Kane double gives Tottenham deserved comeback win vs. Arsenal

BY Jamie Trecker • February 7, 2015

Harry Kane scored two second-half goals to lead Tottenham to a 2-1 win over arch-rivals Arsenal in the north London derby Saturday afternoon. Kane’s header in the 85th minute sealed all three points for Spurs and lifted them into fourth place in the Premier League ahead of Saturday’s late matches.

Kane’s heroics capped what had been a fast and furious show from a Spurs side that were on the day by far the better side. While Arsenal had been set out to absorb and frustrate, Tottenham played a slick-passing game that looked to prise apart the Gunners' notoriously shaky backline and force keeper David Ospina to make the big saves.

Kane, who has now scored 22 goals in all competitions this season, said on BT Sport 1: "That feeling is one I definitely won't forget for the rest of my career. My first north London derby, to win the way we did, it's incredible. I probably won't sleep tonight."

In a congested game that was largely played out wide, Spurs had Arsenal penned back into their own half of the field for much of the match, with the Gunners only occasionally able to venture forward.

But, as Manchester City discovered three weeks ago, this new-look Arsenal side is able to absorb and counter – and when Hugo Lloris touched the ball for the first time in the match, it was to collect it from the back of his own net.

Danny Rose, given space all game long on the near side, was torched by Danny Welbeck in the 12th minute, the former Manchester United man skipping by and dragging Eric Dier along with him. That would prove to be critical as Welbeck would cut the ball back for Olivier Giroud, and his flick to Ozil -- kept on-side by Dier -- was smashed home with a sidefooted volley to break the match open.

Spurs huffed and puffed for the remainder of the half, putting eleven shots on Ospina’s frame and coming close on more than one occasion. But with Francis Coquelin acting as a shield and Nacho Monreal putting in another very strong game, Tottenham were left shooting blanks. Some of Tottenham’s woes in front of net were self-inflicted: Coco Lamela had a poor outing, coughing up the ball under the slightest of pressures; while Rose, left open so often, was never able to get the ball on frame. And Spurs’ set pieces were dreadful, with Christian Eriksen sending in a series of deliveries that were left unattacked.

But after the break, Tottenham finally made their possession count, with Kane tucking home a corner kick ten minutes after the break. Ospina flapped at a dipping ball served in by Eriksen that was flicked on by Mousa Dembele, and Kane was alone at the far post to tap the ball home.

That kicked off a break-neck final twenty minutes with both teams trading punches, but Spurs looking by far the more likely team to find the next. And indeed they did. With Arsenal increasingly unable to get out of their own penalty box, Tottenham pounded and pounded at the heart of the Gunner’s defense, finally breaking through for good with five minutes remaining off a clean breakaway.

Nabil Bentaleb sent in a scorching cross-field pass that Kane rose to meet, and with Ospina caught on his line, the young England star sent a header across the face of the net and to the far top corner to seal the win.

Arsenal’s record at White Hart Lane of late has not been great, but manager Arsene Wenger will surely not be pleased at how his side let Spurs back into the game. Giroud was not a factor up top today and Aaron Ramsey was invisible. Without an outlet, Arsenal were unable to break any pressure, and too often they were second to the loose ball.

For Mauricio Pochettino, this victory will be seen as a vindication. This Spurs side is hardly vintage, filled with some young talent – alongside some very high-profile flops. Pochettino described the win as a "special moment" before backing Kane to get better and better. "His quality and his potential is massive, he can improve more," Pochettino told BT Sport 1 after the match

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had no complaints over the result, but was unhappy with the performance of referee Martin Atkinson.

He said: "They created more chances and we cannot dispute too much that they win the game. The regret we have is that I believe we gave the goals away, the first and the second. But we didn't produce enough going forward. I think we were not very good and the referee was at our level."

But on Saturday, Tottenham were the better side tactically and technically. This may prove to be a season-defining performance for a Spurs side that is tired of being second-best up north.


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