Substitute Gibbs secures Arsenal draw with Tottenham in north London derby
Arsenal 1 Tottenham 1
Arsenal substitute Kieran Gibbs scored his first Premier League in almost three years to ensure the spoils were shared in the north London derby.
Left-back Gibbs replaced Joel Campbell in an attacking role and netted the equaliser just four minutes later to cancel out Harry Kane’s first-half opener for Tottenham.
That means Spurs are still searching for their first victory at the Emirates since 2010 – although the result also denied Arsenal the opportunity to dislodge Manchester City at the top of the table.
Arsenal enjoyed more of the play in a lively, bustling start but, despite the creative talents of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, they failed to trouble Hugo Lloris in the slightest.
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The visitors appeared to grow stronger as the first half wore on and such chances as there were fell their way, with Eric Dier peeling off at the far post to meet Christian Eriksen’s cross but heading wide.
The breakthrough arrived on 32 minutes as Danny Rose swept a ball into space behind the floundering Per Mertesacker and Kane ran on to tuck it calmly beyond Petr Cech for his sixth goal in four games.
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Arsenal might have hit back when Santi Cazorla and Joel Campbell combined to set up Sanchez, but Toby Alderweireld’s challenge snuffed out the danger.
At the other end, Kane had another effort beaten away by Cech and Eriksen went close to extending Spurs’ lead at the start of the second half, drilling one across goal that deflected off Mathieu Flamini and wide.
By then, Lloris had finally been called into action, diving to claw away Campbell’s left-foot drive – and the Gunners were unfortunate not to level soon afterwards when Olivier Giroud’s header shaved the crossbar.
Giroud was presented with another golden opportunity to equalise on the hour mark when he got behind Dier to meet Ozil’s corner with his head – only to direct the ball wide from close range.
Yet Tottenham might well have put the game to bed, carving the home defence open first for Eriksen, who was foiled by Cech, and then Kane, who dragged the chance wide.
A superb reaction stop from Cech then denied Alderweireld with a close-range header – but the Gunners’ saviour arrived 13 minutes from time in the unlikely form of Gibbs.
The England international raced to the far post ahead of Kyle Walker to meet Ozil’s flighted cross and did enough to scramble it over the line via the woodwork, despite the best efforts of Lloris.
And it was all Arsenal in the closing stages, with Lloris diving to his right to keep out another Giroud header, but the visitors did enough to secure a point that was the least they deserved.
Arsenal: Cech; Debuchy (Arteta 78), Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Cazorla (Flamini 45), Coquelin; Campbell (Gibbs 73), Ozil, Sanchez; Giroud.
Tottenham: Lloris; Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Dier, Alli (Mason 82); Lamela (Son 75), Dembele, Eriksen (Onomah 90); Kane.