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Report: Spurs 1-1 Arsenal

Posted on 15 December 2002  - 12:00

English Barclays Premiership

This was the derby that got away.

So hurt by the events in the 3-0 defeat at Highbury last month and so determined to put things right, the lads couldn't have done more but were denied maximum points by a penalty late in the first half.

We created the best chances throughout, had two efforts cleared off the line by Ashley Cole and restricted Thierry Henry and co to the occasional attack on the break.

All in all, pride was restored from that Highbury hell and the only thing missing was the full quota of points the performance deserved.

The first half was as good as it gets - until the 44th minute.

A goal, a penalty appeal waved away, two attempts cleared off the line and a crunching 50-50 between Sheringham and Seaman were the highlights of a pulsating half we dominated until a penalty just a minute before the break handed the visitors a share of the spoils.

The intensity of the contest and backing of the home fans was something to behold.

Seaman had already deflected a wicked Ziege cross wide with his legs when the game exploded in the 10th minute.

Poyet's tumble in the box with a helping hand from Parlour went unpunished but it was soon 1-0 thanks to a magnificent free-kick from Ziege, curling away from Seaman from a central position fully 30 yards out.

It could have been two within minutes as the towering Richards beat Seaman to Anderton's corner only for Cole to head his effort off the line.

Parlour flashed Arsenal's first serious attempt wide but we were soon on the charge again as first Seaman gathered bravely in a crunching 50-50 with Sheringham and then Cole rescued the Gunners again, this time after a bulldozing Carr run into the box created havoc and Sheringham's vision left Keane with Lauren and Cole between him and the goal - Cole hacked the sidefoot off the line.

After a couple of half-chances at either end, Arsenal finally found their passing game and Henry's diving header from close range forced a fine reaction save from Keller.

Unfortunately the American tasted the highs and lows within minutes as he charged out to gather at Henry's feet at the right corner, brought him down, picked up a yellow card and was then helpless as Pires drilled home the spot kick.

The second half could never sustain the intensity of the first period and while the Gunners came back into it slightly more in terms of possession we had the better chances.

The best of those fell to Keane just after the hour when the Irish star met Poyet's flick with a full-blooded volley just 10 yards out but Seaman was there to block.

Keane also went through on goal but didn't quite manage to bring a tricky long pass under control and Poyet's poke at goal from Freund's long throw went agonisingly wide.

At the other end, Richards and his defence handled the growing threat of an Arsenal breakaway well and when they did get through, Ljungberg opted to square instead of shoot.

MINUTE BY MINUTE GUIDE (press refresh for regular updates)

5mins: Wicked Ziege cross after short corner with Anderton somehow deflected clear by Seaman's right foot with Keane lurking for tap in.

10mins: PENALTY? Claims waved away by referee Neale Barry after Parlour appeared to shove Poyet in the back.

11mins: GOAL. Magnificent curling free-kick by Ziege into top right corner from 30 yards. 1-0.

12mins: Fierce strike from Keane blocked by Cole.

13mins: OFF LINE. Richards beat Seaman in the air to Anderton's hanging corner but bullet header from only six yards headed off line by Cole.

24mins: Parlour 30-yarder flashed just wide.

30mins: Crunching 50-50 between Seaman and Sheringham after Keane shot deflected in-between them.

30mins: OFF LINE. Cole again to Arsenal's rescue after surging Carr run took him through three challenges and Sheringham vision left Keane with just Lauren and Cole between him and goal.

31mins: Poyet shot comfortably saved low to his right by Seaman.

37mins: Henry volleyed difficult chance wide from Lauren's low cross.

38mins: Keane cut in from left but attempted curler from left side of area straight at Seaman.

42mins: SAVE. Arsenal's best move of the half released Ljungberg down the right, whipped in cross met by Henry's diving header at near post, superb reaction save to his left.

44mins: PENALTY/YELLOW. Keller rushed out to meet breaking Henry, right corner of area, brought him down. Penalty awarded, Keller showed yellow card, Pires drilled in spot kick. 1-1.

Half-time: Spurs 1-1 Arsenal

51mins: Delightful skill from Henry to wriggle away from three defenders but Richards did enough to deny Bergkamp.

58mins: Keane broke free of offside trap, difficult ball to control, Seaman out and striker forced wide.

61mins: Pires carved out good chance but Ljungberg opted to squad to Bergkamp rather than shoot and ball cleared.

62mins: SAVE/YELLOW. Seaman stayed big to block close-range Keane volley from Poyet's flick. Sheringham booked for follow up tackle on Keown.

67mins: Freund cross controlled by Poyet, instant poke at goal from 15 yards just wide.

70mins: SUBS. Davies for Anderton, Wiltord for Bergkamp.

72mins: YELLOW. Freund for foul on Parlour.

75mins: Keane away again, left-side of pitch, burst into box but no-one there for cutback.

78mins: Poyet inches away from Carr's cross.

79mins: SUB. Van Bronckhorst for Pires.

81mins: YELLOW. Lauren for foul on Keane.

82mins: Gilberto wasted quickfire Arsenal break by failing to control Henry's pass in box.

86mins: SUB. Toure for Ljungberg.

87mins: Freund's long throw fell to Poyet but shot blocked by several bodies.

88mins: YELLOW. Parlour for foul on Poyet.

88mins: Ziege free-kick found its way to Sheringham at far post but couldn't control header.

Line-ups: Spurs: Keller, Carr, Ziege, Bunjevcevic, King, Richards, Freund, Anderton (Davies, 70), Poyet, Keane, Sheringham. Subs: Hirschfeld, Perry, Iversen, Clemence.

Arsenal: Seaman, Cole, Keown, Pires (Van Bronckhorst), Ljungberg (Toure, 86), Bergkamp (Wiltord, 70), Lauren, Henry, Parlour, Silva, Campbell. Subs: Taylor, Upson.

Attendance: 36,076.