Pre-match doubts for the Scum included Mido, Gardner, Tainio and Davids but only Mido failed to play. King was out for the rest of the season after suffering a stress fracture in his left foot at Everton last weekend and Jenas was injured in training this week. Arsenal's ongoing injury list included Cygan, Lauren and Campbell with Cole and Clichy nearly back to fitness. Eboue, Henry and Fabregas were all on the bench and they like anyone else not appearing for the Gunners such as Hleb and Ljungberg were obviously being rested for Tuesday's trip to Villareal.
So it was high noon and eyes down for our penultimate full house at Highbury and a last chance for a bunch of marauding Neanderthals to once again wreck the away facilities at THOF. There was a great Arsenal flag in the Clock End ‘United colours of Arsenal' which had god knows how many national flags on it, all team related of course, plus the old ‘Victoria Concordia Crescit' legend. Arsenal kicked off towards the Clock End but it was the Totts who had by far the better of the first period of play as Arsenal fielded three local derby virgins in Djourou, Diaby and Adebayor. Lennon's speed was a problem for Flamini and Reyes and the Totts had more chances to take the lead before the break.
Following Rob's failure to tackle Keane crossed and Mathieu conceded a corner. Adebayor, Van Persie and Reyes combined at the other end to win a corner in turn. There was not much to shout about from both side and far more football than is normal in a derby match. No steaming in and more covering than tackling. A tackle would have been nice now and again particularly as the Totts saw more of the ball while Arsenal failed to gel into anything approaching a cohesive unit. A cross from Lee saw a header that was comfortable for Jens. A freekick won by Adebayor wide right saw Robin's ball in was glance-headed wide by Gilberto. More tidy play by the Totts followed before great skills by Robin in a half-decent move ended when Reyes won a corner.
A shot on the turn was taken high by Jens. A Reyes cross had Van Persie heading on but it lacked power. Diaby to Van Persie for a shot. Defoe gave Senderos another one in the face. Gardner headed clear another Reyes cross. A brown trouser moment for Arsenal as Carrick went on a run and rounded Lehmann who pushed him wide enough to see the shot hit the side netting. Half time and the goal less score line flattered Arsenal.
Spurs kicked off towards the Clock End as Eboue, Henry and Fabregas all warmed up in front of the East stand. Wide on our left Senderos blocked a ball and appeared to twist his knee as he stumbled off the edge of the pitch. He needed treatment and was clearly struggling after this incident. Adebayor got the crowd back on side as he chased down four consecutive passes. Keane late on Flamini after a good tackle by Mathieu. Defoe into Jens before Eboue came on for the limping Senderos and Djourou moved to centre back. Eboue had a shot from a narrow angle almost immediately, from a Pires' ball. Probably our first overlap of the game.
Van Persie with a shot after a brilliant cross by Gilberto was not controlled as well as it might have been but Robinson still needed to save. Keane offside shortly followed by a crap cross from Stalteri. Keane and Lennon then combined on a run. A great through ball by Gilberto as Van Persie beat the offside trap but put his dinked shot wide as Robinson charged out. Had he gone round the keeper a penalty looked odds on. Lennon shot wide with the goal gaping. Henry and Fabregas replaced Fabregas and Diaby with Henry immediately joining in the action to the obvious delight of the home fans. Jens beat Keane to a long through ball.
Pires had steam coming out of his ears for once and almost immediately clattered into Defoe for an inevitable yellow card. A Reyes shot was saved and from here on in it was all Arsenal who threw in the kitchen sink. My notes pretty well ended here due to the tension. Tottenham were all back in defence, playing extremely deep and looking tense. An Adebayor cross won a corner from which Fabregas had two decent strikes that thudded back off a crowd of players. Not surprisingly ‘You're scum and you know you are' became the chant of the day and continued throughout. It has to be said that if Cesc and Thierry had come on at half time things may have been different as it would if we'd played our first eleven from the off. Davids chopped Eboue near the touchline but there was no card. A couple of Falmini crosses headed were away for corners. A Djouou header from one of these corners was caught high by Robinson.
The ball at one point was flying around the Spurs area as if it were a pinball machine but they held on. They held on until such time as Adebayor outmuscled Stalteri who was grabbing hold of him down out left, he steamed on and found Henry who like the miracle man he is found the net. 1-1 and it was all Arsenal. There were six minutes to play plus a three-minute spell of added time. Within a minute Davids axed Fabregas and received an overdue second yellow card, the red was also inevitably was flashed and the home crowd gave it all they'd got as we pummelled the Spurs box till the final whistle. It remained 1-1 and a victory for piss poor sportsmanship.
We'd done nothing in the first half but pissed the second after our Supersubs joined the fray. We didn't deserve much more than a draw but the way they obtained their point will just add fuel to the animosity between us and the tossers from the wrong end of Seven Sisters Road.
As it happens Tottenham's best season in decades featured a record low number of competitive games played by any Premiership club in any season. This was because they didn't play in Europe (yet again) and they were humiliated by Grimsby and Leicester in the opening rounds of the domestic cups. They failed to beat us in either league game, yet again, but 4th place will be theirs unless they screw up against either Bolton or the Shammers and we win all of our remaining matches.