George Graham praised the sporting manner in which the 64<sup>th</sup> League meeting at White Hart Lane between Arsenal and Spurs was played.
Last season’s encounter was a bad-tempered affair which saw Freddie Ljungberg and Martin Keown dismissed during Spurs’ 2-1 triumph. On Monday, only three cards were brandished by referee Jeff Winter — none of them red — in the direction of Les Ferdinand, Tim Sherwood and Arsenal’s Robert Pires.
"I thought the players handled it very well," said George. "It was competitive and played in a good sporting manner. It was nice to see after fouls players picking each other up and shaking hands. I thought it was good, played in a very good spirit."
Late in the game it appeared that George was taking Yuletide spirit to the extreme by issuing instructions to both Stephen Clemence and former charge Lee Dixon.
"That what I was trying to do — give two team talks for the price of one! A little bit of humour every now and then helps.
"I was giving Clemence a tactical talk and he wanted to know what I said. But he should know anyway, he’s heard it for long enough."
I thought the players were very good tonight, it was a competitive match and the players joined in with that good team spirit. It was nice to see — being very competitive without going overboard about it.