The smile on the face of Alexandre Song Billong said it all. The midfielder came on as a substitute in the 88th minute of Wednesday’s north London derby, smiling to his team-mates as though it was job done at the Emirates. Five minutes later, Aaron Lennon had slotted home to give Spurs an unlikely and amazing point from an exhilarating match that left Tottenham fans bouncing around like kanagaroos in the away end.
The Guardian reports that Arsene Wenger is angry and disappointed after his team came back from 1-0 down, only to let leads of 3-1 and 4-2 slip from their grasp. While some of the Gunners goals came as a result of defensive lapses, there can surely be no excuse for allowing Harry Redknapp’s men to snatch a point, and their hopes of the title now look slim.
“I believe that we produced an excellent game, we were really outstanding. The positive side was that we were superior to Tottenham but the negative was that we didn’t win.
“That was down to a lack of maturity but this isn’t necessarily linked to experience. We were too cautious rather than scoring number five or six. The right pass would have seen us score. We weren’t going forward with enough purpose and we were punished. We made some mistakes defensively, of course. All out title rivals won. With the game we produced tonight, we should have won, too.”
“At 4-2, they had given up but we got them back into the game. Then at 4-3, they have nothing to lose. Instead of playing down the wings, we lost the ball in the middle. We had two opportunities to score a fifth but we didn’t take our chances. With two minutes to go, there was no Harry Redknapp factor. It’s very difficult to prove scientifically why that happened.”
You can look at any number of culprits for allowing Spurs to come back into it. Manuel Almunia should possibly have done better with Tom Huddlestone’s shot which allowed Darren Bent to make it 3-2, while Gael Clichy must have had nightmares about the way he conceded possession on the halfway line, allowing Jenas to make it 4-3. Arsenal fans, how did you throw this one away?