Five of the Best ... Arsenal Premier League goals against Spurs

Thierry Henry celebrating scoring against Spurs in 2002

1. Thierry Henry - 16 November 2002

The first of two on this list to win Match of the Day's goal of the season award, this strike was one of Thierry Henry’s finest and gave Arsenal a 1-0 lead in a match they would eventually win comfortably. Patrick Vieira is credited with the assist, but the fact that Vieira’s contribution was a headed clearance from his own penalty area says a lot about what was still required from Henry.

Henry scored more technically impressive goals for Arsenal, but for raw pace and power this would take some beating. Despite sprinting practically the length of the pitch you couldn’t really say he took on the Spurs midfield and defence - they simply couldn’t get near him.
As Radio 5 Live’s Mike Ingham said: “Henry’s goal displayed everything that makes him great.”

2. Kanu - 5 May 1999

The season 1998/99 belonged to Manchester United and their remarkable treble. However Arsenal came pretty close to disrupting this piece of history. The Gunners were minutes away from an FA Cup semi-final penalty shoot out with United when Ryan Giggs intervened and also took the Premier League title race to the last day of the season.
Arsenal’s victory at White Hart Lane on the same evening United were held to a 2-2 draw at Liverpool, put the Gunners top and favourites to retain their crown. Emmanuel Petit and Nicolas Anelka put a dominant Arsenal 2-0 up only for Darren Anderton to pull one back with a free-kick that David Seaman should probably have saved.

With Spurs pushing for an unlikely point, Arsene Wenger sent on Kanu for Dennis Bergkamp. The Nigerian was already becoming a cult hero with the Arsenal fans - despite only arriving at the club in February - and sealed his status with a fantastic, individual goal. Patrick Vieira chipped a long pass into his path and Kanu, on the edge of the area, backed into Luke Young, flicked the ball over the bemused defender’s head, and fired the ball past Ian Walker.

Related article: Five of the Best Kanu Goals.

3. Tony Adams - 24 November 1996

Arsene Wenger's first North London derby came early in his Arsenal career in his sixth match in charge. Ian Wright’s penalty and a scruffy Andy Sinton goal meant the scores were level with a couple of minutes to go.
A quick throw into the area found Dennis Bergkamp, who beautifully flicked the ball up into the air for the oncoming Tony Adams to unleash a technically perfect left-foot volley into the far corner. Wenger had yet to really impose his style on this team, but here perhaps was the evidence that he had the players with the ability to play his way.

Just weeks before, in the aftermath of Euro 96, Adams had publicly admitted he was an alcoholic, and was in the very early stages of feeling the twin benefits of Wenger’s philosophy and cleaner living. In his autobiography he described how he scored ‘on one of the ventures upfield I now felt I had been given license to attempt, not only by Arsene Wenger but also because I was feeling adventurous as a person and player.’
Victory was sealed in the dying seconds of the match with another special goal from Bergkamp, silkily controlling Wright’s cross and slotting home to make it 3-1.

4. Emmanuel Adebayor - 15 September 2007

While it is very tempting to airbrush Emmanuel Adebayor from Arsenal’s history, his goal against Spurs in 2007 is just too good to ignore. Adebayor had an impossible task at Arsenal – replace Thierry Henry. For the first hour of this North London derby, his critics were given more ammunition as he missed a couple of relatively straight-forward chances and the Gunners went into half-time a goal behind to a Gareth Bale free-kick.
Adebayor equalised with a decent header, then Cesc Fabregas scored with what looked to be the goal of the game to give Arsenal the lead, before the Togo striker made the game safe with a stunning turn on the edge of the area and a thunderous volley into the top corner. The strike would later be voted goal of the season by Match of the Day viewers.

Adebayor will never be thought of as a great Arsenal player - he didn't stay long enough, agitated for a move to Manchester City, provocatively celebrated scoring against his former club, and worst of all, played for Spurs. But he was prolific against Tottenham, scoring eight times against them for Arsenal.

5. Cesc Fabregas - 31 October 2009

Spurs went into this match at The Emirates having failed to beat Arsenal in their previous 20 league meetings. Some disastrous defending saw them go into the half-time break 2-0 down. After a fairly even first 43 minutes, Robin van Persie broke the deadlock with a near post finish. Eleven seconds after the match re-started Arsenal scored again - Sky Sports were still showing replays of the first goal!
From kick off, Wilson Palacios ran straight into Cesc Fabgregas and the Spaniard beat two defenders, before firing past Heurelho Gomes from the edge of the penalty area. Tottenham’s manager Harry Redknapp lamented that: “Giving Fabregas the ball from the kick-off was Sunday morning football” which was probably harsh on Sunday league footballers.

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