Bukayo Saka and Heung-Min Son starred as Arsenal and Tottenham could not be separated in a pulsating, topsy-turvy North London derby which ended in a 2-2 draw.
A Super Sunday thriller began with Cristian Romero heading Saka’s shot into his osn net as Arsenal controlled the opening exchanges, but Spurs found a way back in with Son’s leveller three minutes before half-time after a superb save from David Raya denied Brennan Johnson.
Romero’s poor afternoon continued after half-time as his handball from Ben White’s goal-bound shot allowed Saka to re-stablish the Gunners lead from the spot, but Spurs got an instant equaliser.
Jorginho, a half-time injury substitute for Declan Rice, dallied on the ball only for James Maddison to pinch his pocket. The midfielder rolled the ball to Son for a simple finish past Raya.
Kai Havertz and Saka went close to an Arsenal winner late on, while substitute Richarlison saw a deflected effort fall just wide in the 10th minute of stoppage time.
The derby draw leaves both sides four points behind Manchester City after six games, doing their early title credentials no favours.
How Spurs hit back twice
An ear-deafening Emirates greeted the players, which both teams going full throttle in the opening exchanges.
Son had an early strike disallowed after Raya saved from Yves Bissouma, while Gabriel Jesus drew an expert save from Guglielmo Vicario from Saka’s cross.
- Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Martinelli were both out with muscle injuries for Arsenal, so Eddie Nketiah partnered Gabriel Jesus up front with David Raya continuing in goal
- Tottenham started Brennan Johnson for his full Spurs debut over Manor Solomon, in the only change from last week’s win over Sheffield United.
Saka then turned his attentions to taking on Destiny Udogie, drawing a yellow card from the Spurs left-back, who then gave Eddie Nketiah a clear chance with a loose pass, only for Vicario to come to the rescue again.
Eventually, Saka and Arsenal found their breakthrough as the winger cut inside from the right flank and Romero headed past the helpless Spurs goalkeeper.
Arsenal continued their momentum and Jesus missed a big chance for a second when he pinched Maddison’s pocket on the edge of the box, but blazed over when he should have found the net.
But Spurs then found their rhythm as Arsenal dropped off as the half ended. Raya produced a wonder save to deny Johnson from Son’s cross, before denying Maddison from close-range moments later.
Arsenal: Raya (7); White (6), Saliba (6), Gabriel (6), Zinchenko (6); Rice (6), Odegaard (7), Vieira (6); Saka (8), Nketiah (6), Jesus (7)
Subs: Havertz (6), Jorginho (4), Nelson (6), Smith Rowe (n/a)
Tottenham: Vicario (7); Porro, Romero (5), Van de Ven (7), Udogie (5); Bissouma (8), Sarr (6), Maddison (8); Kulusevski (6), Son (8), Johnson (6)
Subs: Solomon (6), Hojberg (6), Richarlison (n/a)
Player of the match: Heung-Min Son
But three minutes before half-time, Spurs found their leveller. Maddison beat Saka at the byline and found Son, who steered the ball in at the far post despite three Arsenal defenders around him.
The second period began in the same electric fashion as the first and Arsenal were given a penalty almost immediately when White’s goal-bound shot from a corner hit Romero’s arm and moved away from goal.
After a lengthy VAR check, referee Rob Jones awarded the spot-kick after referring to the monitor and Saka sent Vicario the wrong way to send the Emirates back into delirium.
But then came an instant blow for the hosts. Jorginho’s first touches of the game after coming on saw him gift the ball to Maddison in the Arsenal half, with the midfielder slipping Son in to finish past Raya.
Chances were few and far between as both sides sat and analysed the stalemate in question. Son hit the side-netting in search of a hat-trick, while substitute Havertz blasted over when found in good space from the edge of the area.
At the start of 10 minutes of stoppage time, which lifted the noise levels further, Saka then flashed a deflected effort just wide of Vicario’s post.
Brentford host Arsenal in the Carabao Cup third round on Wednesday at 7.45pm before the Gunners return to Premier League action at Bournemouth on Saturday at 3pm.
Tottenham host Liverpool in the Premier League on Saturday Night Football live on Sky Sports at 5.30pm.