Tottenham head into Sunday’s north London derby knowing a win will send them top of the Premier League. Arsenal, languishing in lower mid-table, hope to spoil the party as fans return to Spurs’ stadium for the first time since March.
It represents a role reversal of the state of play going into a famous north London derby held just over 10 years ago. Then, Arsenal were the home side looking to go top and maintain their title challenge, with Spurs the underdogs having just recorded their first top-four finish for 20 years – a period in which the Gunners won the league four times.
Arsene Wenger can’t believe what he’s watching as Arsenal throw away a two-goal lead
Tottenham stars celebrate Rafael van der Vaart’s equaliser at the Emirates 10 years ago
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Fabianski; Sagna, Squillaci, Koscielny, Clichy; Denilson, Song; Nasri (Walcott 77), Fabregas, Arshavin (Rosicky 77); Chamakh (Van Persie 68). Goals: Nasri 9, Chamakh 27.
Totteham (4-4-1-1): Gomes; Hutton, Kaboul, Gallas, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon (Defoe 46), Jenas, Modric, Bale; Van der Vaart (Palacios 87); Pavlyuchenko (Crouch 73). Goals: Bale 50, Van der Vaart 67 (pen), Kaboul 85.
Arsenal were 2-0 up inside 27 minutes, with Samir Nasri and new signing Marouane Chamakh on target, with Spurs’ run without a win at their rivals looking set to extend beyond 17 years. Then, a quite stunning second-half comeback.
Gareth Bale, easing into a new left wing role, reduced the deficit with a fine finish after 50 minutes, before Cesc Fabregas gave away a penalty for handball to allow Rafael van der Vaart to level the scores on 67 minutes to leave Spurs dreaming of a famous win. It was duly delivered by a glancing Younes Kaboul header on 85 minutes.
Having missed the opportunity to go top that day, Arsenal’s title challenge never really got going and they finished fourth, 12 points behind champions Manchester United. They did, however, pip fifth-placed Tottenham to a Champions League spot by six points.
Bale is the only player from that fixture on November, 2010 still playing for either north London club, though the majority of the mish-mash of legends below and flops are still playing.
Van der Vaart silences the home crowd after wiping out Arsenal’s lead following Cesc Fabregas’ handball
Goalkeeper – Lukasz Fabianski
The Pole, now 35, is in his third season as West Ham’s No 1, having spent four years at Swansea after ending his seven-year spell at Arsenal in 2014.
Right back – Bacary Sagna
Also spent seven years at Arsenal between 2007 and 2014, twice being named in the PFA team of the year before joining Man City. Now 37, the 65-cap France international left Montreal last year after a two-year spell in MLS – but has not officially retired yet.
Centre back – Sebastien Squillaci
A regular at the time of this fixture, early in his first season at the club, the Frenchman, now 40, would only play 39 times in an injury-hit three year spell. Retired in 2017 after four years at Bastia.
Samir Nasri gave an Arsenal an early lead in the north London derby 10 years ago
Centre back – Laurent Koscielny
Signed as an unknown quantity four months before the derby, would go on to become club captain during a successful nine-year stint. Left in acrimonious circumstances last year and now at Bordeaux, aged 35.
Left back – Gael Clichy
Completing the quartet of French international defenders Clichy, 35, has just joined Swiss side Servette, whose sporting director is ex-Gunner Philippe Senderos. Left for Man City at the end of the 2010-11 season – where he would win two titles – after eight years at Arsenal.
Defensive midfield – Denilson
Arrived from Brazil in 2006 as a teen with big expectations but never lived up to the hype, despite making 153 appearances. This would be his final season before returning to Sao Paulo. Now playing in Malta aged 32. Has also played in Abu Dhabi.
Marouane Chamakh doubles Arsenal’s lead after just 27 minutes at the Emirates
Defensive midfield – Alex Song
Enjoyed an outstanding few seasons in the heart of Wenger’s midfield to earn a move to Barcelona in 2012, though he never settled in there and his career has gone backwards since. Recently signed for Arta/Solar7 in Djibouti, aged 33.
Right wing – Samir Nasri
After three years of near misses at Arsenal, left with Clichy for City at the end of the 2010-11 season, where he’d win two league titles. Given a six-month doping ban in 2018 after posting an image of himself using an IV drip. Recently left Anderlecht aged 33.
Attacking midfield – Cesc Fabregas
Having just won the World Cup with Spain, this would also prove to be then-captain Fabregas’ last season at Arsenal before he moved to Barcelona in a big-money deal. Joined Chelsea in 2014, winning two league titles there. Now at Monaco aged 33.
Left wing – Andrey Arshavin
Another who failed to live up to the hype, despite a promising start to life in England after arriving off the back of a stunning Euro 2008. Rejoined Zenit permanently in 2013 after a loan in 2012. Finished his career in Kazahstan in 2018 aged 37.
Arsenal scorers Nasri and Chamakh celebrates after the second goal against Spurs
Striker – Marouane Chamakh
Managed just seven goals in his first season at Arsenal and was soon out of the picture with Robin van Persie flourishing. Had an unsuccessful loan at West Ham before a three-year spell at Crystal Palace. Now 36, was last seen at Cardiff in 2016.
Manager: Arsene Wenger
Stayed at Arsenal until 2018, nearly 22 years after joining. Never won that elusive fourth Premier League title, with his last coming in 2004, but added three FA Cups after this derby defeat.
Goalkeeper – Heurelho Gomes
This would be the error-prone Brazilian’s last of three season as Spurs No 1, with Brad Friedel taking over the following season. Stayed with the club as a back-up until 2014 before enjoying a six-year stint at Watford. Not officially retired yet, aged 39.
A 21-year-old Gareth Bale (left) pulled one back for Spurs just after half-time
Right back – Alan Hutton
The Scot joined Aston Villa in 2011, ending a three-year stint at Spurs. Retired in February aged 35 after failing to find a club following his release by Villa after their promotion last year.
Centre back – Younes Kaboul
The matchwinning hero of the day would stay with Spurs until 2015, though he was plagued by injuries. Had year-long spells at Sunderland and Watford, who he last played for in September 2017. Still only 34 but has not been in the news since.
Centre back – William Gallas
The former Arsenal captain caused a stir when he left for Tottenham just months before this fixture. Stayed for three seasons before a swansong at Perth Glory in Australia and retirement in 2014. Now aged 43, works as a pundit in France.
Van der Vaart coolly slot home his penalty to set up a grandstand finish in the derby
Left back – Benoit Assou-Ekotto
A favourite of Harry Redknapp’s, Assou-Ekotto lost his place in the Spurs team when Andre Villas-Boas took over in 2012 and re-joined his old manager on loan at QPR. Officially left Spurs in 2015 after 202 games in nine years. Retired in 2018 aged 34 after spells with Saint-Etienne and Metz.
Right wing – Aaron Lennon
Former England winger is still playing aged 33, having joined Kayserispor in Turkey in September. Left Spurs for Everton in 2015 after 10 years at the club, before a two-year stint at Burnley ended this year.
Centre midfield – Jermaine Jenas
Another whose Spurs career fizzled out after Redknapp left, though injuries played a big part in the former England midfielder’s decline. Joined Redknapp at QPR in January 2013, playing his last game in 2014 before officially retiring in 2016 after failing to recover from a knee injury. Now a respected BBC pundit.
Younes Kaboul rises highest to head Tottenham in front with just five minutes left on the clock
Centre midfield – Luka Modric
Brilliant form for Spurs earned the Croatian a £30m move to Real Madrid in 2012, and he never looked back. Still a mainstay in their side aged 35, Modric has won the Ballon d’Or, four Champions League crowns and two LaLiga titles.
Left wing – Gareth Bale
Joined Real Madrid a year after Modric in 2013, having blossomed into one of the world’s best wingers under Redknapp and Villas-Boas after his conversion from left back. Still only 31 and also a four-time Champions League winner, is looking to re-capture his best form back on loan at Spurs this season after an injury-hit few years.
Attacking midfield – Rafael van der Vaart
The Dutchman who scored the equaliser 10 years ago is a cult hero at Tottenham despite only spending two years there, after netting 28 times in 77 matches. Rejoined Hamburg in 2013, then had a spell at Real Betis before finishing his career in Denmark in 2018. Now aged 37, has embarked on a new career as a professional darts player.
Kaboul is mobbed by his Tottenham team-mates after scoring the winner in the derby
Striker – Roman Pavlyuchenko
Something of a cult hero among Spurs fans, the Russian left for Lokomotiv Moscow a year after this derby, ending a three-year stint in London where he netted 42 times in 113 matches. Retired in 2017 but recently reversed that decision aged 38 to join Znamya Noginsk in the Russian third tier.
Manager: Harry Redknapp
Was harshly sacked in 2012 despite finishing fourth, with Chelsea’s Champions League triumph preventing Spurs from entering the competition. Led QPR back to the Premier League in 2014 but left a year later. Also had spells as manager of Jordan and Birmingham City and won I’m A Celebrity in 2019.