Equaliser key - Jan
08 February 2015|Tottenham Hotspur
Jan Vertonghen admitted he knew after 45 minutes that getting off the mark would tip the North London derby in our favour.
One slip-up in an otherwise highly impressive first half performance allowed Arsenal to go in at the break 1-0 up on Saturday, Mesut Ozil firing home just 11 minutes into the contest.
But for defender Jan, who once again combined with youngster Eric Dier to tremendous effect at centre-half, the manner in which we were playing left no doubt in his mind that we could mount a comeback in the second period.
And that we did – Harry Kane’s brace completing a 2-1 victory in a similarly energetic second half performance amid a bristling atmosphere at White Hart Lane!
“It was a brilliant game for us – we started very well but their goal came out of nothing,” said Jan. “We were the better team for 90 minutes and we said at half-time that if we scored we’d 100 per cent go on and win this game.
“We knew we just had to score that first one and towards the end of the first half we were very on top. I don’t think I’ve seen us have more attempts on goal in a game since I’ve been here.”
Naturally, Jan was full of praise for man of the moment Harry – the in-form hitman taking his season’s tally to 22 in all competitions with his endeavours against our rivals.
But the Belgian international also reserved praise for our midfielders for the way they helped us restrict the Gunners to just the occasional opening.
“Harry deserves the headlines,” Jan added. “It was a brilliant header to win the game. He scores goals on his left foot, right foot and with his head.
“He is a brilliant striker and if he can keep doing this he’ll be one of the best strikers around. It’s great to have him in our team.
“We have a good team to support him as well. We tried to be positive today and put pressure on their midfielders because that’s where their strength is.
“Our midfield did brilliantly and didn’t give them any space to play.
“We were the one team that tried to play in a positive way. We had to be careful of their runners though – their goal was 80 per cent Danny Welbeck’s goal and we knew if we kept track of them we had a chance to win the game.
“It was maybe the best London derby I’ve played in – certainly the best atmosphere. The fans kept supporting us even when we were behind and that gave the team a lot of strength.”