Gilberto Silva recalls scoring against Tottenham, helping the Gunners beat their biggest rivals in emphatic fashion.
The former midfielder scored twice in a 3-0 win back in 2006. It was the first North London derby at the Emirates Stadium and the Brazilian had taken over penalty take duties with Thierry Henry out injured.
Despite not having much experience from the spot, Gilberto stepped up and scored from the spot twice to hand Arsenal a comfortable victory. Reflecting on the day, Gilberto owed his success to practice and described how it felt to score against Arsenal’s rivals.
“When you train something, you feel prepared for it,” he told Arsenal’s official website. “Maybe before I was not used to taking penalties, just a few times I had an opportunity to: in a penalty shoot-out against Uruguay in the Copa America in 2007.
“I started training after the training sessions and when you practice something, you feel confident when you do it. This was the reason I was the penalty-taker that time and I had the chance to score a few goals from penalties.
“I knew [how important those goals against Spurs were] because always when you play against your biggest rivals, everything you do positive on the field counts.
“I scored two goals from penalties on that day and it was amazing. I scored against our biggest rival in a very special game for the club and for the fans.”
This was back during a time where wins over Spurs were as routine as beating a mid-table team at home. Much has changed since then. Arsenal have gotten worse, while Spurs have gotten stronger.
The last three North London derbies at home in the league have ended in 1-1 draws. In only one of those derbies has Arsenal managed to take the lead. Spurs are arguably the better side these days, so a 3-0 win might be asking for a bit much.
Nonetheless, we’re overdue a win against our neighbours. Tottenham currently sit third in the table, four points above us. A win would close that gap to just a single point and give us a much needed boost.