Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 9 August 2020

North London derby: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang goal ensures Arsenal and Tottenham share the spoils

Goals from Eriksen and Kane had given Spurs a 2-0 lead before Lacazette and Aubameyang struck back for Arsenal

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang atoned for his missed penalty the last time he faced Tottenham Hotspur with the equalising goal to secure a point for Arsenal in a pulsating North London derby.

Aubameyang saw his last-minute penalty saved in March's corresponding fixture at the home of Arsenal's bitter rivals. But the Gabon striker's 71st-minute goal at the Emirates ensured a share of the spoils in the 186th meeting between these two old enemies.

Tottenham found themselves two up against the run of play. Christian Eriksen, whose future at the club dominated headlines going into this match, opened the scoring before Harry Kane made it 2-0 from the penalty spot. It was the Spurs striker's 10th goal in this fixture to equal Bobby Smith's record, before Alexandre Lacazette reduced the arrears in first-half injury time.

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"I think in the first half we we deserved to score two goals," Aubameyang told Sky Sports. "We did a great job. It was a tough game and we deserved more."

Arsenal started the brighter of the two teams with Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe operating either side of Lacazette in a three-pronged attack that seemed to cause constant panic in the Spurs defence.

But as exciting as they were up front, the brittle nature of Arsenal's defence was ruthlessly exposed by Spurs' first attack on 10 minutes.

Kane flicked on a header to Son Heung-min with David Luiz woefully out of position. The South Korean fed the advancing Erik Lamela whose tame shot was spilled by Bernd Leno. A day after Roberto Firmino became the first Brazilian to 50 Premier League goals, Eriksen became the first Dane to that landmark with the simplest of tap ins.

The mere sight of Eriksen in the starting line-up was a fillip to Spurs fans. The playmaker is out of contract next summer and is reluctant to pen fresh terms.

Reports of a move to Spain, with La Liga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid both linked, have been a fixture over the summer, but with the European transfer deadline closing on Monday, Spurs are holding out hope the great Dane will spend at least the first half of the 2019/20 season in Tottenham white.

If Unai Emery was at a loss to explain his side being a goal down the Arsenal manager could point the finger of blame squarely at his captain for the concession of a second.

Granit Xhaka's reckless challenge on Son saw Spurs awarded a penalty. Kane, who scored from the spot in both of last season's corresponding fixtures, stepped up to send Leno the wrong way.

In truth the scoreline flattered Spurs but Arsenal reduced the arrears before the break through live-wire Lacazette. The Frenchman had been denied by his compatriot Hugo Lloris moments earlier but the Arsenal striker's left-foot pile-driver two minutes into injury time was hit with such venom it seemed to sum up Arsenal's collective frustration at finding themselves trailing their bitter rivals.

Arsenal started the second half how they finished the first – laying siege to Lloris' goal. Matteo Guendouzi forced the Spurs goalkeeper into a low save and Sead Kolasinac was inches away from connecting with Lacazette's flick from the resulting corner.

Kane rattled the upright with a stinging drive while Aubameyang had claims for a penalty waved away. Substitute Dani Ceballos' saw a vicious long-range effort pushed over the bar before Aubameyang latched on to a Guendouzi cross to steer home his third goal of the campaign.

With the game now end-to-end goalmouth action, Sokratis Papastathopoulos thought he had scored the winning goal of for the Arsenal defender's effort to be correctly ruled out for offside against Kolasinac by VAR.

Kane's late shout for a penalty after tumbling in the area under a Papastathopoulos was given short shrift by referee Martin Atkinson.

"I'm a little disappointed. When you go 2-0 up you expect to win whoever you are playing," Kane told Sky Sports. "The goal before half time changed the momentum. Second half it was two teams going for the win. They were on top at times but we still had chances. All in all, it is a point and we need to accept it."

Updated: September 1, 2019 10:15 PM

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