Top 10: Best ever Arsenal-Tottenham games

Hotly contested, exhilariting and ever intriguing - it's the top 10 North London derbies...

Tottenham 5-0 Arsenal, 1983

If there's nothing worse than heavy defeat at the hands of your rivals, then there'™s nothing better than revenge -“ as Tottenham discovered in April '™83.

In Christmas 1978 an Arsenal side inspired by Alan Sunderland and Liam Brady hammered five past Spurs. But by 1983 the Tottenham side were a different prospect.

Chris Hughton opened the scoring and Alan Brazil netted his first for the club as Spurs powered to a 3-0 lead in under 20 minutes.

Some hapless defending from the Gunners (and a couple of sumptuous Mark Falco volleys) saw Tottenham romp to a victory that saw five goals without reply - and the margin of victory could easily have been more.

Tottenham 2-2 Arsenal, 2004

In a season that saw Arsenal at their most imperious, Spurs would have relished being the only team to beat Arsene Wenger's men.

But when the Invincibles visited White Hart Lane in April, Arsenal only needed a draw to secure the Premiership crown on their rivals'™ stomping ground -“ just as they had in 1971.

They got it, but only just. Arsenal went 2-0 up after three minutes through a typically fluid counter-attack goal, goalscorer Patrick Vieira then turning provider for Robert Pires'™ clipped finish.

But a goal from Jamie Redknapp kickstarted a spirited Spurs fightback and a late Robbie Keane penalty levelled the scores.

However, the injury-time winner the Lane craved was not forthcoming and the Tottenham faithful were ultimately forced to either scurry home or look on in envy as Vieira & Co. celebrated the perfect end to a magnificent season.

Champions at the Lane in a historic campaign

Tottenham 5-1 Arsenal, 2008

A sparkling Tottenham performance saw them storm into the Carling Cup final, to the considerable anger of Arsenal fans (and players, judging by the quarrelling between William Gallas, Emanuel Adebayor and Nicklas Bendtner).

Jermaine Jenas'™ low drive on three minutes quickly eroded memories of the late Gunners goal from the first leg (and the previous 21 unsuccessful attempts at beating Arsene Wenger's men) and paved the way for his team-mates to run riot.

Bendtner powered a header into his own goal and Keane neatly finished Aaron Lennon'™s lobbed pass before returning the favour to assist the winger'™s bottom-corner drive.

Despite Emmanuel Adebayor'™s consolation, Steed Malbranque'™s late fifth reinstated the four-goal cushion.

Spurs went on to win the cup under some bloke called Juande Ramos. Whatever happened to him?

Robbie's Keane for Arsenal's embarrassment

Tottenham 0-1 Arsenal, 1971 

Thirty-three years before the Thierry Henry-inspired Gunners outfit won the title at the Lane, Ray Kennedy's goal gave Arsenal an equally enjoyable title-clincher in their rivals' back yard.

Battling with Leeds at the top of the table, Arsenal needed a win or a goalless draw to win their first league title in 18 years -“ but a score draw would have sent the title to Yorkshire on goal average.

So you can imagine the tension as a nail-biting Monday night game reached the 88th minute still goalless.

Then John Radford's shot forced a fine stop from Pat Jennings but George Armstrong chipped the rebound back across the goal and Kennedy popped up to head home the winner.

Five days later, Bertie Mee's side beat Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup final to become only the fourth club in history to do the Double -“ matching the 1961 achievement of their great north London rivals.

Ray Kennedy heads home for the league title in '71

Arsenal 1-1 Tottenham, 1995

A tale of two strikers. Tottenham'™s Jürgen Klinsmann and Arsenal's Ian Wright were both striving to reach the 30-goal mark, the German having scored 27 times that season while the charismatic Gunners forward was two ahead on 29.

The game was terrifically open, with fine performances from keepers Ian Walker and David Seaman, but neither could keep a clean sheet as both star strikers netted -“ Wright tucking away a penalty, Klinsmann nodding in a well-directed header.

The result may have been disappointing for a Spurs side who, a month previously, seemed destined to be in the FA Cup final, while Arsenal (despite the goals of free-scoring Wright) were really struggling in the league.

But the match was a typically exciting derby with end-to-end action, Steve Bould and Nigel Winterburn narrowly avoiding red cards and, unsurprisingly, crowd trouble.

The football writers named 'Klinsi' the Footballer of the Year that season, which remains the last year Tottenham finished above Arsenal in the league. "Is there nothing this man can't do?!" cried John Motson on Match of the Day.

For that season at least, the answer was no.

Tottenham 2-3 Arsenal, 1988

Never go for a pie during a derby: you might miss a goal. If you choose the wrong queue and the wrong derby, you might miss five.

All the goals came in the space of 12 thrilling first-half minutes, with George Graham's Arsenal matching the expansiveness of Terry Venables's Spurs.

It started with Tony Adams carrying the ball 25 yards, surprisingly elegant, and shimmying past a tackle before slipping in Nigel Winterburn to finish smartly with the outside of his boot. Yes, Nigel Winterburn. With the outside of his boot.

Chris Waddle responded quickly for Spurs, but a close-range Brian Marwood strike and a far-post Alan Smith header rocked Tottenham.

But Spurs' new boy Paul Gascoigne, who'd set the tone early on with a couple of dazzling dribbles, sparked a home revival. He lost his boot in a challenge on the edge of the box, but fired a shoe-shorn effort goalwards. John Lukic parried but was unable to stop Gazza'™s alert rebound, tucked away, floppy sock and all, from the angle.

This was the first Tottenham goal for a man who went on to become a football icon, and though Spurs couldn'™t claw their way back into the game, the goal will never be forgotten by the Lane faithful.

Messrs Dixon and Gascoigne battle for the ball

Tottenham 4-5 Arsenal, 2004

This nine-goal thriller holds the record for being the highest scoring North London derby. The sort of match designed to offend Alan Hansen, it was mocked by Jose Mourinho as a "hockey score".

Tottenham dominated the first half with Noureddine Naybet'™s close-range volley opening the scoring and Jens Lehmann forced into several good saves, but an Henry strike in first-half injury time inspired a different Arsenal performance in the second period.

A Lauren penalty took the Gunners to three on the hour, and though Jermaine Defoe and Ledley King responded to strikes from Vieira and Freddie Ljungberg respectively, a clever sleight-of-foot and smart finish from Pires restored Arsenal'™s two-goal advantage.

The shambolic defending continued, however, and the Gunners allowed Freddie Kanoute to net and provide a nail-biting last few minutes for nerve-shattered Arsenal fans.

Naybet nets his only Spurs goal at White Hart Lane

Tottenham 1-2 Arsenal, 1987

The League Cup semi-final third leg. Eh? Well, Spurs had won 1-0 at Highbury and were one up in the home leg when, according to legend, home fans were given an announcement regarding ticket details for the final.

Two quick Arsenal goals brought the sides level, extra time couldn't separate them, and with penalty shoot-outs yet to be introduced in domestic competitions, a coin-toss decreed a play-off at White Hart Lane.

Again, Tottenham went a goal up; again, Arsenal came back late on, this time after a Charlie Nicholas injury forced a game-turning substitution.

On came Ian Allinson, and with eight minutes left he produced a fine spin and near-post finish to level the scores. Then Allinson's blast from the left found its way to David Rocastle, who slotted the never-say-die Gunners into the final.

They produced another remarkable comeback against Liverpool, overcoming an early Ian Rush goal to win 2-1 (the first time the Merseysiders had lost a game Rush had given them the lead in).

As for Allinson? He didn'™t even make the squad for the final.

The late 'Rocky' Rocastle crashes home in the last minute

Arsenal 4-4 Tottenham, 2008

The Premier League might love to describe itself as the best in the world but few matches have been as memorable as this eight-goal feast.

David Bentley set the tone with an early volley as stunning for its outrageous opportunism as its execution. Spotting Manuel Almunia marginally off his line, Bentley hammered the ball from just outside the centre circle which, backpedalling furiously, the Spanish keeper could only paw at in vain.

The goal paved the way for an incredible 90 minutes of entertaining exchanges and giggle-inducing goalkeeping.

Heurelho Gomes'™ aerial eccentricities confused his defenders and delighted the Arsenal team, who twice headed in from set-pieces. Almunia was as guilty for Spurs'™ second, patting out a simple rebound chance for Darren Bent.

But it was the final moments of the game that defied belief.

With Asrsenal 4-2 up, Jermaine Jenas took advantage of Gael Clichy'™s slip to curl home what seemed destined to be a consolation.

But as the game headed into the 95th minute, Luka Modric attempted to repeat Bentley'™s first-half feat, and sub Lennon prodded home the rebound off the post to leave millions gawping in bewilderment.

Aaron Lennon is mobbed after capping a ridiculous Emirates cup tie

Tottenham 3- 1 Arsenal, 1991 

A FA Cup semi-final venue for the first time, Wembley provided a fitting setting for one of the most unforgettable North London derbies - a match that will forever be remembered as Gazza'™s semi-final.

The mercurial Spurs midfielder underwent a hernia operation a month previously that had only allowed him 60 minutes of football before the clash, but he came back with a bang.

With only five minutes gone, the inspirational Geordie powered a 30-yard free kick into David Seaman'™s top corner.

Arch poacher Gary Lineker netted a brace and Spurs were through to a final in which they would beat Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest despite Gascoigne being stretchered off with a career-threatening knee injury.

Arsenal went on to win the league, their last until the 1988 Double. But you can imagine which fans crowed louder in north London that summer...

Gazza smashes home his famous free-kick in '91


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