Five contenders to replace Antonio Conte at SpursMar 27 | 3 min read
The five most exciting Premier League north London derbies ahead of Saturday's Arsenal vs Tottenham clash on BT Sport
Arsenal vs Tottenham is always an intense and thrilling affair, and this fixture at Highbury and the Emirates has yielded more than three goals a game in the Premier League era.
Throughout the Premier League era, the north London derby has consistently delivered on drama and goals, and Saturday lunchtime promises to be no different as Arsenal and Tottenham prepare to lock horns at the Emirates, exclusively live on BT Sport 1 and Ultimate.
The Gunners currently sit top, with the atmosphere among fans in N5 cautiously optimistic that the team can deliver their first league title in 18 years.
Antonio Conte's men meanwhile are, along with Manchester City, one of only two teams in England's top flight yet to taste defeat and will - for a day at least - leapfrog their bitter rivals with a win on enemy territory, something they haven't managed since 2010, when a phenomenal Rafael van der Vaart-inspired second-half comeback stunned the home faithful.
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Last season saw the two teams share the spoils, with a fast start proving Tottenham's undoing last September before Antonio Conte's side responded emphatically in May to defeat Arsenal 3-0 and effectively nab fourth place off their arch-nemesis.
Here's a rundown of some of the most memorable clashes between the red and white side of north London - enjoy!
5) Tottenham 4-5 Arsenal, 13/11/04
Less than seven months after Arsene Wenger's Invincibles won the league at White Hart Lane, they were back, and what followed was the highest-scoring north London derby ever.
Noureddine Naybet's only-ever goal in Spurs colours got the ball rolling in Martin Jol's first game in charge, before Thierry Henry - who never lost against Tottenham in 11 meetings - equalised on the stroke of half-time.
The turnaround was complete when Lauren tucked home a penalty after Paul Robinson's calamitous clearance put his side under pressure, and the visitors doubled their advantage when Patrick Vieira dispossessed Naybet near halfway and surged through to finish in style.
Jermain Defoe's superb solo effort breathed new life in the contest, but Freddie Ljungberg then converted Cesc Fabregas' cute reverse pass to restore Arsenal's two-goal lead.
Ledley King's 73rd-minute flicked header again gave the hosts hope, but Robert Pires put the contest to bed following some mesmeric close control, with Freddie Kanoute's consolation rounding off a breathless encounter.
Jol's first campaign saw Spurs rise to ninth and reach the quarter-finals in both domestic cup competitions, while Arsenal's title defence was disappointing as they finished 12 points adrift of Jose Mourinho's Chelsea, although they did defeat Manchester United on penalties to win the FA Cup, with Vieira scoring the winning spot-kick in his final appearance for the club.
4) Tottenham 3-3 Arsenal, 20/04/11
After taking a 98th-minute lead against Liverpool only to throw away two points in the 102nd minute, Arsenal headed to White Hart Lane three days later needing a victory to realistically keep their title hopes alive, while Tottenham had just been knocked out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage by Real Madrid.
Cesc Fabregas set Theo Walcott through with an inch-perfect pass that the England forward coolly converted, before Rafael van der Vaart hit back with an instant response as he brought down a whipped Vedran Corluka through-ball confidently before firing past Wojciech Szczesny.
With less than 12 minutes played, the Gunners were back in front as Samir Nasri's deflected drive beat an unsighted Heurelho Gomes, and it was 3-1 on 40 minutes when William Gallas' chested the ball straight to Walcott, who lofted the ball to the waiting Robin van Persie. Gomes clawed away the Dutchman's initial header, but was powerless to stop his follow-up being blasted home.
A win for the visitors would have taken them within four points of Manchester United with five games still left to play.
However, Tom Huddlestone's gorgeously struck rising drive minutes later through the legs of Van der Vaart gave the Spurs fans something to get their teeth into, and the scores were level midway through the second half when Aaron Lennon was brought down by Szczesny in the box, with Van der Vaart converting the result spot-kick.
That crushing inability to again hang onto a lead effectively spelt the end for Arsenal's latest title challenge as they came third, with Tottenham agonisingly failing to replicate their top-four finish the previous season.
3) Arsenal 4-4 Tottenham, 29/10/08
Another Tottenham comeback and another north London derby midweek classic as Harry Redknapp took charge of just his second match at Spurs.
Former Gunners academy graduate David Bentley made his first Premier League goal for the visitors a special one, trapping the ball 40 yards out and then belting in a dipping, swerving effort that the stretching Manuel Almunia could only get a right hand to in vain.
Heurelho Gomes was then caught in no-man's land to allow Mikael Silvestre to head in Robin van Persie's corner for the equaliser and William Gallas guided home the Dutchman's free-kick just after the break to turn the contest on its head, with Emmanuel Adebayor seemingly putting the match out of sight, nipping in on the goalline to beat Alan Hutton to the loose ball to prod in after Samir Nasri's dink from Van Persie's incisive pass just failed to trundle in.
There were to be several more twists in the tail though. Darren Bent capitalised on Almunia's fumble to halve the deficit, although Van Persie then immediately got involved in his fourth goal of the night - this time as the scorer - thundering in Emmanuel Adebayor's lay-off following Alan Hutton's error.
In more minor fixtures, Spurs may have let their heads drop, but Jermaine Jenas set up a grandstand finish when he robbed Gael Clichy and drove forward to curl past Almunia on 89 minutes to set up a grandstand finish, with the 94th minute then seeing Luka Modric's shot cannon off a post and fall to the feet of Aaron Lennon, who kept his cool to apply a close-range finish and send the depleted contingent of Spurs supporters berserk at a largely stunned Emirates.
Despite the rousing comeback, Redknapp's charges remained bottom of the league, but the former Portsmouth manager galvanised the squad and took them to eighth and the final of the League Cup that season, losing the defence of their crown to Manchester United.
2) Arsenal 2-3 Tottenham, 20/11/10
The best Premier League comeback this fixture has seen.
Arsenal came into the clash off the back of wins at Wolves and Everton to get their title tilt back on track, while Tottenham's last encounter saw them defeat Blackburn 4-2 with a brace from Gareth Bale and further strikes from Roman Pavlyuchenko and Peter Crouch.
It took less than 10 minutes for the hosts to get their noses in front as Cesc Fabregas' ball over the top released Samir Nasri and the Frenchman rounded Heurelho Gomes before steering in from the tighest of angles with his left foot.
Marouane Chamakh backed up his double at Molineux by doubling the hosts' lead from Andrey Arshavin's cross and at the interval it looked like there would only be one winner.
However, a swift breakaway saw Rafael van der Vaart roll the ball perfectly into the path of Gareth Bale on 50 minutes and the Welshman prodded beyond Lukasz Fabianski to put Gooner nerves on edge.
Midway through the second half, an opportunity to equalise presented itself as Fabregas raised his arm in the box to block Van der Vaart's free-kick and the Dutchman, signed in the summer from Real Madrid, made no mistake from 12 yards.
And on 85 minutes, the comeback was complete. It was Younes Kaboul who proved the unlikely hero, glancing in Van der Vaart's pinpoint free-kick in front of the away end to spark bedlam.
It was Spurs' first win at their arch-rivals since 1992/93, but that success at the Emirates wasn't to be part of a trend of newfound dominance as Arsenal claimed back-to-back 5-2 wins the following two seasons in front of their own fans.
1) Tottenham 2-2 Arsenal, 25/04/04
Arsenal came into this game at the Lane knowing that a point would see them regain the title they relinquished to Manchester United the previous season.
However, the Gunners, who also won the league in 1971 at Tottenham, looked intent on getting the win and were ahead on three minutes as Dennis Bergkamp crossed for Patrick Vieira to slide home.
Arsene Wenger's men were 2-0 up before half-time when a glorious team move ended with Vieira turning provider with a cut-back for Robert Pires, who stroked past Kasey Keller.
A Jamie Redknapp piledriver added some intrigue to the plot and the visitors must have wondering whether the champagne would need to be put on ice as Pires hit the bar and Robbie Keane slotted home a 90th-minute penalty to set up a nailbiting last few minutes.
However, that was how things stayed, with captain Vieira hailing the team spirit that had taken them to the title and ultimately ensured that they became the first Premier League side ever to go an entire campaign unbeaten, earning them the "Invincibles" tag.
Thierry Henry also spoke about the pleasure of winning the title at the home of their most hated opponents as the Frenchman went on to bag 30 league goals that campaign, the first of three consecutive Golden Boots for Arsenal's superstar forward.
In a subsequent documentary, Henry revealed that Arsenal had initially planned to keep their title celebrations restrained at the request of their opponents' stewards, but the talisman's irritation grew after Spurs players goaded him following the late leveller and he decided to let that emotion out at the final whistle, taking off his shirt and twirling it over his head in front of the jubilant away end as the rest of the squad joined him in making their way to the visiting supporters.