The Famous Five

Tottenham 4 Arsenal 5: Arsenal?s breathless victory is upstaged by breathtaking Chelsea as Santini cries foul over White Hart Lane exit
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The Independent Online

The French and Dutch managers of north London's two great football clubs used the same old English word to describe the extraordinary events at White Lane Hart yesterday. "Crazy" was the universal verdict on Arsenal's 5-4 victory over Tottenham, who have now scored as many goals in two Premiership matches under Martin Jol as in 11 under Jacques Santini, who resigned a week ago.

The French and Dutch managers of north London's two great football clubs used the same old English word to describe the extraordinary events at White Lane Hart yesterday. "Crazy" was the universal verdict on Arsenal's 5-4 victory over Tottenham, who have now scored as many goals in two Premiership matches under Martin Jol as in 11 under Jacques Santini, who resigned a week ago.

Meanwhile Santini, who was among more than 36,000 bemused observers at the ground, admitted for the first time that he had resigned in frustration at the way the club was being run and not for family reasons.

While Spurs have gone from the sublimely dull to the ridiculously entertaining, Arsenal finally put their championship challenge back on course three weeks after losing at Old Trafford and would have been back on top of the table if Chelsea had not won 4-1 their west London derby at Fulham. "We had a hangover from the Manchester United game, so today was very important," Arsène Wenger, their manager, said. "It was a little bit different because it was a derby. Normally they're either locked or crazy and today we got the crazy version. I'm not too happy to concede four but we played with great spirit and mental strength. Our first goal was the turning point."

That goal, by Thierry Henry, came just before half-time after the champions had been outplayed and were 1-0 down to Nourredine Naybet's first goal for Tottenham. Arsenal quickly went 3-1 ahead in the second half, but were repeatedly pulled back to a single-goal lead after establishing an apparently comfortable two-goal cushion.

A disappointed Jol said: "There are some good feelings and some horrible feelings. If you score four against one of the best teams in Europe you are doing something right. If you lose the ball against Arsenal in midfield, they punish you, but we lost the ball at the back. It was a crazy old game."

Unbeknown to the new head coach, Santini had put the record straight on the leaving of Tottenham just before last week's home defeat by Charlton. "Right from the start there was a problem with who was in charge," he said of the system Spurs established in the summer with a director of football in Frank Arnesen and a whole raft of coaches. "It became clear that I was only in charge of coaching, not buying players." The former French manager also confirmed that Michael Carrick had been bought from West Ham against his wishes, and admitted of his departure: "I have no massive family problems."

There seem to be no problems of any kind at Chelsea now. Like Spurs, they were being criticised for not scoring, but with Arjen Robben fit all that has changed. He struck another brilliant goal - his fourth strike in four games - to put Chelsea back in front after Fulham had equalised Frank Lampard's opener and goals from William Gallas and Tiago ensure that Jose Mourinho's side were off the top for only three hours. And what did Mourinho think of Arsenal's win? "4-5? That's ice hockey."

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