Walker strike gives Spurs derby win

BY foxsports • October 2, 2011

Tottenham inflicted Arsenal's fourth loss of the Premier League season on Sunday, winning the north London derby 2-1 to give Arsene Wenger a miserable start to his 16th year as Gunners manager.

Rafael van der Vaart put Tottenham in front before half time with the club's 10,000th goal and Kyle Walker netted a 73rd-minute winner after Aaron Ramsey's equalizer for Arsenal.

''Arsenal are a ball possession team and we found it difficult at times but we dug deep and got the result we needed,'' Walker said.

While Tottenham is sixth in the standings - three points behind fourth-place Newcastle with a game in hand - Arsenal is just two points above the relegation zone after seven matches.

In a sign that the balance of power might be shifting between the fierce rivals, Tottenham has now won three of the last four league derbies and drawn the other against a side which has finished in the top four for the last 15 years.

Wenger, who marked 15 years as Arsenal manager on Saturday, has seen his side concede 14 goals in four away games in the club's worst start to a season in 58 years.

Wenger's frustrations were clear in an apparent post-match confrontation at White Hart Lane with Tottenham assistant manager Clive Allen. Wenger beckoned Allen down the tunnel but stewards intervened to stop Allen following the Frenchman.

Tottenham has managed to recover from its own disappointing start, producing four wins in a row after back-to-back losses to Manchester rivals United and City.

The opening minutes showed it would be another difficult day for Arsenal.

After Arsenal midfielder Alex Song gave possession away, Scott Parker received the ball and the visitors were only spared by Wojciech's Szczesny block from six meters (yards).

There was a 15th-minute effort from Arsenal winger Theo Walcott, but the sting was taken out of the shot by Ledley King's deflection.

Gareth Bale was looking dangerous down the left, although Van der Vaart's finishing let him down, meeting a cross from the Wales winger but scooping the ball over.

Van der Vaart squandered another chance when Szczesny denied him from close range.

Arsenal was controlling the midfield but often failing to get close to Brad Friedel's goal. Gervinho had a clear chance after Robin van Persie cut the ball back to him, but the Ivory Coast striker missed the target with the goal at his mercy.

The buildup to the match had surrounded Emmanuel Adebayor's reaction to facing fans of former club Arsenal, but he stayed calm despite taunts and helped to provide Tottenham's opener.

Van der Vaart brought down Adebayor's cross with his chest before volleying through Per Mertesacker and Bacary Sagna into the bottom corner of the net. Wenger was angry that the Netherlands playmaker appeared to use an arm to control the ball.

Van der Vaart was lucky to avoid being sent off after running up to the crowd to celebrate - having already been booked for a sliding tackle on Kieran Gibbs.

Bale immediately came close to doubling Tottenham's advantage with a long-range strike and at the start of the second half he curled the ball over after bursting into the penalty area.

But Bale's Wales teammate Ramsey leveled for Tottenham in the 51st minute, dispatching the ball into the net after Van der Vaart failed to close down Song on the left flank.

Adebayor was denied a winner when one-on-one with Szczesny after being fed by Bale, producing a weak shot rather than attempting to round the goalkeeper.

Arsenal lost Sagna after he fell awkwardly following Benoit Assou-Ekotto's challenge, with Carl Jenkinson coming on.

Arsenal's afternoon got worse in the 73rd when Walker was teed up by Luka Modric, controlled the ball and unleashed a swerving, dipping shot that went through Szczesny's hands.

Bale could have netted a third two minutes later after exploiting a defensive mix-up but he clipped the ball just wide.

And Szczesny came to Arsenal's rescue with a two-handed save pushing Jermain Defoe's shot wide.

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