LONDON, February 7 – Harry Kane scored twice as Tottenham Hotspur claimed the north London bragging rights by storming from behind to sink Arsenal 2-1 in the Premier League on Saturday.
Kane’s headed 86th-minute winner took Spurs above their arch rivals in the race for Champions League football as Arsenal paid the price for failing to build on Mesut Ozil’s early opener.
Kane rewarded the home side’s persistence when he equalised early in the second half and the darling of White Hart Lane continued the fine form of his breakthrough season by repeating the feat late on.
The 21-year-old’s match-winning brace, which came after he scored twice in a 5-3 rout of Chelsea, left Spurs a point above Arsenal in the table with 14 matches of the season remaining.
Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino opted to leave out former Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor, who might have been in danger of being jeered by both sets of supporters.
The Togolese forward’s absence increased the pressure on top scorer Kane, but the in-form striker was inches away from opening the scoring in the fifth minute.
A quick break saw Kane curl a 20-yard shot towards goal and only the fingertips of Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina kept it out.
The atmosphere was red hot on a freezing day in the English capital, but White Hart Lane was stunned into silence when Ozil drew first blood in the 11th minute.
Danny Welbeck, back after injury, stormed down the right and although Olivier Giroud mishit his shot, the ball flew to the unmarked Ozil, who coolly volleyed home.
The early setback did not deter a Spurs side who were intent on testing Ospina, who appeared to be struggling with a finger injury picked up in making the save from Kane.
Danny Rose twice drilled efforts across his goalmouth, before Ospina was forced into another save on the half-hour mark.
Per Mertesacker played his side into trouble and Ryan Mason saw his 25-yard shot turned around the post by the busy Colombian.
– Welbeck, Rose clash –
Tottenham did not deserve to be trailing, but they were facing a stubborn Arsenal side who had gone over six hours without conceding a goal.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger’s biggest worry was ensuring a fired-up Welbeck remained on the pitch.
Having received a yellow card for a foul on Rose, the former Manchester United forward remonstrated with the Spurs left-back as the pair headed down the tunnel at half-time.
Their running feud continued in the second half and Welbeck strayed close to being sent off after a clumsy push sent Rose sprawling.
Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla forced Hugo Lloris into a low save early in the second half, but the hosts drew level in the 56th minute and Arsenal could have no complaints.
Erik Lamela’s corner saw Mousa Dembele’s header palmed up, but not away, by Ospina and the lurking Kane mopped up the rebound at the back post.
Tottenham were thundering into tackles, but they needed to keep their concentration and two lapses obliged Lloris to bail them out.
Welbeck’s curling effort looked to be heading inside the far post before the Frenchman intervened with a brilliant flying save.
From the resulting corner, Laurent Koscielny should have done better than head straight at Lloris after being left unmarked on the penalty spot.
But it was Tottenham who were in the ascendancy, with Ospina keeping out efforts from Kane and Nabil Bentaleb as the home side pushed for all three points.
In a rare foray forward, Giroud headed Ozil’s cross wide, which summed up the striker’s afternoon.
It looked to to be the final act until Kane rose to power a glorious header past Ospina from Bentaleb’s deep left-wing cross.