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PREMIER LEAGUE: Tottenham get the better of Arsenal in North London derby

Tottenham today took the honours in the North London derby by defeating Arsenal 2-1 at White Hart Lane.

Spurs opened the scoring slightly against the run of play when Emmanuel Adebayor found Rafael van der Vaart in the area and the Dutchman was able to bring it down with his chest before producing a perfect finish across Wojciech Szczesny for his fourth goal in three matches against the Gunners, however, it did appear that he had brought the ball down with part of his arm.

Nonetheless, the goal stood and Arsenal had a fight on their hands which they momentarily won when Aaron Ramsey leveled six minutes into the second half. The Welshman tucked away at the front post just ahead of an advancing Brad Friedel after Alex Song had gotten onto to Younes Kaboul's headed clearance and advanced down the left to cut back for Ramsey.

Tottenham had the better of the chances despite Arsenal's dominance from a possession viewpoint and it worked out in the end as Kyle Walker produced the winner with just over 20 minutes of regular time remaining. The right-back took his chance with a 25-yard piledriver which caught Szczesny by surprise and dipped into the back of the net when perhaps it should have been kept out by the Pole who had a great game other than that error.

He saved the Gunners on a number of occasions including an early stop from Scott Parker's attempt from inside the box, a reflex save from a van der Vaart flick just before the half-hour mark, a brilliant save when Adebayor had been slipped through by Gareth Bale in the 57th minute and another top quality stop with seven minutes left when Jermain Defoe had a crack with his left foot from outside the area.

The Gunners were not devoid of chances and really should have taken the lead on the half-hour Robin van Persie skipped past Kaboul down the left before pulling back for Gervinho but the Ivorian scuffed it past the post when he should have buried it.

However, Spurs vindicated the fact that they were favourites for the first time in the Premier League for a North London derby and the victory allowed them to move into sixth as the Gunners fell to 15th with their fourth loss of what is looking to be a fairly mediocre campaign.

TRIBAL ASKS: Could it be a bottom-half finish for Arsenal this season and on the other hand, can Spurs again push into the Champions League spots?

Tottenham: 2 (Rafael van der Vaart 40', Kyle Walker 73') Arsenal: 1 (Aaron Ramsey 51') White Hart Lane, North London

Yellow cards:TOT - Rafael van der Vaart 27', Scott Parker 75' ARS - Per Mertesacker 32'

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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