7 Forgotten Moments in the History of the North London Derby

7 Forgotten Moments in the History of the North London Derby
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​We’re all familiar with some classic encounters between these two. Every time the fixture comes around you’ll see a list crop up with some juicy moments, best goals and what have you.

It’s the events hidden under the surface which deserve a mention, though, as some of the more intriguing and memorable happenings in clashes between Arsenal and Tottenham are sometimes lost beneath five-minute montages of goals and drama.

What about the little side-notes buried underneath that have been forgotten about? Y’know, those feisty moments, cheeky gestures, forgotten players and missing boots.

Yeah, those. Let’s have a look at seven of those moments.


Noureddine Naybet Scoring His Only Spurs Goal

Noureddine Naybet

​That madcap 5-4 thriller at White Hart Lane in 2004 features regularly on the aforementioned lists. What’s overlooked, however, is that 34-year-old centre back Naybet scored his one and only goal for ​Spurs in the 37th minute.

The Moroccan didn’t really do a whole lot else during his time with the club, eventually retiring in 2006, but as is so often the case at clubs with big rivalries, score in one of them and you won’t be soon forgotten.


Freddie Ljungberg Giving the Referee Two Fingers

Fredrik Ljungberg

While often a feisty tussle, no North London Derby quite lives up to the November 1999 clash between the two at White Hart Lane.

Spurs had raced into a two-goal lead after 20 minutes, with an ​Arsenal onslaught taking place from thereon in. As the clock was ticking down, frustration crept into the Gunners players, and in the end, nine yellows cards were issued alongside two reds – both going to Arsenal men.

It was Ljungberg’s which caught the eye, though, after he was sent off for a scrap with Justin Edinburgh. Upon receiving his marching orders, the Swede (not so eloquently) stuck up two fingers towards referee David Elleray, before booting down a dressing room door on his way out. Martin Keown compounded Arsenal’s misery with his own sending off shortly after.


Mauricio Taricco Not Realising an Arsenal Draw Would Win Them the League

Arsenal’s 2003/04 ‘Invincibles’ season is synonymous with the ​Premier League. They’re the only side to go the season unbeaten, and precisely where they won the title makes it all the more memorable.

Not if you’re Mauricio Taricco, though. Heading into their White Hart Lane clash knowing a draw would secure them the league crown at the home of their bitter rivals, leading 2-0 in the first half meant that looked on course to happen for the Gunners.

A late Tottenham fightback risked crashing that party, and after winning an injury-time penalty, it seemed, at least for Spurs fans, that they could take some gloss off the Gunners’ achievements by holding them to a draw. Unfortunately, Taricco was seemingly unaware, celebrating so wildly in front of Thierry Henry that he got cramp in the process. It took the Frenchman to tell him after that a draw was enough for his side. Not a great look.


Alan Brazil Scoring in a Rout

You know him, right? The large Glaswegian bloke who does talkSPORT but is now more often found sinking pints with his drinking buddy Ray Parlour? Whether you knew he actually played football or not, or if you knew he was a forward and not a no-nonsense central defender, he actually has history in his particular derby.

Back in 1983, Spurs ran riot against their sworn enemies, thumping the Gunners 5-0. Chris Hughton bagged a couple, as did Mark Falco, while the plucky (presumably nimble at the time) Brazil got in on the act too.


Nicklas Bendtner’s Deft Flicked Header

Nicklas Bendtner

No, not the one where he came on and scored his first touch. It’s much better (worse) than that.

After a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the 2008 League Cup semi-finals, Spurs went into the second leg at White Hart Lane full of energy. From the off, they were the better side, pushing the Gunners back and taking the lead through Jermaine Jenas.

They then got a helping hand from the self-proclaimed Danish world-beater, who rose highest in the box from Jenas’ free kick to flick a header beyond teammate Łukasz Fabiański and into his own net. What’s most impressive is that he didn’t even look!

Imagine that, producing a header of such quality despite not even paying attention. Wow. Such talent.

Spurs went on to trounce their rivals 5-1 and 6-2 on aggregate on their way to their most recent cup triumph.


Theo Walcott’s Cheeky Gesture

Theo Walcott

Arsenal’s first victims on their way to the 2014 FA Cup were Spurs.

It was a pretty one-sided affair as the Gunners were dominant throughout. That’s not what was memorable, though. Theo Walcott appeared to catch his studs in the turf as he raced back to make a tackle in the closing moments, forcing the stretcher to come out with Arsenal leading 2-0.

But, right in front of the Tottenham fans, they took the opportunity to gloat and abuse the winger. Why they felt that was a good idea when they were losing is anyone’s guess, but Walcott bit back by holding his hands aloft with the 2-0 scoreline. This incensed the Spurs fans, who proceeded to throw coins at the forward and be restrained by stewards with their anger palpable.

Dele Alli returned the favour a few seasons later.


Paul Gascoigne Scoring Without His Boot During 11-Minute Goal Spree

The rip-roaring nature and exhilarating pace of the North London Derby are what most people find so engrossing about the clash, but none will quite match up to the madness that ensued when the pair went head-to-head back in 1988.

Nigel Winterburn opened the scoring as the match began in its normal manner, but four more goals were to follow all within the space of 11 crazy minutes.

Chris Waddle equalised before Brian Marwood and Alan Smith extended the away side’s advantage, only for Paul Gascoigne to pull one back on his home debut.

Yet, what’s most entertaining about that insanity is that Gascoigne lost his boot in the build-up to his goal. The sight of his white sock flapping about is hilarious, but the fact he managed to score with it is even more humorous. Ok, maybe not the most entertaining aspect of the game. But funny nevertheless.


For more from Ross Kennerley, follow him on Twitter!  





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