Arsenal hold advantage for Europe

Arsenal 0 Tottenham Hotspur 0

Arsenal maintained their lead in north London's version of the Premiership race as an eventful but uneven encounter kept them in fifth place - two points clear of their rivals - and still in line for the third Uefa Cup place on offer to British clubs next season.

Tottenham drew comfort from the late appearance of Darren Anderton in his first match after seven months out injured. Anderton, who must still be hoping to regain his England place for this summer's European Championship finals, was greeted by a handshake from his England colleague David Platt, and promptly bundled over by Platt's Arsenal colleague Martin Keown. Welcome back.

Recent history at least favoured the visitors, whose last three visits to Highbury had produced a win and two draws.

There was further reason for Tottenham cheer before the match, as Anderton gambolled out to join the warm-up - back on the bench for his first involvement with the first team since the recurrence of his hernia problems in the game against QPR on 25 September.

In the intervening months, Anderton has admitted he has occasionally despaired of ever returning to full fitness, and the warm acclaim of the Spurs fans was gratefully acknowledged.

The home side, with Nigel Winterburn and Ray Parlour restored after injury, began urgently, with Dennis Bergkamp testing Ian Walker after just two minutes and Paul Merson opening the visitors' defence up a minute later.

Spurs steadied themselves, and Chris Armstrong began to create consternation with his direct running at Scott Marshall.

Arsenal regained the initiative after a quarter of an hour as Ian Wright burst on to a through ball from Bergkamp. Edinburgh appeared to have won the ball cleanly in a last-ditch tackle, but Wright made the most of the challenge as he fell. Edinburgh was booked - an odd decision, as his challenge appeared to have halted a direct run on goal, and thus should have merited a sending-off if the referee felt it had been illegal.

Spurs breathed again as Bergkamp drove the free-kick over, but their anxiety levels soared soon after as Parlour caught Ronny Rosenthal in possession and crossed for Merson to drive over.

Five minutes from the break, Arsenal had the ball in the net when Platt, running in on the blind side, headed in Bergkamp's cross but was ruled offside.

Spurs were living dangerously and, two minutes from half-time, Ruel Fox's disastrous attempt at a clearance in his own box allowed Nigel Winterburn a clear shot - luckily for the visitors, on his weak right foot. Fortune favoured them a minute later, too, when a corner fell to Andy Linighan, who reacted leadenly to the fleeting chance.

The atmosphere remained as frenetic after the break, but the play became scrappy, and Bergkamp and Parlour's names joined those of Edinburgh and Dozzell in the referee's book.

Teddy Sheringham, playing in a bandana to protect stitches in a head wound he received on Easter Monday, was unusually subdued and wasted an opportunity in the opening minutes of the second half.

After 65 minutes, following a monumental tackle by Sol Campbell which halted Wright in his tracks, Sheringham sent Armstrong clean through. His forward partner shot wide with a casualness which suggested he thought he was offside but Keown was playing him on.

Arsenal (3-5-2): Seaman; Keown, Linighan, Marshall; Dixon, Parlour, Platt, Bergkamp, Winterburn; Merson (Helder, 72), Wright. Substitutes not used: Hartson, Rose.

Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): Walker; Wilson, Campbell (Nethercott, 72), Mabbutt, Edinburgh; Fox, Dozzell (Anderton, 79), Howells, Rosenthal; Sheringham, Armstrong. Substitute not used: Day.

Referee: M Reed (Birmingham).

Results, page 23

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Hire Manager - Tool Hire

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...

Day In a Page

Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests