Spurs produce derby turnaround
Tottenham Hotspur defender Younes Kaboul snatched a late winner to earn a thrilling 3-2 derby victory over Arsenal after his side were two goals down at half-time today.
Kaboul struck with five minutes to play at the Emirates Stadium as Harry Redknapp's team secured their first win at Arsenal since May 1993. The defeat meant Arsenal missed the chance to go top of the table and put pressure on leaders Chelsea.
It also means William Gallas had the last laugh on his old Arsenal team-mates after being named Spurs captain on his first return to the Emirates after leaving as a free agent in the close-season.
"I thought William Gallas was just amazing, he led the team by example and he, for me, was man of the match," Redknapp told Sky Sports. "Younes Kaboul was outstanding but Gallas was top drawer.
"In the first half we didn't really get hold of the ball. We changed it at half-time, which opened us up even more really, but we started the second half on the front foot, got back into the game and had a great second-half performance."
There was drama even before the kick-off as the feud between French internationals Gallas and Samir Nasri continued, with the Arsenal midfielder refusing to shake hands with the Spurs skipper. The pair had a long-running dispute when they were together at Arsenal, which reportedly started when they were playing for France and Gallas chastised his younger team-mate for sitting in Thierry Henry's seat on the team bus.
They clashed immediately after kick-off, when Nasri ran onto a ball forward in the first minute. The Arsenal midfielder was left clutching his face after Gallas cleared and inadvertently caught him. But Nasri was celebrating eight minutes later when he opened the scoring with his eighth strike of the season.
Cesc Fabregas created the goal with a ball over the top of Tottenham's defence that allowed Nasri to run on goal, although Spurs goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes was still favourite to claim. But Nasri managed to poke the ball around the Brazilian and from an acute angle he squeezed his finish between the post and Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
Fabregas almost doubled the lead when he skipped around Kaboul and fired wide, but the hosts only had to wait until the 27th minute to go two goals ahead. The move started in their own penalty area, with Nasri surging forward and shifting the ball to Fabregas, who spotted Andrey Arshavin on the left flank. Arshavin's low cross allowed Marouane Chamakh to get in front of Kaboul and touch the ball past Gomes.
Spurs had hopes of establishing themselves as title contenders with a victory at their rivals' stadium, and they gradually got into the game after their dreadful start. Luka Modric, 25 yards out, had an effort on goal but it was parried by Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.
They were given real hope five minutes after the break when Gareth Bale scored a goal following a long ball down the middle of the pitch. Jermain Defoe, on as a half-time substitute and returning from an ankle injury, flicked the ball on for Rafael van der Vaart to control on his chest and play through to Bale, who tucked his finish away.
They were level with 18 minutes left on the clock when Fabregas handled the ball while in the defensive wall as Arsenal defended a Van der Vaart free-kick. Dutch international Van der Vaart took the kick himself and sent Fabianski the wrong way.
Sebastien Squillaci thought he had given Arsenal the lead again when he tapped home from a free-kick, but the flag had gone up for offside. And Kaboul had the last word, glancing home with five minutes remaining from Van der Vaart's free-kick.