Tottenham Hotspur 2 Arsenal 2
Alderweireld 60, Kane 62, Ramsey 39, Alexis 76

Arsenal produced the kind of football which everyone knows that they are capable of, and as everyone also knows, if you keep all eleven men on the pitch, you also have a better chance of winning. Having taken the lead through Aaron Ramsey’s neat flick, Arsenal weathered the early Spurs storm and looked in good shape with the kind of game which had been absent in abject losses at Old Trafford and against Swansea at the Emirates stadium in the week. Sadly two Francis Coquelin yellow cards gave the Gunners more of a workload. Toby Alderweireld grabbed a second half leveller and less than two minutes later, Harry Kane gave the home side the lead. Alexis Sanchez then clawed his side back onto parity with a shot which Hugo Lloris missed. Yet despite their numerical disadvantage, Arsenal could have won this game but Ramsey was denied by a last gasp tackle by Wimmer. Honours finished even, but as Arsene Wenger later declared, his side refused to lose the game.

” We showed good attitude and character and I’m happy and proud of our performance and attitude. We refused to lose the game. We have as well big regrets because I could not see how 11 against 11 could have dropped points today. We made a mistake at 1-0 when it was 11 against 11 but even though we had a shock loss and it went to 2-1, we refused to lose the game. We always looked dangerous going forward,” said Wenger.

The Gunners made four changes with David Ospina. Kieran Gibbs, Mohamed Elneny and Danny Welbeck all starting.

In an inevitably tense atmosphere, Spurs sensed that given their opponents poor Premier League form of late, Arsenal were there for the taking. Ospina was certainly being tested early on and saved well from Lamella fed by Alli’s pass. Dogged and resilient, the Gunners began to find their passes, but Coqulein’s yellow card for handball as Dier pressed would combine to lead to his premature exit at the worst possible time.

Wenger has stated that he would need to be careful with Welbeck’s match day’s but given the start here, the forward showed that he is eager to make up for his ten months out from a knee injury. In the first notable effort on Lloris’s goal, Welbeck fired over, but six minutes before the break, he played a vital role in the game’s opener.

Welbeck took possession on the left and played the ball out to the right to the advanced Hector Bellerin. The Spain defender, found Ramsey who finished in some style with a heel flick giving Lloris no chance.

Three minutes later and the Gunners could have doubled their lead, but Welbeck was unable to get a connection after some fine work from Alexis. Just before the break and Welbeck was throated angina, this time he saw his header held by Lloris.

The fortunes of the game swung on Coqelin’s second half challenge on Kane. It was clumsy, and the young France defender will learn to be more disciplined with his choice of tackle, but here he was shown a second yellow card and orders off. Arsenal would now need to hold on for over a third of the match, and that would always prove to be a tough ask.

Ospina however was defying everything thrown at him with Kane getting more frustrated. On the hour mark however, Alderweireld was left unmarked as Arsenal failed to clear a corner and struck the leveller beyond Arsenal’s Columbian ‘keeper for 1-1.

Less than two minutes later and disaster for the Gunners as Kane curled in from a sharp angle after Per Mertersacker’s defensive indecisiveness cost his side. The home side were in the ascendency and now they were in the lead.

On 76 minutes however, Bellerin fed Alexis, and the Chile striker struck a powerful shot which Lloris let slip and Arsenal were level.
If Coqelin was shown a second yellow card, how Dier escaped without his own second yellow card was bewildering. Substitute Olivier Giroud was clearly and blatantly having his shirt pulled by Dier, but he was allowed to remain on the pitch.

Two minutes before time and Lloris denied an Alexis free kick and in time added on, the ten men of Arsenal could have won it, but Wimmer blocked from Ramsey.

Wenger will have been heartened with his side’s response, but maybe not so with Coqelin after his unnecessary dismissal.
” He made a mistake and he has to quickly learn from that because at a top level it is full commitment and 100 per cent in all the duels in a controlled way. He got a yellow card because he made a mistake to go down on the tackle.

” I didn’t have to say a lot to him after that tackle. He made a mistake and he knows he made a big mistake. At half time we warned him as well and it was a mistake. He wanted to do well and mistimed his tackle and got sent off. You cannot complain about it. I can complain that Dier was not sent off. I couldn’t understand that.”

Wenger wouldn’t say if Arsenal are still in the title race, but given his side’s traditional run at season’s end, and the unpredictable nature of this season, the Gunners may yet be ready to fire.

” Everybody drops points so let’s see what happens over the weekend. I think we have to take encouragement from our performance today and we have to produce that until the end of the season then we might have a chance.”

Arsenal will next face Hull City in their FA Cup 5th round replay before hosting West Bromwich Albion next Saturday in the evening kick off.