At less than 24 hours to the North London Derby, the game between Tottenham and Arsenal will kick off a great weekend of derbies. We can only hope tomorrow’s game compares to some of the classics in this series. Here are the top five.
5) Arsenal 4-4 Tottenham – October 29, 2008
Just simply a thrilling game that ended with as much excitement and drama that would be expected in a classic. Arsenal went out to a 4-2 lead with just 20 minutes left into the game. When it all looked lost, Jermaine Jenas and Aaron Lennon put up two goals in the final two minutes of regular time to save the draw. It was simply a classic moment in the EPL era.
4) Tottenham 1-2 Arsenal – March 4, 1987 – League Cup Semifinal Replay
Tottenham and Arsenal had a legendary League Cup series in 1987. After the first game of the Semifinal ended in a thrilling 2-2 draw, the rule at the time was to replay the game so they played another 90 minutes to see who would advance to the Final. After Spurs went up 1-0, Arsenal and Ian Allison put away a cheeky equalizer while David Rocastle finished the job to send Arsenal to Wembley.
3) Tottenham 3-1 Arsenal – April 14, 1991 – FA Cup Semifinal
Wembley Stadium is the cathedral of English soccer and Tottenham and Arsenal battled there to see who would go to the FA Cup Final in 1991. The game started off with a thrilling Paul Gascoigne free kick right in the beginning of the game. After that, Tottenham kept the lead and while Arsenal brought it to 2-1 at halftime. Gary Lineker, who scored the second goal for Spurs, scored the third goal and cemented Tottenham’s run to the Final. Tottenham would wind up winning their most recent FA Cup, their eighth, that year.
2) Tottenham 0-1 Arsenal – May 3, 1971 – Title Decider I
The first title deciding game between these two teams took place in 1971. In this, Arsenal needed a win or goalless draw to win the First Division title or else the title would go to Leeds United. In the final game of the season, Tottenham and Arsenal squared off to a highly defensive battle. While the title was always in Arsenal’s grasp due to the scoreless draw, Arsenal sealed the deal with an 88th minute Ray Kennedy header near the penalty spot to win the title at White Hart Lane.
1) Tottenham 2-2 Arsenal – April 25, 2004 – Title Decider II: The Invincibles
The second title deciding game also happened at White Hart Lane but this game was arguably more important. This game was a heartbreaker to Spurs fans. This 2003-04 season was the season of the Arsenal “Invincibles” and they had a chance to clinch the EPL title in April against Tottenham. Arsenal needed a point to clinch and regardless of the result, Arsenal was going to win the EPL title anyway. This was a chance for Spurs to take away the historic feat of not losing at all in a season for their hated rival.
Arsenal got out to a two goal lead early in the game. Tottenham got the equalizer on a PK in stoppage time but it wasn’t enough. Arsenal got their draw, the EPL title and one step closer to English soccer immortality.