We either love it or we hate it.
One of the tensest rivalries in the Premier League, the North London Derby is like Marmite for most Gooners.
No matter which camp you fall into, there’s no denying the buzz, energy and adrenaline which surrounds what is often a thrilling fixture.
After an underwhelming result at home earlier in the season, the team should be fired up and raring to grind out a win against what will probably be a resilient Spurs team who have enjoyed some decent results on their turf this season, including their 5-3 win over Chelsea on New Year’s Day.
It’s difficult to predict a result because no two London Derbies are the same (except maybe the score line… ahem… 5-2), as this look at our previous five results against Spurs will show.
27th September 2014 – Result: 1-1
Our last game against Spurs came as somewhat of a disappointment considering our recent derby results.
We were coming off the back of a comfortable 3-0 win against Villa in the league and saw a largely unchanged side with only Jack Wilshere coming in for Santi Cazorla who dropped to the bench.
Despite this, a 2-1 loss to Southampton in the Capital One Cup midweek was bound to have put a dampener on the squad.
We had the lion’s share of the possession (69%), as well as almost three times as many shots on goal as them (16 to their six) but failed to be clinical enough to win the game.
Arsenal started strong with Aaron Ramsey, Danny Welbeck, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wilshere, all troubling Spurs goalkeeper, Hugo Lloris, in the first half.
However, Spurs warmed up into the game and were dangerous on the counter with Wojciech Szczesny having to save a decent shot from ex-Gunner Emmanuel Adebayor.
Unfortunately, we also lost both Mikel Arteta and Ramsey to calf and hamstring injuries.
In the second half, Arsenal started the stronger team again. However, against the run of play, poor marking and a decent pass from Erik Lamela contributed to Nacer Chadli scoring in the 56th minute.
Arsenal kept plugging away with the BFG going close on the 59th minute, before finally, on the 74th minute, a failed Spurs clearance, pass into the box from Cazorla and slip/mis-kick from Welbeck allowed Oxlade-Chamberlain to thump the ball into the back of our net to grab the equaliser.
Team: Szczesny; Calum Chambers, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, Keiran Gibbs; Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Wilshere, Mesut Ozil; Welbeck.
16th March 2014 – Result: 0-1 (win)
This match will have to go down as one of the nerviest ever.
We’d made three changes with Szczesny back from suspension, Gibbs back from injury and Tomas Rosicky also coming in for the injured Ozil.
The previous week had caused mixed emotions, with the high of qualifying for the FA Cup final set against the low of being knocked out of the Champion’s League but Arsenal started well and looked incredibly dangerous on the counter.
In only the second minute, Rosicky scored a complete wonder-strike after Oxlade-Chamberlain sparked a blistering counter attack from Spurs’ own half.
We carried on reasonably well with the Ox being at the centre of a few impressive breaks. Meanwhile, Spurs didn’t seem to want to score, squandering chances that were clear-as-day and missing practically open goals.
However, at some point we lost our way and the final quarter involved us playing as if we barely recognised each other and having to pile everyone behind the ball to prevent Spurs from scoring.
Somehow we came away with the three points; I’ve never been so relieved to hear a final whistle.
Team: Szczesny; Bacary Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs; Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Rosicky, Podolski; Olivier Giroud.
4th January 2014 – Result: 2-0 (win)
This FA Cup tie was probably one of our more straightforward North London Derbies.
We were positive from the first moment and staged a number of enthusiastic attacks, with Theo Walcott forcing a few saves.
After 31 minutes, Cazorla scored a tidy goal after Serge Gnabry found him in miles of space.
The second half was similar to the first with Arsenal looking lively and Walcott hitting the side netting.
On the 62nd minute, Rosicky nicked the ball (hilariously) from Danny Rose on the halfway line and proceeded to dribble the wall up the pitch before slotting it neatly into the goal.
Unfortunately, this is also the match where Theo Walcott sustained his knee injury, which saw him out of action of the best part of a year.
Team: Lukasz Fabianski, Sagna, Koscielny, Thomas Vermaelen, Nacho Monreal, Wilshere, Arteta, Gnabry, Cazorla, Rosicky, Walcott.
1st September 2013 – Result: 1-0 (win)
Never has “1-0 to the Arsenal” rang out around the Emirates so loudly on a day which shall now be known as Ozil Eve.
Coming off the back of a winning streak, Arsene Wenger made three changes with Sagna sitting on the bench due to illness and Lukas Podolski out with a hamstring injury. Carl Jenkinson, Koscielny and Rosicky all came in.
We started positively and got a couple of free kicks in dangerous areas within the opening five minutes. Cazorla took both; the first forcing a save from Lloris and the second going marginally wide.
However, Spurs grew into the game and Szczesny was called into action by a couple of decent shots from Andros Townsend.
We continued to press, with Walcott taking a couple of shots and eventually assisting Giroud’s 23rd minute goal by delivering a lethal pass into the box, which Giroud poked home.
The second half saw us being fast on the break, even forcing Lloris to come storming out of goal. Nacho Monreal missed a sitter, while Szczesny saved a good shot from Jermain Defoe at the other end.
Overall, a hard-fought victory.
Team: Szczesny; Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs; Wilshere, Rosicky, Ramsey, Cazorla, Walcott; Giroud.
3rd March 2013 – Result: 2-1 (loss)
An in-form Spurs side played host to an Arsenal team who were missing Abou Diaby and Sagna. Ramsey replaced him in the starting line-up.
We started well, splitting open their defence with creative balls forward and threatening with a couple of shots from Giroud in the opening 10 minutes.
However, Spurs remained resilient and on their first real attack in the 37th minute, Gareth Bale managed to score.
A couple of minutes later in the 39th minute, a high defensive line again allowed Spurs to open us up. This time, Aaron Lennon rounded Szczesny and passed the ball into the net.
Again, in the second half, we played far better than the score line suggests. Mertesacker scored with a brilliant header from an expertly delivered Walcott free kick in the 51st minute.
We continued to deliver dangerous balls into the area and had numerous of shots on goal from Ramsey, Walcott and Podolski.
However, unfortunately solid defending or just plain wastefulness on our part prevented us from getting the equaliser.
Team: Szczesny; Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Monreal; Ramsey, Arteta, Walcott, Wilshere, Cazorla; Giroud.