Premier League: Arsenal 2 Tottenham 2
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Honours finished even in the first north London derby of the season at the Emirates Stadium as Arsenal came from two goals down.
Following plenty of speculation about a move away from Spurs, Christian Eriksen gave the visitors a lead that was doubled by Harry Kane from the penalty spot.
But Alexandre Lacazette halved the deficit before the break and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang levelled as the Gunners poured forward in the second half, but could not force a winnner.
Only one point had separated the two sides last season, while both had suffered final heartache in Europe, but Spurs arrived at the Emirates Stadium having learned of their Champions League group stage draw on Thursday night, while Arsenal discovered their Europa League opponents the following day.
Despite the balance of power having shifted in recent years, the hosts were considered favourites for this meeting and less than a minute had been played when Aubameyang's backheel pass sent Sead Kolasinac into space on the left and his cross found Nicolas Pepe, who fired over from the edge of the box.
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And Ainsley Maitland-Niles saw a drive blocked by Kane, when a corner from the left was only half-cleared on five minutes.
Kane was left looking at referee Martin Atkinson after a challenge from David Luiz at the other end, as the visitors struggled to get any possession in the opening exchanges.
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And Spurs had a let-off in the 10th minute when a poor kick from Hugo Lloris was nodded back for Lacazette, who scuffed his shot beyond the far post.
But seconds later and they had the lead totally against the run of play as a better kick downfield from Lloris was headed on by Kane and Heung-Min Son played in Erik Lamela, whose angled shot was pushed out by Bernd Leno into the path of Eriksen for the simplest of tap-ins inside the six-yard box.
The Gunners had a great chance to hit back as Kolsanic got in behind makeshift right-back Davinson Sanchez, only to stumble in the box and see his scuffed cross smothered at the near post by a grateful Lloris.
And a more lively-looking Spurs then saw Eriksen sting the palms of Leno on the quarter-hour mark, after cutting inside from the left and letting fly from 25 yards.
Leno was at full stretch to fingertip a curling shot from Son past the far post, following another lightning counter-attack from the visitors after Pepe and Lacazette were crowded out at the other end, to serve warning to the home side.
Aubameyang did well midway through the half to dig out a cross from the left to the far post where Pepe's header was blocked behind for a corner, with Torreira slashing an 18-yard shot wide after Jan Vertonghen's clearing header from the set-piece.
And Lacazette won a free-kick in a central position some 30 yards from goal, after coaxing Toby Alderweireld into a clumsy challenge, only for Pepe to curl his effort a couple of feet wide of the left-hand post.
Lacazette was then on the receiving end of a foul from Danny Rose, following a mix-up from a Tottenham goal kick, which saw the England international shown the first yellow card of the afternoon.
But Pepe's inswinging delivery was headed behind by Kane, as Luiz lurked behind the Spurs striker, and the subsequent corner was also put over his own crossbar by Alderweireld.
Lamela was booked for a tug on the shirt of Kolasinac as the Serbian looked to advance on the left once more, but another Arsenal corner came to nothing.
And Kane then forced Leno into another half-save, with Son retrieving the loose ball near the byline and trying to set up another chance, before the Gunners worked it clear.
Lacazette was guilty of a foul on Lamela, 30 yards out, and after Eriksen's free-kick called Leno into action again, with the German pushing the ball wide, Winks picked out Son, who was taken down by Xhaka to concede a penalty.
Kane sent Leno the wrong way from the spot to double Tottenham's lead five minutes ahead of the interval, with a 10th goal in north London derbies putting him alongside Emmanuel Adebayor and Bobby Smith and leaving Arsenal with a mountain to climb.
Maitland-Niles did well to tee up Pepe, whose low shot in a crowded box was saved and gathered at the second attempt by Lloris, and Aubameyang drew a foul from Moussa Sissoko on the left corner of the box in the final minute of the half.
And although Lacazette's free-kick was pushed out by Lloris and claims for handball against Rose were ignored by Atkinson, the Gunners got the ball back and Pepe found Lacazette, whose quick feet set up the chance to smash it into the net.
The goal gave Arsenal renewed hope for the second half and Lacazette saw a header saved by Lloris within a minute of the restart, before some indecision from the Spurs keeper, under pressure from Pepe, almost gifted Aubameyang a shooting chance moments later.
Spurs rallied, with Son seeing a deflected left-footed shot tipped behind by Leno, but Arsenal went close to levelling when some patient passing ended with Matteo Guendouzi sweeping a right-footed shot towards the bottom corner of the net, where Lloris pushed it behind.
Lacazette's glancing header from the resulting corner was toe-ended behind by Kolasinac, with Aubameyang poised behind him, and Eriksen was booked for stopping Arsenal from taking a quick free-kick on halfway, as the hosts tried to maintain a high tempo.
But they had to thank the woodwork just before the hour when Lamela and Eriksen's quick passing on the edge of the box set up a shooting chance for Kane, whose angled drive thudded back off the far post.
Aubameyang had appeals for a penalty ignored after going to ground under the challenge of Sanchez, before Lacazette picked up a booking for stopping a Spurs counter-attack and the Gunners sent on Dani Ceballos for Torreira.
And the Spaniard announced himself almost immediately with a stunning shot on the turn which dipped and forced Lloris to turn the ball over the crossbar on 65 minutes.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan was sent on for Lacazette, who had signalled to the bench moments earlier, in Arsenal's second change and it was all square on 70 minutes as Guendouzi played an exquisite ball into the box and Aubameyang ghosted in behind Vertonghen to touch it past Lloris.
With the atmosphere now at fever pitch, Winks was booked for a foul on Guendouzi, with Xhaka letting fly from long range to force Lloris into a diving save.
And Pepe had a great chance to complete the comeback when a Ceballos corner was only half cleared to the edge of the box, but he sliced his effort wide.
Sanchez was shown yellow for a foul on Ceballos and the Gunners thought they had taken the lead from the free-kick as Kolasinac crossed into the six-yard box for Sokratis to bundle the ball home at the far post, but the full-back was a fraction offside when latching onto the pass.
And the hosts had another glimpse of goal when a poor Sanchez header dropped to Mkhitaryan, who could not profit, and Xhaka found Pepe, whose shot flew wide.
A bulldozing run out of defence by Sokratis was ended by Winks on the touchline and led to a coming together of players from both sides, with the Greek centre-back earning the seventh yellow card of the match.
And Xhaka was next into Atkinson's book for a tug on Kane on halfway - his seventh foul of the match as it ticked into five minutes of stoppage time.
Kane went down in the box under pressure from Sokratis but Atkinson was not buying it and when the Spurs striker teed up Sissoko on a last-gasp counter, he flashed his shot high over the crossbar.
Arsenal: Leno, Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Luiz, Kolasinac; Guendouzi, Xhaka, Torreira (Ceballos 63); Aubameyang, Lacazette (Mkhitaryan 67), Pepe.
Unused subs: Ozil, Chambers, Nelson, Martinez, Willock.
Tottenham: Lloris, D Sanchez, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Sissoko, Winks, Lamela (Alli 60), Eriksen; Son (Lo Celso 79), Kane.
Unused subs: Gazzaniga, Aurier, Lucas Moura, Skipp, Davies.