Arsenal dispel chokers tag to hang on against Tottenham in derby thriller


By the end it almost felt like Arsenal needed an ‘in-game choke’ like this to prove that they are chokers no more.

Or so they will hope because this was the one where they nearly threw away their Premier League title hopes. It was as brutal and sudden as that.

At the final whistle they held on for another famous win and rushed to their joyous fans as they celebrated with the PA announcer inside the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium feeling compelled to turn up the volume to try and drown out the noise.

Back-to-back victories at the home of your noisiest neighbours, for the first time in 36 years, are not to be taken lightly and despite the scare Arsenal fully know the importance of this victory.

They found a way and, significantly, it was not just the points that were on the mind of Bukayo Saka, who scored to become the first Arsenal player to do so – home and away – against Spurs in the league in the same season since Ian Wright in 1993-94.

“Maybe last season that could have ended in a draw and we showed we have the experience,” Saka argued as Arsenal contrived to allow a commanding 3-0 advantage to be reduced to 3-2 with three minutes plus six minutes of added time to play.

Saka’s words revealed that the accusation of chokers – levelled against Arsenal last season – is in their minds. Indeed, there were clear parallels to be drawn with what happened last year when Mikel Areta’s side raced into two goal leads away to Liverpool and away to West Ham United and ended up drawing both times.

On this occasion their advantage was greater but when Son Heung-min scored from the penalty spot the fear was just the same. Only days after the 20th anniversary of when Arsenal won the league at White Hart Lane, their last title triumph, they were in danger of losing it at Spurs’ stadium.

That game also finished in a 2-2 draw as Spurs came from 2-0 down but it was not enough to prevent Arsenal being crowned champions. This time they held Spurs off and, actually, in the nine minutes after Son’s goal they ended up seeing out the game pretty comfortably which will have encouraged them and Arteta.

Interestingly it was two of Arsenal’s additions last summer – who were therefore not involved in the previous title challenge and are therefore new to this – who were to blame for Spurs’ goals. Goalkeeper David Raya was horrendously at fault for the first as he miscued a chipped pass sending it straight to Cristian Romero who beat him from the edge of the penalty area.

Then Rice made a clumsy attempted clearance and volleyed Ben Davies, rather than the ball, although it was alarming that referee Michael Oliver initially missed it and only awarded the spot-kick after being urged to check the pitchside monitor by VAR Jarred Gillett.

Before the game Arteta revealed he had spoken to Arsène Wenger about the challenges of a title race with the obvious conclusion: it is simply about finding a way to win especially at this critical time of the campaign.

Arsenal did that and in doing so, of course, damaged Spurs’ hopes of securing a top four place and with it Champions League football. Finding the way to win here was simple: prey on the obvious weaknesses of a rival.

Arsenal did not even need the ball that often to do so. They had three goals in the first-half and secured them with just 28.8 per cent possession as they depended on set-pieces and counter-attacks – two areas of the game where Spurs are at their most vulnerable.

It is a curiosity for their head coach Ange Postecoglou that he possesses two of the most admired centre-halves in the league in Romero and Micky van de Ven but does not have the expected defensive organisation.

The Arsenal goals were simply shocking to concede. It was unfortunate that Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg headed a corner into his own net but was he really under the kind of pressure to make such a mistake? It did not appear so.

Then Spurs were just slow and naïvely over-committed as they were cut through with the impressive Kai Havertz quickly switching play to find Saka who was suddenly one-on-one with Davies. There would be only one outcome as Saka claimed his 15th league goal of the season; his best-ever return.

Bukayo Saka
Bukayo Saka reels away in celebration after scoring Arsenal's second goal of the game - Getty Images/Rob Newell

For Spurs, the third was even worse as Havertz was allowed to head home from just three yards out from another corner. Where did his marker Dejan Kulusevski go? Why did goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario stay rooted to his line to re-open the debate over whether he dominates his area enough?

Yes, at 1-0 Romero headed against the post from close-range. And, yes, Van de Ven had an effort ruled out for a tight offside call, after a VAR check, when it was the same score. But Spurs were the architects of their own downfall.

That is not to criticise Arsenal. They can only exploit their opponents’ errors and did so with an efficiency and ruthlessness and may have prevented any kind of comeback had Saka’s volley not been superbly turned away by Vicario with his legs.

But they did let Spurs back in and, with three games to go and presumably needing to win them all, that has to be a concern. Where there is encouragement – though – is that they did not capitulate with Raya and Rice brushing aside their own errors to make vital contributions in those last few minutes.

It may not be enough. But it certainly helped dispel that charge of being chokers. It could have, it probably should have, been a draw. But Arsenal showed the resolve of winners to hold on.

Tottenham vs Arsenal: as it happened . . .

04:58 PM BST

Arsenal celebrate important north London derby win

04:54 PM BST

Postecoglou speaking to Sky

“We allowed them way too easy access to our goals, they got there three or four times and scored three goals in the first half. It’s unacceptable at this level and we paid a price for it against a very good team.

“We’re not as resilient as we can be, particularly in a transition moment or at a set-piece. They’re a good side and they’re going to punish if you don’t show that steel protecting your own goal and we didn’t today.”

On Tottenham’s second-half fightback:

“We showed resilience, we fought back. We had to because there’s no other choice. We couldn’t come out in the second half and not give our supporters a little bit of hope. We did that, but still very disappointing.”

04:48 PM BST

Ange Postecoglou talking to beIN Sports

04:48 PM BST

Quotes from Mikel Arteta

04:45 PM BST

Martin Odegaard speaking to beIN Sports

04:34 PM BST

Home and away

04:27 PM BST

Importance of set-pieces

Arsenal scored two goals from corners this afternoon so you could argue set-pieces proved to be the difference. Our very own Sam Dean has been taking a look at how Arsenal took advantage of their set-pieces to win the north London derby.

04:22 PM BST

Paul Merson on Sky

“Very nervy ending - all because of the goalkeeper. A bad mistake and it causes drama. There’s no need for it. The only reason Spurs got back into it was because of the goalie.

“It could have gone pear [shaped]. But other than that, I thought Arsenal were very, very good.”

04:22 PM BST

Over to Manchester City

Arsenal’s win takes them four points clear of second place Manchester City, who now have two games in hand. Their game at Nottingham Forest kicks off in just under 10 minutes time and you can follow all the live action here.

04:19 PM BST

FT on the south coast

It has finished at the Vitality Stadium where Bournemouth have run out easy winners against Brighton. Goals from Senesi, Unal and Kluivert have led Andoni Iraola’s team to a comfortable 3-0 victory. Bournemouth are up to 10th, Brighton are 12th.

04:17 PM BST

Bukayo Saka speaking to Sky

“That last 20 minutes wasn’t nice but it was worth it. We know it’s a big derby and they don’t want to lose three-nil at home. Once they got one, the crowd was up, they were up. The momentum shifted their way but I’m proud of all the boys. We fought to the end and got the three points.

“We just needed to be calm. Everything was quite frantic but we showed our level heads at the end and got the win. It was a very nice moment at the end with the fans. We know what it means to them and what it means to us, so we are delighted. It means everything. We’ve got three games to go and we are going to give it everything and see where it leaves us.

“Now it’s shower, get on the bus, put the [Man City] game on and hope for the best!

“City are an amazing team but they’re not perfect. No-one is perfect. They can drop points. We just need to do our job and see where it leaves us. Maybe last season that game could have needed in a draw but we showed that we have the experience now. We can come here and get three points, even when the stakes are high and it’s a massive game.”

04:14 PM BST

Consecutive away north London wins for Arsenal

04:13 PM BST

Arsenal celebrate important victory

04:12 PM BST


As the Arsenal players ran in celebration towards the away end, the stadium DJ turned up the volume to drown them out. Superb pettiness. That’s what derbies are all about.

04:10 PM BST

Expected goals

The expected goals statistic was massively in Tottenham’s favour today but Arsenal are the ones taking all the points.

04:07 PM BST

Premier League table

04:06 PM BST

Milestone win for Arteta

03:58 PM BST


There is the full-time whistle and Arsenal hold on, just.

03:58 PM BST

90+6 mins: Tottenham 2 Arsenal 3

Vicario is up but Arsenal hold off for now.

03:57 PM BST

90+5 mins: Tottenham 2 Arsenal 3

Son sends in a cross from the left which Raya punches away. Arsenal are hanging on now, desperate for the whistle now.

Tottenham now have a corner with seconds remaining...

03:56 PM BST

90+4 mins: Tottenham 2 Arsenal 3

The ball is sent in but Arsenal clear. VAR might want to have a look at that incident but it is play on for now.

03:56 PM BST

90+3 mins: Tottenham 2 Arsenal 3

Porro’s delivery comes off Saliba’s head and goes behind for a corner. Two and a half minutes remaining...

03:55 PM BST

90+3 mins: Tottenham 2 Arsenal 3

Tottenham have a free-kick in a good position on the left...

03:52 PM BST

90 mins: Tottenham 2 Arsenal 3

Arsenal come very close to scoring again from a corner but van de Ven manages to head away.

There will be six added minutes.

The boos around the stadium at video replays of that Declan Rice moment were intense. Absolute incredulity that Michael Oliver, standing directly beside the incident, did not see fit to point to the spot first time after Rice slammed his boot into Ben Davies. Arsenal faced so many claims 12 months ago that they had ‘bottled’ the title race run-in. They have six minutes of added time to avoid attracting the same headlines.

03:51 PM BST

88 mins: Tottenham 2 Arsenal 3

Straight from the kick-off Richarlison and Gabriel are involved in a collision as Richarlison charges into Gabriel, who was attempting to block the Tottenham man,

Changes for both sides as Lo Celso replaces Davies for Tottenham and Kiwior comes on for Odegaard for the visitors.

03:49 PM BST

GOAL! Son scores from the spot

Raya goes the right way but the penalty is emphatic into the left corner. 3-2 and Arsenal fans and players will be very, very nervous.

Three minutes of normal time plus added time remaining. Game well and truly back on.

Son celebrates scoring his penalty
Son (pictured) gives Tottenham hope of a dramatic comeback - Paul Childs/Reuters

03:48 PM BST

Penalty Tottenham

Michael Oliver did not spend much time at the screen and rightly awards a penalty. It is a huge surprise that Oliver did not get it right in the first place as he was stood just a few metres away with great sight of it. Son to take...

VAR checks for a foul by Declan Rice on Ben Davies
Clear penalty! - Telegraph

03:47 PM BST

VAR check

Rice swings his leg and hits Davies. Michael Oliver has been sent to the screen...

VAR checks for a possible penalty
VAR checks for a possible penalty - Zac Goodwin/PA

03:46 PM BST

84 mins: Tottenham 1 Arsenal 3

Tottenham are screaming for a penalty. Davies goes down after contact with Rice but Michael Oliver waves it away. VAR must check this as it looks a certain penalty...

03:45 PM BST

83 mins: Tottenham 1 Arsenal 3

Tottenham break from an Arsenal free-kick through Son and Partey takes him down. One of the easiest bookings for Michael Oliver to give and Partey is shown the yellow card.

03:43 PM BST

81 mins: Tottenham 1 Arsenal 3

Davies has just fouled Saka and escaped without a booking but moments later he is not so lucky. He takes out the Arsenal forward and Michael Oliver has no doubt in his mind and books the Tottenham and Wales left-back.

03:42 PM BST

79 mins: Tottenham 1 Arsenal 3

It was Bill Nicholson who reputedly told his Tottenham players: “There are only two games you need to win all season, and they are both against Arsenal.” This history can hardly be lost on Ange Postecoglou, the keenest student of the game, but as it stands his maiden campaign as manager will end without him winning either of his North London derbies. Suddenly, the love-in that greeted the Australian’s honeymoon period, with refrains here of “I’m loving Big Ange instead” to the tune of Robbie Williams’ Angels, seems a very long time ago.

03:40 PM BST

77 mins: Tottenham 1 Arsenal 3

Kulusevski is booked by referee Michael Oliver for a push on Martinelli as the Arsenal forward went down the left-hand side.

03:38 PM BST

76 mins: Tottenham 1 Arsenal 3

Tomiyasu fouls Johnson on the right-hand side and Tottenham have a good chance to whip the ball into the box as we enter the final quarter. Porro sends in the delivery but Arsenal clear their lines.

03:33 PM BST

71 mins: Tottenham 1 Arsenal 3

At 4.30pm Manchester City take on Nottingham Forest at the City Ground and the team news has just dropped. Erling Haaland is back from injury for Manchester City on the bench but Phil Foden is not in the squad at all. You can follow that game live here.

03:31 PM BST

69 mins: Tottenham 1 Arsenal 3

Odegaard thinks he is about to lay it on a plate for Havertz around six yards out but Romero makes a crucial interception to deny Arsenal.

03:29 PM BST

67 mins: Tottenham 1 Arsenal 3

Johnson tries to feed a pass into Richarlison in the right-hand channel but it is slightly too heavy and runs through to Raya. The game and atmosphere have changed.

03:27 PM BST

GOAL! Tottenham get one back

Is the game completely over? Romero has had four chances today and finally he takes one. It is an horrendous mistake from Raya who, under no pressure, gives the ball straight to Romero who, for some reason, is high up the pitch. He slots it past Raya to give the home side a little bit of hope.

Cristian Romero celebrates Tottenham's goal
Cristian Romero (pictured) gets a goal back for Tottenham - Paul Childs/Reuters

03:25 PM BST

63 mins: Tottenham 0 Arsenal 3

One change for Arsenal as Martinelli replaces Trossard.

Tottenham are making a double change as Richarlison and Bissouma come on for Maddison and Hojbjerg.

Both teams make substitutions
Changes for both sides - Dylan Martinez/Reuters

03:24 PM BST

62 mins: Tottenham 0 Arsenal 3

Arsenal have a corner on the right which Saka will take. His delivery is too heavy and goes out for a goal-kick on the other side.

Both sides are preparing changes.

03:18 PM BST

56 mins: Tottenham 0 Arsenal 3

After a good run down the left-hand side, Johnson wins a corner off White. Tottenham need a goal quickly if they have any hope of mounting a comeback. The corner is headed away and the chance is gone.

03:16 PM BST

54 mins: Tottenham 0 Arsenal 3

That really could have been game over with no doubt about it. Havertz chips a ball to the far post, where Saka strikes it first-time. Vicario does well to make the save and it goes behind for a corner.

Arsenal have already scored from two corners but they will not make it three there as Rice’s delivery is headed away at the near post.

03:14 PM BST

52 mins: Tottenham 0 Arsenal 3

Odegaard gives the ball away in his own half and Kulusevski drives into the Arsenal box. He goes down but Michael Oliver is having none of that.

Dejan Kulusevski goes down inside the Arsenal box
Tottenham want a penalty but nothing given - Dylan Martinez/Reuters

03:13 PM BST

51 mins: Tottenham 0 Arsenal 3

Chance for Tottenham. Kulusevski sends in a dangerous cross from the right and Raya comes out of his goal thinking he can get to it first and punch it away. But he does not get to it first, but Romero does. His header goes just over the bar and he probably should have buried that chance. The Argentine has now had three big chances in this game but he has not taken any of them.

Cristian Romero heads towards goal
Cristian Romero (centre) misses his third good chance of the game - Dylan Martinez/Reuters

03:10 PM BST

47 mins: Tottenham 0 Arsenal 3

There are a number of empty seats at the start of the second half. That is probably fans still making their way back their seats from the toilets or getting a bit to eat but maybe some fans have had enough already.

On the field Rice whips in a cross from the right and the delivery finds Tomiyasu, around 14 yards out. His header goes just over Vicario’s bar.

03:07 PM BST

Second half

Tottenham are making a change at the break. Sarr has come on for Bentancur in the midfield for the home side. We are back under way at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

02:59 PM BST

Roy Keane on Sky

“Arsenal have been excellent. Spurs have dominated possession but Arsenal are very much in control of the game.

“We talked about the importance of set-pieces. Then they had the counter-attacking second goal. Spurs haven’t shown enough courage. Defensively, on set-pieces, they’ve got to do better.”

02:58 PM BST

Meanwhile on the south coast

There is one other Premier League game taking place at the moment. Bournemouth are 1-0 up at half-time against Brighton thanks to Marcos Senesi’s goal.

02:52 PM BST


Arsenal clear the corner and that is it for the first half. Arsenal are in complete control of the north London derby as they take a 3-0 lead into the break.

02:51 PM BST

45+6 mins: Tottenham 0 Arsenal 3

White initially heads away the corner but Tottenham keep it alive. Kulusevski sends in another cross which Johnson scuffs at the first attempt but wins another corner with his second..

02:50 PM BST

45+5 mins: Tottenham 0 Arsenal 3

Porro sends in a good cross from the right and White heads it behind for a Tottenham corner right at the end of this first half...

02:46 PM BST

45 mins: Tottenham 0 Arsenal 3

Huge chance for Son to get a goal back for the home side. The ball is lifted over the top of the Arsenal defence and Son gets on the end of it. He lifts the ball over Raya but it goes over the bar. A player of Son’s quality would expect to take that chance.

There are six added minutes at the end of this first half.

02:44 PM BST

43 mins: Tottenham 0 Arsenal 3

Tottenham will be wondering how this game has got away from them considering it has not actually been a one-sided game. They have been undone by two corners and the other Arsenal goal could have been ruled out for a foul which could have seen Tottenham be given a penalty. You would think just looking at the score that Arsenal have been utterly dominant but that would not be an accurate summary of the half.

02:39 PM BST

GOAL! Havertz makes it 3-0

Arsenal have already scored from a corner and you can now make it two goals from corners this afternoon. Rice whips in the corner from the left and at the near post Havertz heads past Vicario. Is that already game, set and match before half-time? You would think so.

Arsenal are known for their set-piece prowess but you wouldn’t describe their two goals from corners as genius moves. These are simply inswinging deliveries into the six-yard box. It’s not the first time Spurs have struggled with such situations this season.

Kai Havertz scores Arsenal's third goal
Arsenal 3-0 up before half-time in the north London derby - Zac Goodwin/PA

02:32 PM BST

31 mins: Tottenham 0 Arsenal 2

Tottenham were furious that the Saka goal stood as they wanted a penalty. Looking back at the replays Trossard does clip Kulusevski but the Swede tried to stay on his feet. It looks like it could have been a penalty but perhaps Kulusevski’s mistake was to try and stay on his feet, which should not determine whether it was a foul. It really does encourage players to go down as that is the only way to get a penalty.

Tottenham have been forced into a change as Werner has gone off injured so Johnson is on in his place.

For the second time in a week I have been at a game where all the exhilaration, all the joy, has been sucked out of the stadium by the most fractional of VAR calls. Victor Torp’s winner that never was for Coventry City threatens to live long in the memory, for all the wrong reasons. The annulment of Micky van de Ven’s equaliser for Tottenham brought much the same feeling. For a minute or more, supporters were united in joy everywhere you looked, until being plunged into dejection by a hair’s-breadth offside that they could not even see with the naked eye. VAR has become the ultimate mood-killer, with fans unsure whether they should celebrate anything any longer. Sweden, who have simply opted out, might have the right idea after all.

02:28 PM BST

GOAL! Saka doubles Arsenal’s advantage

Arsenal are 2-0 up but the Tottenham players and fans are furious. They want a penalty down one end and Arsenal then go down the other and score their second. Havertz switches play from the left to right with a long diagonal ball to Saka. Inside the Tottenham box Saka cuts inside Davies and curls into the far corner past Vicario. The goal stands and Arsenal are 2-0 up.

Bukayo Saka celebrates Arsenal's second goal
Bukayo Saka (pictured) doubles Arsenal's lead - Zac Goodwin/PA

02:25 PM BST

No goal

It is narrowly offside and the goal is chalked off. That was tight but Tottenham’s equaliser does not stand.

02:24 PM BST

VAR check

This is very, very close...

VAR checks for an offside
Tottenham think they are level, but... - Paul Childs/Reuters

02:23 PM BST

GOAL! Tottenham level through van de Ven

Since Arsenal took the lead, it has been all Tottenham and they are now level. Porro’s shot from outside the box is blocked but it falls to van de Ven in the box. He has a simple chance to bring Tottenham level and he takes it. But, will it stand? It looks like he might be offside.

Micky van de Ven celebrates what he thinks is an equaliser for Tottenham
Micky van de Ven (pictured) thinks he gets Tottenham level - Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

02:21 PM BST

21 mins: Tottenham 0 Arsenal 1

Romero hits the post. Maddison finds the Argentine at the far post with a lovely delivery but Romero’s header from no more than three yards out comes back off the post. Two huge chances for Romero and Tottenham in a couple of minutes.

Cristian Romero hits the post
Cristian Romero (centre) hits the post - Paul Childs/Reuters

02:20 PM BST

20 mins: Tottenham 0 Arsenal 1

Tottenham have a free-kick in a good position on the left as White barges into the back of Maddison...

02:19 PM BST

19 mins: Tottenham 0 Arsenal 1

Tottenham have their first corner of the game as Bentancur’s cross from the right is headed behind by White before it reached Werner.

Maddison whips it in and Romero wins the header, but his effort goes narrowly wide of the far post. That was a huge chance for Tottenham to immediately hit back.

02:16 PM BST

GOAL! Arsenal take early lead

Arsenal are ahead inside the opening quarter of an hour and it is an own goal. It all stems from Tottenham giving the ball away deep in their own half and then conceding a corner. Saka’s delivery to the near post comes off Hojbjerg’s head and it goes past Vicario. An own goal gives Mikel Arteta’s side the lead.

Interesting to note the reaction of the Arsenal players to that opening goal. All of the outfielders had a huddle near the corner flag, apart from Martin Odegaard. The Arsenal captain was instead called to the touchline by Arteta, who clearly had some tactical instructions he wanted to share.

Arsenal take the lead in the north London derby
Arsenal take the lead in the north London derby - Charlotte Wilson/Getty Images

02:15 PM BST

13 mins: Tottenham 0 Arsenal 0

Arsenal have the ball in the back of the net but it will not count. Partey lifts the ball over the top to Odegaard, who plays it into the path of Havertz. The linesman’s offside flag goes up but referee Michael Oliver plays on. Havertz manages to squeeze the ball past Vicario but Oliver eventually gives the offside. The replays show it was very tight but Odegaard was narrowly offside.

02:12 PM BST

12 mins: Tottenham 0 Arsenal 0

Son lays the ball off to Maddison on the edge of the box but he skies his effort and his shot sails over the bar.

02:11 PM BST

11 mins: Tottenham 0 Arsenal 0

Odegaard takes but the Tottenham wall does its job and blocks the Arsenal captain’s effort.

02:10 PM BST

10 mins: Tottenham 0 Arsenal 0

Arsenal have a free-kick right on the edge of the Tottenham box as Maddison is penalised for pulling Partey down. The free-kick is fairly central, around 20 yards out. This will be the first big opportunity of the match...

02:07 PM BST

6 mins: Tottenham 0 Arsenal 0

No chances as of yet in north London. A bit of a cagey start, which happens a fair bit in derbies.

02:04 PM BST

3 mins: Tottenham 0 Arsenal 0

These two sides are the top two for most goals scored in the first 15 minutes of Premier League games so a good chance of an early goal.

02:00 PM BST


We are under way in north London.

Quite a dramatic scene as a lone trumpeter plays the music to The Saints/Spurs Go Marching In on a vertigo-inducing perch beside Tottenham’s golden cockerel, several hundred feet up in the North London sky. He is flanked by two supporters in full Braveheart, ‘war paint on’ mode, with arms outstretched and club scarves held aloft. The tone has certainly been set.

A Tottenham fan playing a trumpet alongside the cockerel on top of the stadium before the match
Tottenham play Arsenal in an important north London derby which has ramifications on the title and top four - Paul Childs/Reuters

01:56 PM BST

Kick-off fast approaching

Both sides have emerged from the tunnel at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and the north London derby is just moments away.

01:53 PM BST

Reminder of the team news

Tottenham: Vicario, Davies, van de Ven, Romero, Porro, Bentancur, Hojbjerg, Werner, Maddison, Kulusevski, Son.

Substitutes: Austin, Dragusin, Bissouma, Richarlison, Gil, Royal, Lo Celso, Johnson, Sarr.

Arsenal: Raya, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tomiyasu, Odegaard, Partey, Rice, Saka, Havertz, Trossard.

Substitutes: Ramsdale, Jesus, Smith Rowe, Martinelli, Nketiah, Kiwior, Jorginho, Vieira, Zinchenko.

01:46 PM BST

Tottenham out to warm up

01:45 PM BST

Visitors gearing up

01:40 PM BST

Paul Merson on Sky

“This game is the season in a nutshell for Tottenham. They’ll be knighted if they win against Arsenal. But it’s not just that, they also need to get in the top four.

“It’s a game Spurs will have to play as well. There isn’t just pressure on Arsenal, with Spurs fighting in their cup final to stop them winning the league.

“Let’s be honest, a draw will be enough to stop Arsenal winning the league most likely, but it won’t be enough in the race for the Champions League. It would probably stop them finishing above Aston Villa. I doubt they will draw though - it’s not the way they play.”

01:32 PM BST

Mikel Arteta speaking to Sky

“We have to stand up and make it happen. It can be a reminder of how tough it is to win every round, we are fully aware of it.”

On playing Arsenal playing four times since Spurs last played: 

“We are in a good moment, we are in rhythm and there is a lot at stake so we have to be ready.”

On Thomas Partey starting:

“Really important player for us. He is in great shape. He brings his presence and quality, he is an important player for us. Every game is a must-win and it has been like this for many months.”

01:27 PM BST

Inside the away dressing room

01:22 PM BST

Visitors arriving

01:18 PM BST

Clean sheets

Arsenal’s title charge has been built, primarily, on their defensive solidity. They have kept 16 clean sheets this season — the most in the Premier League. If they keep another today, it would be seven successive away games without conceding a goal. That would equal the Premier League record set by Chelsea (2008) and Manchester United (2009).

01:11 PM BST

Full team news

Tottenham make three changes to the side which lost 4-0 to Newcastle two weeks ago. Destiny Udogie will miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on a thigh injury and Ben Davies replaces him. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Dejan Kulusevski also come into the starting line-up. Richarlison is on the bench and could make his first appearance since 2 April after a knee injury.

Tottenham: Vicario, Davies, van de Ven, Romero, Porro, Bentancur, Hojbjerg, Werner, Maddison, Kulusevski, Son.

Substitutes: Austin, Dragusin, Bissouma, Richarlison, Gil, Royal, Lo Celso, Johnson, Sarr.

Arsenal are unchanged from the side which beat Chelsea 5-0 in midweek.

Arsenal: Raya, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tomiyasu, Odegaard, Partey, Rice, Saka, Havertz, Trossard.

Substitutes: Ramsdale, Jesus, Smith Rowe, Martinelli, Nketiah, Kiwior, Jorginho, Vieira, Zinchenko.

01:07 PM BST

Hojbjerg starts for hosts

Perhaps the most unexpected name on the teamsheet today is that of Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, who starts in midfield for Spurs. He hasn’t started a match since February 3rd.

Højbjerg has started eight matches for Spurs this season. They have won just one of those.

01:04 PM BST

Telegraph Fantasy Football

Fantasy Football

An animated player slides on her knees, celebrating a goal
An animated player slides on her knees, celebrating a goal

01:01 PM BST

Tottenham team news

01:00 PM BST

Arsenal team news

12:57 PM BST

How will Tottenham perform?

Just two wins from the last five games for Spurs, and it is not entirely clear how good they actually are. The thrill of their early-season form has faded but the style of play is the same, so there is reason to believe it might simply click into gear again.

Tottenham’s critics might say that it is all becoming a little predictable under Postecoglou. The same passing patterns and attacking moves, played again and again. Today would be a good time to show some variety and add a few more dimensions to their play.

12:53 PM BST

Elsewhere today

There are two other fixtures in the Premier League this afternoon. Kicking off at the same time as the north London derby Bournemouth host Brighton in a battle of the south coast teams. Then at 4.30pm Manchester City travel to the City Ground to take on Nottingham Forest.

12:50 PM BST

Home side arrive

12:43 PM BST

Fancy a flutter?

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12:37 PM BST

Match preview

This afternoon’s north London derby at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium has ramifications both in the race for the title and the top four. Arsenal begin the day top of the tree on 77 points, one point above second place Manchester City having played a game more than Pep Guardiola’s side. Mikel Arteta’s men have the chance to go four points clear ahead of Manchester City’s game later this afternoon at Nottingham Forest. Liverpool wasted the opportunity to go level on points with Arsenal yesterday after dropping points in a 2-2 draw away at West Ham. Arsenal come into today’s game off the back of an emphatic 5-0 hammering of Chelsea at the Emirates in midweek. Mikel Arteta has said that they are just focused on themselves.

“We are there. We have to look at ourselves and try to perform in the best possible way, win our matches and wait to see what happens. That is what we discuss. It sounds a bit repetitive, but it is what we have to do.”

Arsenal have no fresh injury concerns going today’s game.

Mikel Arteta and Ange Postecoglou look on
Today's north London derby will have ramifications on the race for the title and top four - Glyn Kirk/ Justin Tallis/Getty Images

Tottenham are currently fifth, seven points off fourth place Aston Villa, who drew 2-2 at home against Chelsea last night despite leading 2-0. Tottenham have three games in hand on Unai Emery’s side going into this afternoon’s north London derby. Ange Postecoglou’s side have not played for two weeks since being crushed 4-0 by Newcastle. This is Postecoglou’s first experience of a home north London derby and he understands the importance of the fixture.

“We understand the importance of the game and particularly at home not letting our biggest rival in the biggest derby for us get on top of us. We understand the consequences of that. Ultimately it’s still about us measuring ourselves against the teams we want to be challenging on a more consistent basis, and it’s a great opportunity for us to do that on Sunday.”

Richarlison is set to return this afternoon following a knee injury which has ruled him out since the start of the month. Pedro Porro is also available but Destiny Udogie will miss the rest of the season after surgery on a thigh injury.

Tottenham have won just one of the past six Premier League meetings between the sides, however they have lost just two of their last 15 league home games against Arsenal. The reverse fixture at the Emirates back in September ended in a 2-2 draw.

Team news to follow shortly.

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