English Premier League leaders humbled at home as Arsenal move into second place.
|Arsene Wenger can barely hide his frustration as his team throw away a two-goal lead [GALLO/GETTY]|
Arsene Wenger’s anger was evident to see as his team squandered a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 to their north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in England’s Premier League.
Spurs scored with five minutes left on Saturday to beat Arsenal for their first away win in 17 years and the goal prompted Wenger to boot away his water bottle in rage.
Spurs had trailed 2-0 to goals by Samir Nasri and Marouane Chamakh but Gareth Bale reduced the deficit five minutes after half time and Rafael van der Vaart finally scored away from home with a 67th-minute penalty that Cesc Fabregas conceded when he needlessly blocked the Dutchman’s free kick with his forearm.
Arsenal still had chances to win the game through Fabregas and Laurent Koscielny but Younes Kaboul headed in a free kick to complete the comeback.
The win denied Arsenal the chance to go top of the Premier League and ended the visitors’ 68-match run without an away win against the established powers of Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool.
Elsewhere Manchester United moved level on points with Chelsea at the top of the Premier League when the defending champions lost 1-0 at Birmingham. The Gunners are third on 26 points.
Dark horses Bolton Wanderers are fourth with 22 points, above Manchester City and Spurs on goal difference.
While United continued their unbeaten start with a 2-0 win over Wigan, Chelsea conceded a 17th-minute goal to Lee Bowyer to lose consecutive league matches for the first time since the end of the 2005-06 season.
Arsenal dominated the first half and were ahead after nine minutes when Spurs keeper Heurelho Gomes failed to smother a through ball and Nasri rolled the ball into an empty net.
Chamakh made it 2-0 after 27 minutes after a typical Arsenal counter-attack ended with the Moroccan tapping in.
Jermain Defoe replaced Aaron Lennon at half time and the England striker enlivened Spurs and his header allowed van der Vaart to pick out Bale who scored with ease after 50 minutes.
Tottenham levelled after 67 minutes when Cesc Fabregas handled van der Vaart’s goalbound free kick in the area and the Dutchman beat Lukasz Fabianski from the spot.
Laurent Koscielny fluffed a glorious chance to restore Arsenal’s lead when he headed over from point blank range. Kaboul then won it for Spurs when he glanced in Van der Vaart’s inviting free kick.
|EPL results & fixtures|
Saturday November 20
Arsenal 2-3 Tottenham
Sunday November 21
Blackburn v Aston Villa
Spurs manager Harry Redknapp praised defender William Gallas, making his first return to the Emirates since leaving Arsenal at the end of last season.
“William Gallas was top drawer today,” Redknapp, who raised eyebrows when he signed the former Arsenal and Chelsea player in August, told reporters.
“He was superb.”
“We were hesitant and didn’t get the ball in the first half but we took the game to them after the break…it was a great second half performance.”
Redknapp said the victory confirmed his belief that, with United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City all dropping points, Tottenham had a chance of winning the English title for the first time since 1961.
“We can achieve anything,” Redknapp said. “You’ve got aim for the top.
“It’s open. Anyone can win. We’re not writing ourselves off.”
Bottom club West Ham United’s survival prospects also look bleak after they were thrashed 3-0 at Liverpool, for whom Glen Johnson scored the opening goal against his former club.