ottenham came from behind twice to rescue a pulsating 2-2 draw against Arsenal thanks to Son Heung-min’s double in Sunday’s north London derby. Ange Postecoglou’s side trailed to Cristian Romero’s first half own goal before South Korea forward Son hauled them level at the Emirates Stadium. Bukayo Saka restored Arsenal’s lead with a second half penalty, but Son had the last word with his second goal as these bitter rivals both extended their unbeaten starts to the Premier League season.
Tottenham sit in fourth place, above fifth placed Arsenal on goal difference, after a hard-fought clash offered more evidence that Postecoglou has revived a club in turmoil when he arrived from Celtic in the close-season.
Although Tottenham have now won just one of their last 31 league trips to Arsenal and remain without a victory on enemy territory since 2010, there was much to admire from Postecoglou’s team.
Not only did they show impressive character to twice hit back from Arsenal’s goals, but they did it with the kind of eye-catching play that was so rarely seen during Antonio Conte’s reign.
Tottenham have scored at least twice in all six league games under Postecoglou despite the close-season departure of the club’s record goalscorer Harry Kane to Bayern Munich.
“I thought performance-wise we had to show a bit of everything. Arsenal are a top team and we had to defend at times. But we showed real courage and bravery to keep playing our football,” Postecoglou said.
“This side is growing. In terms of our football we’re still at the beginning but I’m so impressed with the character.”
For Arsenal, it was a frustrating afternoon as they lost ground on leaders Manchester City, who stand four points above them in the title race.
“We feel like we lost two points. It’s true there was a lot of change in the dominance of the game. Emotionally, that was a difficult one to take,” Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said.
“We conceded two really poor goals. At this level they’re going to punish you because they’ve got top players.”
Arsenal tested Tottenham’s mettle in a blistering start as Saka scooped a pin-point cross to the far post, where Gabriel Jesus’ half-volley drew a fine save from Guglielmo Vicario.
Arsenal’s pressure was mounting and they took the lead in the 26th minute, albeit in the most fortuitous fashion possible.
As Tottenham’s defenders backed off too far, Saka advanced into the area and curled in a shot that took a huge deflection off Romero’s out-stretched leg as it flashed past the wrong-footed Vicario.
Rubbing salt into Tottenham’s wounds, Saka copied James Maddison‘s goal celebration as the dejected midfielder trudged back to the centre circle.
But, with Tottenham gradually turning the tide, Raya was guilty of misjudging a cross in the attack that led to the visitors’ 42nd minute equaliser.
After Raya weakly palmed the ball away rather than catching it, he managed to save Johnson’s effort, but Tottenham still recycled possession to Maddison.
Exacting revenge on Saka for his earlier taunt, Maddison adroitly evaded the winger and cut a low cross towards Son, who deftly flicked his shot past Raya from six yards.
The hapless Romero blocked Ben White’s close-range shot with his hand, conceding a penalty that referee Robert Jones awarded after checking the pitchside monitor.
Saka calmly stroked the spot-kick past Vicario before passing up more mockery of Maddison as he celebrated with a gleeful knee slide this time.
Remarkably, Arsenal’s advantage lasted just seconds as Tottenham snatched a 55th minute leveller.
Maddison was the instigator again, dispossessing the careless Jorginho in midfield before teeing up Son for a clinical finish into the far corner.