Tottenham 2 Arsenal 1: Hail hot spur Heurelho Gomes' super show in north London derby triumph

15 April 2010 01:30
As Danny Rose' swonder goal wasreplayed a dozentimes on White HartLane's big screenduring half-time, it seemedTottenham were settingthemselves up for a fall andmore humiliation at thehands of their neighbours.

The cheers from Spurs fans grewlouder as they watched Rose'svolley fly repeatedly over ManuelAlmunia and the pitchsideannouncer fought a losing battlewith his emotions.

An impromptu 'Goal of the Year'competition was declared by theman on the mic, who beckonedDavid Ginola to join him and intoxicatethe home crowd further with hislong silver hair and Gallic charm.

Dynamite: Danny Rose fires Tottenham ahead with a brilliantvolley

Typical Spurs would havefollowed such self-congratulationwith a second-half collapse butHarry Redknapp's team came outand finished the job.

Gareth Bale scored the secondwithin a minute of the restart and,when Arsenal launched a late comeback,inspired by Robin vanPersie's introduction from thebench, Heurelho Gomes producedan incredible string of acrobaticsaves to keep them at bay.

The Brazilian goalkeeper waseventually beaten by Nicklas Bendtnerwith six minutes left but heclawed two Van Persie shots out ofthe top corner and tipped a headerfrom Sol Campbell on to the barfrom point-blank range. 

Full stretch: Heurelho Gomes produces a fine save to deny Robin van Persie

Gomes was mobbed by his teammatesat the end. Together theyhad kept Tottenham in the hunt fora top four finish and their firstChampions League campaign.

In doing so, they beat Arsenal inthe league for the first time in themore than a decade and shatteredtheir rival's dwindling hopes of winningthe title. It was also a greatnight for Chelsea but, on Saturday,Carlo Ancelotti's team have to visitWhite Hart Lane and they will bewary of a team wounded by theirdefeat by Portsmouth in the FACup semi-final.

An electric atmosphere guaranteeda frantic early tempo andhelped Spurs shake off theirWembley woes. Arsenal fansbellowed out the Pompey Chimesand the home crowd united to booCampbell. 

Pure delight: Danny Rose celebrates after his superb strike

The jeers were predictable butCampbell almost bundled his teaminto the lead in the first minute,turning Samir Nasri's cornertowards goal with his knee. Gomeswas beaten but Benoit Assou-Ekotto blocked on the line.

It was in midfield, without theenergy and aggression of thesuspended Wilson Palacios, wherethe Spurs team looked as if they might be vulnerable but Tom Huddlestoneand Luka Modric dominated,despite being outnumbered.

Bale, pushed forward to left wing,continued his outstanding form,terrorising Bacary Sagna as hecharged up and down the flank.

Redknapp had sprung a surpriseby handing a League debut to19-year-old Rose and seldom can ashock selection have been quite soinspired. Nine minutes had elapsedwhen Almunia came off his line topunch a corner high into the air. 

Double your money: Gareth Bale scores Tottenham's second goal

When the ball dropped, some 30yards from goal, on an angle out tothe lef t , Rose decided t ovolley it with his left foot.

He couldnot have caught it more sweetlyand it soared over the crowdedgoalmouth and into the net.It was the most delightful strikeand Rose was uncatchable as hesprinted away in ecstatic celebration.

The teenager did not reappearafter the interval, Redknapp saidhe had 'tweaked a knee ligament'and replaced him with David Bentley,but he had done his job withthis flash of brilliance.

If Wenger's spirits were notdamaged by the sight of Rose'sspectacular finish, they must havebeen crushed by the sight ofThomas Vermaelen limping off inthe first half with a calf strain.

Party time: Gareth Bale can't hide his delight after putting Spurs 2-0 up

Vermaelen has been superb thisseason and the Belgian illustratedhis class with an early block tothwart Roman Pavlyuchenko butpulled up with no-one near him inthe first half and was replaced byMikael Silvestre, 32, who forged a67-year-old central defensive partnershipwith Campbell, 35.

The veterans were split byJermain Defoe's pass early in thesecond half and Bale ran on to it toscore past the diving Almunia.But Arsenal were not about tosurrender without a fight. Wengerretaliated by throwing on TheoWalcott and, a little later, Van Persie. 

Too little too late: Nicklas Bendtner scores for Arsenal at White Hart Lane

MATCH FACTSTOTTENHAM (4-4-2): Gomes 8;Kaboul 6, Dawson 7, King 8,Assou-Ekotto 7; Rose 8 (Bentley 46min,6), Huddlestone 7, Modric 7, Bale 8;Pavlyuchenko 7 (Crouch 89), Defoe 6(Gudjohnsen, 68, 6).Booked: Modric, Kaboul.

 ARSENAL (4-2-3-1): Almunia 6; Sagna 6(Walcott 52, 6), Campbell 6, Vermaelen 5(Silvestre 18, 5), Clichy 7; Denilson 6(Van Persie 68, 5), Diaby 7; Eboue 5,Nasri 5, Rosicky 6; Bendtner 6.Booked: Denilson.Man of the match: Gareth Bale.Referee: Mark Clattenburg.

The Dutch striker, fit to play forthe first time since injuring ankleligaments in November, looked insublime form, taking a high balldown on his chest with his back togoal, rolling his marker and firing aleft-foot volley towards the top corner.

It looked a certain goal butGomes sprang to his right to save,just as he did when Van Persie fireda free-kick towards the top cornermoments later.

Gomes then produced an amazingreflex save, throwing up a strongright hand to deflect Campbell'spowerful header on to the woodworkbefore Bendtner eventuallyfound the net, tapping in Walcott'scross.

Tottenham lived on their nervesfor the final few minutes but madeit over the line. For once Spurs didnot falter and they are still in thehunt for the top four.

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Source: Daily_Mail