Premier League: Arsenal 5 Tottenham 2

26 February 2012 16:59

The win saw Arsenal move level with fourth-placed Chelsea on the English Premier League table, and pulled them within seven points of Spurs, who are third.

Victory for Arsene Wenger's side looked improbable after goals from Louis Saha and former Arsenal man Emmanuel Adebayor put the visitors into a two-goal lead after 34 minutes.

But a Bacary Sagna header and a fantastic Robin van Persie strike restored parity before the break, and a second-half brace from Theo Walcott, plus a Tomas Rosicky goal, powered Arsenal to a memorable win.

To complete a miserable afternoon for Spurs, Scott Parker was sent off three minutes from time for a second booking after a rash challenge on Thomas Vermaelen.

Arsenal came into the game on the back of successive defeats to AC Milan and Sunderland - and they made the worst possible start as their bitter rivals took the lead after just four minutes.

A flowing move including Gareth Bale and Adebayor ended with Saha being sent clear as the Arsenal defence parted. The Frenchman appeared to have delayed too long before shooting, but his effort from just inside the penalty area took a huge deflection off Vermaelen and looped into the net.

Signs of discontent were evident in the Emirates Stadium crowd but the hosts responded strongly and should have equalised when the ball fell kindly for Van Persie, but the Dutchman somehow shot wide of the post from 10 yards.

At the other end, Harry Redknapp's side served a reminder of their goal threat as Kyle Walker smashed a rocket just wide of the post.

In the 34th minute, Arsenal were punished for their lax defending when referee Mike Dean awarded a penalty after Bale went to ground, perhaps rather easily, under a challenge from Kieran Gibbs and Adebayor kept his cool to convert from the spot.

The goal seemed to shock Arsenal into action and from there the game took on a different complexion.

Six minutes after the penalty, Spurs failed to react when Van Persie struck the post from a tight angle, and Sagna was on hand to head home Mikel Arteta's cross, putting the hosts back in the game.

Three minutes later, a moment of genius levelled the scores. After picking up a poor clearance from Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Van Persie created some space before expertly curling the ball into the corner from 20 yards out, past the despairing Brad Friedel.

The hosts started in similar fashion after the break, with Yossi Benayoun almost immediately forcing Friedel into a fingertip save as he attempted to stroke the ball into the net from the left side of the penalty box.

And six minutes after the restart, Arsenal took the lead through Rosicky. The Czech midfielder timed his run to perfection to flick home Sagna's cross from the right.

Walcott made it four in the 65th minute, racing through and clipping the ball into the net after Van Persie did well to hold up the play, and three minutes later he was gifted acres of space to fire across Friedel and make it 5-2.

Spurs' misery was complete in the 87th minute when Parker was given his marching orders.

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