Late Sanchez strike earns 10-man Arsenal a 2-2 draw at Spurs
Mar. 05, 2016
LONDON (AP) — Alexis Sanchez's late goal rescued a point for 10-man Arsenal in a 2-2 draw with Tottenham on Saturday after Francis Coquelin's sending-off sparked a turnaround in a thrilling Premier League game between the title-chasing north London rivals.
Coquelin was shown a second yellow card in the 55th minute for a reckless foul when Arsenal was 1-0 ahead thanks to Aaron Ramsey's first-half goal. Within seven minutes, Spurs had gone in front on goals by Toby Alderweireld and Harry Kane at White Hart Lane.
However, Sanchez scored in the 76th minute from a shot that Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris arguably should have saved, sealing a draw that would have been celebrated by league-leader Leicester.
Hours later, Leicester beat Watford 1-0 to move five points clear of second-place Tottenham and eight clear of third-place Arsenal in its surprise bid to win the Premier League the season after almost getting relegated.
"It was a missed opportunity," Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino said. "The way we turned it in two minutes, then you feel a little bit disappointed, frustrated, because at 11 against 10 when you turn the result, you need to keep that."
Police said two men were arrested for separate public-order offenses ahead of the derby match as fans clashed with police near the stadium. Footage on the website of British newspaper Daily Telegraph, taken off social media, appeared to show some fans clashing with mounted police and one man with a bloodied face.
Coquelin's sending-off was a turning point, coming when Arsenal looked composed and in charge after taking the lead.
The Frenchman didn't need to make the tackle on Kane — the striker was near the sideline and Arsenal's defense was in decent shape behind him — and he hung his head immediately after giving away the foul. Sure enough, the referee came over and brandished the second yellow card.
"He knows he made a big mistake," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said.
Suddenly, Spurs were on the front foot. Stand-in Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina saved Kane's shot when standing behind the goalline, with technology indicating the ball hadn't completely crossed the line. Then came the two quickfire goals as Alderweireld stroked in a volley from close range in the 60th minute before Kane curled in a stunning effort from a tough angle at the edge of the area in the 62nd.
But there was still time for another twist as Hector Bellerin fed Sanchez, who raced through and swept in a low finish that Lloris couldn't keep out despite getting a hand on it.
Spurs had more of the ball in the final stages though Arsenal could have won it, with Ramsey delaying on his shot after running through on goal to allow Kevin Wimmer to perform a last-ditch tackle.
"I feel we have shown our attitude, our character. I'm happy and proud of our performance," Wenger said. "We refused to lose the game. We have big regrets because I couldn't see at 11 against 11 how we could drop points today."