Controversy, excitement, the two managers yelling at each other nose to nose like Earl Weaver and a home plate umpire, and a red card - everything you would expect from such a rivalry game. Oh, and Tottenham continued their impressive streaks:
Have not won in their last
Have not beaten Arsenal in the last
So the penultimate match at Highbury saw the two teams share the points as they say. Wenger rested his key midfielder Fabregas as well as his best player Henry to try to keep them fresh for their massive Champions League match on Tuesday. His thinking was let's try to win it without these two, but if it is still tied after an hour then I'll bring them on and try to win it in the last half hour (and then they will only have played 30 minutes which will still bode well for Tuesday). And that is basically how it went.
I hope your calculations are correct, Professor.
Tottenham had the better of it for the first hour, and just as Henry was waiting to come on they scored a 'controversial' opening goal. 'Controversial' because in the buildup to their goal 2 Arsenal players were down injured, and traditional sportsmanship says that when an opposing player is down hurt, you kick the ball out of play, then after the player is attended to, the other team gives possession of the ball back to you. This did not happen, and the result was a Tottenham goal. To be fair to Spurs, I don't think thier transgression was too egregious. For one, the two Arsenal players ran into each other; they were not injured because of a challenge by a Tottenham player. Also, the time between the players going down injured and the goal was about 10 seconds - it wasn't like they played on for a minute, and thirdly, the injured players were behind the play, so it wasn't visually obvious to the attacking Spurs players that they were offside. At least leprechaun Robbie Keane didn't celebrate his goal with his stupid-ass
Shit's about to change up in here, son.
So 0-1 down as Henry & Fabregas came on, and the match changed immediately. The last 30 minutes were all Arsenal; one way traffic for sure. And of course Henry provided a moment of magic scoring a beautiful equalizer with only six minutes remaining. Arsenal had a few more chances, and Edgar Davids was sent off for his
Titi beats Robinson, pulls Arsenal level,
and rescues chances of finishing 4th
Is there anything he can't do?
So where does that leave things you ask?
Tottenham: 36 played, 62 points
Arsenal: 35 played, 58 points
Tottenham: vs. Bolton, at West Ham
Arsenal: at Sunderland, at Manchester City, vs. Wigan
The long & the short of it is this: if Spurs win their 2 remaining matches then they cannot be beaten for 4th. If they "drop points" then Arsenal still have a great chance to beat them. Arsenal's game in hand is away to Sunderland, the worst team in the history of the Premiership, so assuming the full 3 points that would leave a 1 point gap. Were Spurs to drop points then Arsenal could take 4th by winning their remaining 2 games against good but not great teams.
Of course there is always the ultimate Nelson scenario where Spurs finish 4th but are replaced in next year's Champions League by Arsenal should The Gunners win this year's Champions League.
So there it is.
Oh, and speaking of Nelson: "Ha Ha!"