Football: Bergkamp and Adams break spirited Spurs

Arsenal 3 Tottenham 1

Wright pen 28 Lukic og 57

Adams 88

Bergkamp 90 Attendance: 38,264

The rain emptied down on Highbury yesterday and there was a vicious bite to the wind, but for the red half of north London Highbury was a wonderful, warming place to be. This particular local argument is not meant to finish in such a decisive, remarkable fashion.

Only in the final three minutes did the goals arrive to enable Arsenal to rewrite the recent history of a fixture which had seen Tottenham as the dominant force. When the visitors had gained a fortuitous equaliser off the shoulder of Arsenal's stand-in goalkeeper John Lukic, it seemed that the story to be told would be an old, familiar one.

Not so. Tony Adams and Dennis Bergkamp's late sense of drama changed all that and ensured that the game at St James' Park on Saturday will bring together the two leading sides in the Premiership. A victory there against Newcastle and Arsenal will return to the top of the table.

Not since December 1991 have the Tottenham colours been lowered here. One thing that never changes, however, is Arsenal's refusal to give up on any cause, and they were not about to start yesterday. While Tottenham were holding on to a 1-1 scoreline, which in their supporters' eyes would have been an acceptable result, the Gunners decided there was a victory still to be pulled out of the fire.

Standing head and shoulders above the maelstrom was Bergkamp, whose immaculate touch and admirable awareness helped him supply a masterly performance. It was appropriate that the Dutchman should have the final say with a quite exquisite turn inside his defender and a lacerating shot into the far corner of the net for Arsenal's third.

It came just two minutes after Adams had made excellent use of the licence now afforded him under this new, Continental regime, to push forward. Paul Merson's throw was cushioned by Bergkamp, who then delicately lifted the ball in the air for the Arsenal captain to smote his first goal of the season, a left-footed volley that diverted off Steve Carr.

It was Bergkamp, using all his wiles and experience, who had helped give Arsenal the lead via the penalty spot midway through the first half. Both he and Clive Wilson found themselves in a heap on the floor, and the Tottenham man appeared to impede his rival as Bergkamp attempted to be first to the loose ball.

The initial feeling was that David Elleray was correct in his decision, though television replays indicated that Bergkamp had considerably enhanced the contact that had been made with the manner of his fall. Ian Wright took three steps back before stroking the penalty head- high to Ian Walker's left for his 160th Arsenal goal.

Before then Spurs had missed the chance to go in front when Allan Nielsen moved in swiftly to challenge Lee Dixon, his diversion putting Teddy Sheringham in the clear. Such opportunities are rarely wasted by the England man but this time he dragged his shot wide.

While Spurs forced a number of corners in the first half, they were finding it hard to penetrate an orderly defence in which Martin Keown gave little change to Chris Armstrong.

After Wright's penalty the controlled nature of Arsenal's one-touch football promised to give them an uncatchable advantage. The easy understanding between Merson and Dixon down the right won them bags of space, and from one such move Bergkamp laid the ball square to Wright, only for Sol Campbell to come in and rescue the situation.

When Colin Calderwood failed to clear Dixon's whipped-in centre, the ball dropped on Wright's left foot but the chance went astray. So did another early in the second half when this irrepressible finisher had stole in ahead of Wilson to gather Merson's subtle chip. Again his left boot was to blame.

Next it was Arsenal's turn to suffer defensive unease and give Lukic the chance to prove that David Seaman's injury absence need not be a critical factor after all.

The replacement saved first from Darren Anderton and then, at the second attempt, from Chris Armstrong. The temperature was rising, Tottenham were glimpsing an equaliser which David Howells' challenge on Adams had appeared to set up. For the second time, however, Armstrong made it easy for Lukic to pull off the save.

Tottenham needed to seize their chances in this period of growing pressure, and, 12 minutes into the second half, they at last found the net even though there was a considerable element of luck about it. Neilsen's long throw found its way to the far side of the goalmouth, where Andy Sinton spun and sent in a shot which hit the post and then slipped over the line off Lukic's shoulder.

Arsenal (5-3-1-1): Lukic; Dixon, Keown, Bould, Adams, Winterburn; Merson, Vieira, Platt (Hartson, 80); Bergkamp (Parlour, 90); Wright. Substitutes not used: Bartram (gk), Morrow, Linighan.

Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): Walker; Carr, Calderwood, Campbell, Wilson; Anderton, Nielsen, Howells, Sinton; Sheringham, Armstrong. Substitutes not used: Bardsen (gk), Edinburgh, Nethercott, Fox, Allen.

Referee: D Elleray (Harrow).

Bookings: Arsenal: Vieira, Dixon. Tottenham: Armstrong.

Man of the match: Bergkamp.

people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
peopleHis band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and DiCaprio, at an awards show in 2010
filmsAll just to promote a new casino
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
Arts and Entertainment
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Tom Cleverley
footballLoan move comes 17 hours after close of transfer window
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Boris Johnson may be manoeuvring to succeed David Cameron
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

C#.NET Developer

£500 per day: Harrington Starr: C#.NET Developer C#, WPF, WCF, ASP.NET, Prism...

Creche Assistant or Nursery Nurse

£8 per hour: Randstad Education Leeds: The Job Creche Assistant to start asap ...

Nursery Nurse Level 3

£8 per hour: Randstad Education Leeds: The Job Nursery Nurse Leeds We are now ...

Web Developer/UI Developer (HTML5, CSS3,Jquery) London

£55000 - £65000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A Global Financial Service Organi...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering