found a way back. Toby Alderweireld ghosted in at the back post from a free-kick but fired into the side netting. 

Fortunes were to change for the hosts though. With the game approaching the final 15 minutes Spurs were awarded a spot-kick after Shkodran Mustafi barged Kane in the back. The same man that was fouled stepped up and sent Leno the wrong way.

Replays after showed that the England forward was actually standing in an offside position from the initial ball into the box leading to the penalty. 

With the game reaching its conclusion referee Anthony Taylor pointed to the spot once more, this time it was for Arsenal after Aubameyang tangled with Davinson Sanchez

With the game at his feet, Aubameyang's penalty was saved, as Lloris got down to deny what was a poor finish from one of the league's leading scorers. 

The action wasn't done there as deep into injury time Torreira was shown a straight red card for a high tackle on Danny Rose. It was a moment that didn't have much of a say in this encounter but could be a decisive factor when Arsenal play Manchester United with the Uruguayan now suspended. 

It was a frantic end to a north London derby that wasn't short of drama. 


Emery continues to change things

Some of the Spaniard's team selections this season have offered a way of surprise and for the meeting with Spurs he mixed things up again.

The most surprising point was Emery's decision to play Mustafi at right back, a position he played for Germany a number of years ago. It was one that didn't pay off though, as he gave away the Spurs penalty.

After going with three in defence in midweek's win over Bournemouth, Emery reverted to four again at Wembley. But from an attacking sense, there was once again no Mesut Ozil, whilst Torreira and Aubameyang settled for places among the subs too. 

Neither Lacazette or Aubameyang witnessed their best day in front of goal as ultimately the Gunners came up short in attack. 

Ramsey shows Arsenal what they might miss

The Juventus bound midfielder is no stranger to a Wembley goal and his performance was exemplary for Arsenal on the day. His work ethic and tireless attitude was first class as he scored the Gunners goal and never stopped running. How the Islington club may rue their decision not to reward him a new contract. 

Tottenham find a way

A couple of weeks ago Spurs were being tipped as title challengers. However, back to back league defeats to Burnley and Chelsea ruined any hope they had of contesting Liverpool and Manchester City. Their performance against Arsenal, despite dominating possession, was far from their best but thanks to a Kane penalty and Aubameyang's missed spot-kick at the opposite they found a way to draw. 

Sissoko was the heart of Spurs' display, putting in a brilliant performance from the middle of the park, providing endless support in defensive situations too.