North London derby
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|Other names||Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspur|
|First meeting||Arsenal 1–0 Tottenham Hotspur
1909–10 Football League
(4 December 1909)
|Latest meeting||Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Arsenal
(30 April 2017)
|Next meeting||Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur
(18 November 2017)
|Stadiums||Emirates Stadium (Arsenal)
Wembley Stadium (Spurs)
|Most wins||Arsenal (80)|
|Most player appearances||David O'Leary (35)|
|Top scorer||Emmanuel Adebayor (8)|
|All-time series||Arsenal: 80
|Largest victory||Tottenham Hotspur 0–6 Arsenal 1934–35 Football League
(6 March 1935)
The North London derby is the name of the association football local derby between two north London based teams – Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. Both Arsenal and Tottenham fans have recognised each other as one of their biggest rivals and the derby is one of the fiercest in English football.
Arsenal play their home games at the Emirates Stadium in Islington, while Tottenham Hotspur previously played their home games at White Hart Lane in Haringey until the end of the 2016-17 season. Spurs will play their home games at Wembley Stadium for the 2017-18 campaign and providing building works are complete in time, they will move into their new home for the start of the 2018-19 season.
- 1 History
- 2 Fans
- 3 Results
- 4 Statistics and records
- 5 Crossing the divide
- 6 Clubs' honours
- 7 Highest attendances
- 8 See also
- 9 Footnotes and references
The first meeting between the two teams was a friendly on 19 November 1887, when Arsenal were located in Plumstead (then part of Kent but now in Greater London), and known as Royal Arsenal. The match, played at the then Spurs ground at Tottenham Marshes, was abandoned 15 minutes before it was due to end "owing to darkness" with Spurs leading 2–1. The first completed match between the two teams was held the following February in Plumstead; Tottenham could only field nine players, and were thus beaten 6–2. Another notable match was in 1898 played at the Spurs ground at Northumberland Park. The match with the then Woolwich Arsenal was attended by a record crowd of 15,000, and the refreshment stand collapsed when spectators climbed up onto its roof in the overcrowded ground, resulting in some injuries and prompting Spurs to start looking for a new ground. The next year the club moved a short distance to what would become known as the White Hart Lane ground. The first League match between the clubs was in the First Division, on 4 December 1909; Arsenal won 1–0.
Beginning of rivalry
However, a proper rivalry between the two teams did not begin until 1913, when Arsenal moved from the Manor Ground, Plumstead to Arsenal Stadium, Highbury, just four miles from Tottenham's White Hart Lane; by doing so, they became Tottenham's nearest neighbours and thus began a natural local rivalry. The two teams first faced each other as "north London" in a War Relief Fund friendly on 22 August 1914 at White Hart Lane. Although Arsenal were in the Second Division and Tottenham in the First, Arsenal won 5–1. They would go on to meet regularly during World War I in the London Combination, the regional wartime competition of the time.
The rivalry escalated in 1919 when, after World War I, the First Division was to be expanded by two teams, and the League held a meeting of the clubs to decide the two clubs by means of a vote. 19th-placed Chelsea, who would otherwise have been relegated, were allowed to stay and thus they took the first of the two spots. The second spot could have been awarded to 20th-placed Tottenham, or Barnsley, who had finished third in the Second Division, but Arsenal (along with four other clubs) also bid for the place, despite their only finishing sixth in Division Two, although an error in the calculation of goal average meant Arsenal had actually finished fifth, an error which was corrected by the Football League in 1980.
After an endorsement by League president and chairman of Liverpool John McKenna on account of their longer membership of the League, Arsenal won the vote by eighteen votes to Spurs' eight (Barnsley got five, Wolves four, Nottingham Forest three, Birmingham two and Hull City one) and were thus elected to the First Division. It has been frequently alleged that Arsenal chairman Sir Henry Norris used underhand dealings in order to bring this about, although nothing has been proven. The decision infuriated Tottenham and their supporters, although eleven years previously, Tottenham themselves had been elected to join the Football League Second Division despite only finishing 7th in the 1907–08 Southern League, at the expense of Southern League champions Queen's Park Rangers, who had also applied and had resigned from the Southern League in expectation of promotion.
Despite the setback, Tottenham were soon promoted back into the top flight after taking the 1919–20 Second Division title, and the derby was once again regularly contested. The first fully competitive derby match after Arsenal's 1913 move to north London was a First Division match that finished 2–1 to Tottenham, on 15 January 1921 at White Hart Lane. The early matches between the two were noted for their bitterness - a particularly vicious match in September 1922 led to both clubs being censured by the Football Association and threatened with being forced to play behind closed doors.
Tottenham played in the Second Division between the periods of 1928 and 1933, as well as 1935 to 1950, which naturally led to a drop in the number of matches between the two clubs in this period and a cooling of passions. In 1935 Arsenal registered its highest ever win over Spurs in a 6-0 rout away at White Hart Lane. This 6-0 result remains the biggest win by any team wherein the derby. Relations between the two clubs improved somewhat after the Second World War, after Tottenham allowed Arsenal to play their home matches at White Hart Lane while Highbury was requisitioned as an ARP station and subsequently bombed. The two sides met in the FA Cup for the first time in the 1948–49 season, when Arsenal won a third round tie 3–0.
1950 – present
Since 1950, there has only been one season being that of (1977–78) where Spurs and Arsenal have not been in the same division, meaning fixtures between the two are regular. With being so, this has maintained the rivalry to the present day; there have been many notable matches. Several of these comprise those where the course of a title or the journey to a cup final has relied upon the outcome of a derby match. As with any major football rivalry, gloating and banter between the two sets of fans, many of whom work and even live together, is commonplace. Players who transfer between the two teams receive a bad reception from their former fans; an example was defender Sol Campbell, who was nicknamed "Judas" by Spurs fans after he crossed the divide in 2001.
Arsenal's Theo Walcott, after picking up a knee injury in the 83rd minute of a FA Cup third round tie against Tottenham in January of 2014, was pelted with a hail of coins and plastic bottles whilst coming off the field on a stretcher by Tottenham fans at the Emirates Stadium. Walcott subsequently made a gesture on the stretcher to the Spurs fans which reflected, at that point in time, the 2-0 scoreline of the game which it finished as eventually. An investigation was eventually made with regard to the perpetrators of the incident by the authorities.
On April 30th, 2017, Tottenham beat Arsenal 2-0 in the final North London Derby at White Hart Lane. This result meant that Tottenham were guaranteed to finish above the gunners in the league for the first time in 22 years.
Arsenal fans have a celebration day related to the north London rivalry. Arsenal fans celebrate St. Totteringham's day, which is the day in the season when Tottenham cannot mathematically finish above Arsenal on the league table. Spurs fans had long before declared 14 April to be St. Hotspur day in honour of Spurs' 3–1 win over Arsenal in the 1991 FA Cup semi final. St. Hotspur Day was also celebrated on 14 April 2010, when Spurs beat Arsenal 2–1.
Both Spurs' and Arsenal's fan bases are multi-ethnic, due to the racial diversity in London. According to a report in 2002, Arsenal had 7.7% of their fans calling themselves non-white British, the highest in the league at the time. Both clubs also have extensive fan bases throughout the UK and the rest of the world. Arsenal fans call themselves "Gooners" a term that's a reworking of the club's "Gunners" nickname which is itself a reference to Arsenal's origins as a munitions factory team.
Spurs fans call themselves "yids" - a reference to the fact that, because of the large Jewish community in the vicinity of their ground, hooligans of many other clubs back in the 1970s and 1980s directed antisemitic chants at Spurs fans. In an attempt to draw the sting from these chants, Spurs fans (whether Jewish or not) adopted the words "yid" and "yiddo" for themselves and thereby turned a pejorative into a term of pride and belonging. With the passing of time and as a consequence of the ever-mutating nature of the English language, the words "yid" and "yiddo" now only ever mean "Spurs fan" (or player) when used in the context of English football – even by fans of other teams. There is, however, still some controversy over the use of "yid" or "yiddo".
|Venue||Date||Score||Home goalscorers||Away goalscorers||Attendance|
|White Hart Lane||12 December 1992||1–0||Allen 20'||33,707|
|16 August 1993||0–1||Wright 87'||28,355|
|2 January 1995||1–0||Popescu 22'||28,747|
|18 November 1995||2–1||Sheringham 29', Armstrong 54'||Bergkamp 14'||32,894|
|15 February 1997||0–0||33,039|
|28 December 1997||1–1||Nielsen 28'||Parlour 62'||29,610|
|5 May 1999||1–3||Anderton 43'||Petit 17', Anelka 33', Kanu 85'||36,019|
|7 November 1999||2–1||Iversen 7', Sherwood 20'||Vieira 39'||36,085|
|18 December 2000||1–1||Rebrov 31'||Vieira 89'||36,062|
|17 November 2001||1–1||Poyet 90'||Pirès 81'||36,049|
|15 December 2002||1-1||Ziege 11'||Pirès 45' (pen.)||36,076|
|25 April 2004||2–2||Redknapp 62', Keane 90' (pen.)||Vieira 3', Pirès 35'||36,097|
|13 November 2004||4–5||Naybet 37', Defoe 61', King 74', Kanouté 88'||Henry 45', Lauren 55' (pen.), Vieira 60', Ljungberg 69, Pirès 81'||36,095|
|29 October 2005||1–1||King 17'||Pirès 77'||36,154|
|21 April 2007||2–2||Keane 30', Jenas 90'||Touré 64', Adebayor 78'||36,050|
|15 September 2007||1–3||Bale 15'||Adebayor 65', 90', Fàbregas 80'||36,053|
|8 February 2009||0–0||36,021|
|14 April 2010||2–1||Rose 10', Bale 47'||Bendtner 85'||36,041|
|20 April 2011||3–3||van der Vaart 7', 70' (pen.), Huddlestone 44'||Walcott 5', Nasri 12', van Persie 40'||36,138|
|2 October 2011||2–1||van der Vaart 40', Walker 73'||Ramsey 51'||36,274|
|3 March 2013||2–1||Bale 37', Lennon 39'||Mertesacker 51'||36,170|
|16 March 2014||0–1||Rosický 2'||35,711|
|7 February 2015||2–1||Kane 55', 86'||Özil 11'||35,659|
|5 March 2016||2–2||Alderweireld 60', Kane 62'||Ramsey 39', Sánchez 76'||35,762|
|30 April 2017||2–0||Alli 55', Kane 58' (pen.)||31,811|
Fixture top scorers in the Premier League
Players in BOLD represent those who are currently playing for Arsenal or Tottenham.
|1||Emmanuel Adebayor||Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur||8|
|3||Harry Kane||Tottenham Hotspur||6|
|Robin van Persie||Arsenal||5|
|Gareth Bale||Tottenham Hotspur||5|
|Rafael van der Vaart||Tottenham Hotspur||4|
Cup semi-finals and title deciders
Although Arsenal and Tottenham have never met in a major cup final, there have been North London derby matches that have significantly contributed to one of the two clubs winning a trophy, such as semi-finals and title deciders. These include:
- Tottenham 0–1 Arsenal (3 May 1971) The final match of the 1970–71 league campaign, with Arsenal needing a win or a goalless draw to take the First Division title (a score draw would have meant Leeds United won on goal average). The game was tight with few real chances on goal, until the very end. With three minutes to go, John Radford's shot forced Pat Jennings into a good save; George Armstrong got to the rebound and chipped the ball across goal and Ray Kennedy headed home the winner. Spurs desperately tried to get a goal back but to no avail; Arsenal held on to win the title (the first half of the Double that season).
- Tottenham 1–2 Arsenal (4 March 1987) Arsenal and Spurs had drawn 2–2 on aggregate in the League Cup semi-finals; with no away goals rule in force, the match was replayed at Spurs' home ground of White Hart Lane. Spurs went 1–0 up through Clive Allen but Arsenal substitute Ian Allinson equalised and David Rocastle scrambled home the winner to send Arsenal through to the Final, where they won their first trophy since 1979.
- Tottenham 3–1 Arsenal (14 April 1991 at Wembley) – The first FA Cup semi-final between the two sides. Arsenal were chasing a second Double, but Tottenham's Paul Gascoigne scored after just five minutes with a free kick from 30 yards out. Gary Lineker made it two, and although Alan Smith pulled one back for the Gunners before half-time, Lineker scored again in the second half to seal the result. Arsenal's Double dream was dashed, though they still won the League that season; Spurs lifted the Cup a month later. Known as St Hotspur Day for Tottenham fans.
- Arsenal 1–0 Tottenham (4 April 1993 at Wembley) The second FA Cup semi-final between the two, in which Arsenal sought revenge over their North London rivals for the 3–1 semi-final defeat two years earlier. Tony Adams scored with a header from a Paul Merson free kick for the Gunners in the 79th minute; Arsenal prevailed despite Lee Dixon's sending-off, and went on to win the FA Cup in May and complete the first ever domestic cup double.
- Arsenal 2–1 Tottenham (8 April 2001 at Old Trafford) The third FA Cup semi-final between the two. Gary Doherty gave Spurs the lead, before Patrick Vieira equalised for Arsenal. Robert Pirès scored a second half winner to send Arsenal through to the first FA Cup final to be played outside England, where they lost 2–1 to Liverpool in Cardiff.
- Tottenham 2–2 Arsenal (25 April 2004) Arsenal were unbeaten in the Premier League and only needed a point to secure the title. The Gunners were 2–0 up after 35 minutes thanks to Patrick Vieira and Robert Pirès' goals. A famous win looked to be on the cards, but Spurs restored some pride by denying Arsenal victory; in the second half Jamie Redknapp scored from long-range, then Robbie Keane converted a 90th-minute penalty. Nevertheless, Arsenal still won the title at their rivals' home ground, repeating their triumph of 1971.
- Arsenal 3–1 Tottenham a.e.t (31 January 2007) Arsenal booked their place in the 2007 League Cup Final, for the first time since winning the competition in 1993, after this extra-time victory. The teams drew the first leg 2–2 at White Hart Lane where Tottenham threw away a 2–0 first half lead, eventually drawing the game. The return leg game was goalless until the 77th minute when Emmanuel Adebayor gave Arsenal the lead, before Mido equalised for Tottenham five minutes from time. Jérémie Aliadière restored Arsenal's lead in the 105th minute and the game was eventually won by Arsenal after a 113th minute own goal by Tottenham's Pascal Chimbonda, sending Arsenal through to the final, 5–3 on aggregate. Arsenal, however, would eventually lose the final to Chelsea.
- Tottenham 5–1 Arsenal (22 January 2008) Tottenham's first victory over Arsenal since November 1999, in the second leg of the League Cup semi-final; the teams had drawn 1–1 at the Emirates Stadium. Tottenham were 2–0 up by half time with Jermaine Jenas' strike and a Nicklas Bendtner own goal. After half-time, Spurs added two more from Robbie Keane and Aaron Lennon; Emmanuel Adebayor pulled one back for Arsenal, before Steed Malbranque scored a fifth goal in injury time to put Tottenham into the 2008 League Cup Final, 6–2 on aggregate. Spurs went on to lift the trophy.
Statistics and records
As of 20 August 2017, there have been 180 competitive first-class meetings between the two teams since the first league meeting in 1909, of which Arsenal have won 75 and Tottenham 56. The most goals in one game were scored in the closely contested 5–4 Arsenal Premiership victory at White Hart Lane on 13 November 2004. The biggest winning margin was a 6–0 away win by Arsenal on 6 March 1935. Tottenham have twice won 5–0 (25 December 1911 and 4 April 1983) and Arsenal once (23 December 1978), with all three fixtures taking place at White Hart Lane. Arsenal also won by 5-2 margins both in February and November of 2012 home at the Emirates.
Tottenham's record for goals scored against Arsenal is shared by Billy Minter and Bobby Smith, with nine goals each. Arsenal's record is held jointly by Emmanuel Adebayor, Alan Sunderland and Robert Pirès, with eight goals each. Adebayor also holds the record for most goals by a player in the North London derby with ten: eight scored for Arsenal and two for Tottenham. Arsenal's long-time defender David O'Leary holds the record for most North London derbies played with 35, while Gary Mabbutt and Steve Perryman shared the corresponding record for Spurs, with 31.
Terry Dyson is the only Spurs player to score a hat-trick in a first-class derby game, having done so on 26 August 1961 in a 4–3 win for Spurs. The Arsenal players to have done so are Ted Drake (20 October 1934) and Alan Sunderland (23 December 1978).
Summary of results
- As of 30 April 2017
|Arsenal wins||Draws||Spurs wins||Arsenal goals||Spurs goals|
Crossing the divide
Arsenal, then Tottenham
Former Arsenal winger Joe Hulme managed Tottenham Hotspur between 1945 and 1949. George Graham was firstly an Arsenal player, then managed the Gunners between 1986 and 1994, before later taking up the reins at White Hart Lane between 1998 and 2001.
Clive Allen played three matches in Arsenal's 1980–81 pre-season friendly campaign, although never played a competitive league match for them.
Ron Piper was an amateur at Arsenal without playing a senior match before joining Tottenham in October 1960.
Tottenham, then Arsenal
|Sol Campbell||DF||1992–2001||315||15||2001–06 and 2010||197||11|
In addition, former Spurs player Herbert Chapman subsequently became manager of Arsenal from 1925 to 1934. Forward Billy Lane of whom played for Tottenham in two spells firstly within 1922 then from 1924 to 1926 in his second started in 1963 to feature as a scout for Arsenal. While Terry Neill was Spurs manager between 1974 and 1976, before crossing back to manage Arsenal between 1976 and 1983.
Narada Bernard started his youth footballing career with Tottenham in 1997 but thereafter made the switch to Arsenal's Academy in 1999. Pat Holland was a reserve and youth team coach at Spurs from 1988 to 1995 in his first stint and from 1997 to 2005 in a second spell with the club. Holland then went on to take up the role of a coach within Arsenal's Academy in 2012. Holland left the role after less than two months due to personal reasons, but has continued to feature for Arsenal as a scout. Youth player Nya Kirby rejected a contract with Tottenham and thus left White Hart Lane in the summer of 2016 to have look ins at several clubs later that year. Kirby of whom plays as a midfielder in the role of a playmaker also trialed with Spurs's arch rivals Arsenal. He went on to play for the Gunners under 18s against Hamburger SV in Hamburg prior to him linking up as of January 2017 with Crystal Palace.
Played for both teams in North London derby
The following players have played in at least one North London derby for both teams:
|Name||For Arsenal||For Tottenham|
|Note: Jimmy Robertson and Emmanuel Adebayor are the only players to have scored for both teams in North London derbies.|
|National Competition||Arsenal||Tottenham Hotspur|
|First Division / Premier League||13||2|
|Football League Cup||2||4|
|FA Community Shield||14||7|
|European Competition||Arsenal||Tottenham Hotspur|
|UEFA Cup Winners' Cup||1||1|
|UEFA Cup / Europa League||0||2|
|Inter-Cities Fairs Cup||1||0|
In its present format, Arsenal have, as of 2017–18, qualified to play in the UEFA Champions League on 19 occasions and Tottenham 3, although Spurs did achieve a fourth-place finish in the 2011–12 Premier League season but were denied a place in the Champions League due to Chelsea winning the Champions League. Arsenal were runners-up in the 2005–06 UEFA Champions League competition. Prior to this, Arsenal qualified for the former European Cup on three occasions, while Tottenham did so once. Arsenal were unable to compete in the 1989–90 competition owing to a ban on English clubs following the Heysel Stadium Disaster. Both clubs have reached the semi-final stage of the competition.
While the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup is recognised as the predecessor to the UEFA Cup, it was not organised by UEFA. Consequently, UEFA do not consider clubs' records in the Fairs Cup to be part of their European record. However, FIFA does view the competition as a major honour.
- Tottenham 3–1 Arsenal; 77,893 (14 April 1991); Wembley (neutral)
- Tottenham 1–4 Arsenal; 69,821 (10 October 1953); White Hart Lane (Tottenham home)
- Arsenal 1–1 Tottenham; 72,164 (29 September 1951), Highbury (Arsenal home)
- Arsenal 3–0 Tottenham; 60,115 (2 December 2006), Emirates Stadium (in Emirates Stadium)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to North London derby.|
Footnotes and references
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