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
Independent Dating

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Ashdown Group: Graduate UI Developer - HTML, CSS, Javascript

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Graduate UI Application Developer - ...

Day In a Page

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?
Season's finale brings the end of an era for top coaches and players across the continent

The end of an era across the continent

It's time to say farewell to Klopp, Clement, Casillas and Xavi this weekend as they move on to pastures new, reports Pete Jenson
Bin Laden documents released: Papers reveal his obsession with attacking the US and how his failure to keep up with modern jihad led to Isis

'Focus on killing American people'

Released Bin Laden documents reveal obsession with attacking United States
Life hacks: The innovations of volunteers and medical workers are helping Medécins Sans Frontières save people around the world

Medécins Sans Frontières's life hacks

The innovations of volunteers and medical workers around the world are helping the charity save people
Ireland's same-sex marriage vote: As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?

Same-sex marriage

As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?
The underworld is going freelance: Why The Godfather's Mafia model is no longer viable

The Mafia is going freelance

Why the underworld model depicted in The Godfather is no longer viable