Spurs denied win at Arsenal as Gibbs rescues the Gunners
Arsenal defender cancels out Harry Kane's opener as Tottenham miss out on first win at the Emirates for five years
Arsenal 1 Tottenham 1
So Tottenham's wait for a win at the Emirates goes on after the visitors were denied victory by a second-half equaliser from Kieran Gibbs, which earned the Gunners a share of the spoils. The result means Spurs have not won at Arsenal since November 2010, their solitary victory in 26 encounters at their neighbours' pad.
Nonetheless it was a valuable point for Spurs given that only Manchester United and Leicester of their nearest rivals won over the weekend. With Manchester City held to a goalless draw at Aston Villa and West Ham unable to take more than a point from Everton at Upton Park, Spurs move into fifth, five points behind Arsenal who are tied at the top with City.
"I thought we played well," reflected Harry Kane, who gave Spurs the lead on 32 minutes with a composed finish past Petr Cech. "It was end to end and an open game. Credit to Arsenal, they kept coming and got their goal. We've had a tough week and put in a great shift and good performance.
It was a performance of admirable resilience from Spurs, who less than 72 hours earlier had earned a hard-fought victory over Anderlecht in the Europa League. But Arsenal also deserve credit for their mental toughness, digging deep after enduring a 5-1 humiliation at the hands of Bayern Munich on Tuesday in the Champions League.
Arsene Wenger kept faith with that team, the only change the return from injury of Laurent Koscielny in central defence in place of Gabriel. But it was one of Koscielny's defensive partners who became the unlikely hero for the Gunners with Gibbs volleying the equaliser on 77 minutes.
"Goals don't come often for me," he admitted afterwards. "We know what the game means to everyone. We're struggling with injuries at the moment, players were tired from midweek [but] obviously it's disappointing to drop points, especially when we're in such a strong position in the league."
With City also squandering a couple of points, it could have been worse for the Gunners and the two-week break for international football should allow one or two of Arsenal's long casualty list to return in time to face West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns on 21 November.
The latest player to fall victim to Arsenal's injury curse is Santi Carzola, who lasted only until the break having played the first 45 minutes "half conscious". Wenger added: "I don't know what happened to him. He felt perfectly alright earlier, but when we went to go back out they said he felt dizzy."
Conceding that Tottenham "bossed the first half", Wenger then lavished praise on his team, saying: "I must give credit to players, they refused to lose the game. We now gain two weeks' treatment for ten players who are not available, and I hope that we do not lose more."
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is also relishing the fortnight's break having played three matches in the last six days. "We showed great character and personality," he said. "Yes we should have won but I feel very proud of the players. We played very well...we need to carry on in the same philosophy. But we are 11 games unbeaten and I can feel hugely proud. The progress we are making is correct."