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Published: 13:34 | 5/3/16

10-man Arsenal secure draw at Tottenham


Alexis Sanchez netted a 76th-minute qualiser, as 10-man Arsenal came from behind to secure a 2-2 draw with Tottenham in Saturday's North London derby.

Arsenal, so often accused of lacking bottle at the business end of the season, showed great character to drag it back after going 2-1 down following Francis Coquelin's red card.

The Gunners remain in third place, three points behind Tottenham in second and five points behind leaders Leicester, who travel to Watford later this evening.

Tottenham dominated the early stages, taking the game to their North London neighbours with their typical high-tempo tactics.

Three times in the opening 15 minutes, the Gunners lost possession with misplaced flicks in midfield, and it looked as if Arsene Wenger's off-the-boil side might be out-run and over-run by Mauricio Pocchetino's high-fliers.

But, for all their possession, Tottenham only troubled Gunners' goalkeeper David Ospina once in the first half, with the Colombian making a brilliant point-blank block to dent Erik Lamela from close range on 26 minutes.

Arsenal slowly began to gain a foothold in the match, and opened the scoring with their first shot on target on 39 minutes.

The ever-alert Danny Welbeck found Hector Bellerin on the right-hand edge of the area, and the Frenchman's low cross along the six-yard box was brilliantly turned in by Ramsey for his fifth Premier League goal of the season, and his first for eight matches.

But the game turned on a moment of stupidity from Coquelin in the 55th minute, as he went to ground on a tackle on Harry Kane down the wing and got up to see referee Michael Oliver waving a second yellow card and a red.

Spurs were energised by the gift from the Gunners, and moments after Ospina had denied Kane with a save on the line, Pochettino's side equalised on the hour mark through Toby Alderweireld's emphatic finish from Lamela's hook on from a Christian Eriksen corner.

And the turnaround was completed two minutes later as Kane curled in a brilliant effort from the left channel after Dele Alli's hard running had recycled the ball down by the Arsenal corner flag.

But just as it seemed that Tottenham would secure a sixth win of the Premier League season after falling behind, Sanchez levelled matters in the 76th minute with a sharp finish from the right channel from Bellerin's angled pass from the touchline.

Still the game fizzed, with Ospina and Lloris both making important saves in the final moments and Gabriel almost hacking a cross into his own net, but neither side were able to get the crucial goal to pile the pressure on Leicester City ahead of the league leaders' match at Vicarage Road on Saturday evening.

By Nick Royle.

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