Arsenal v Spurs: A Glorious History of Mashing The Spuddies

Arsenal v Tottenham – September 1st, 2019

Plumstead ground (1)

The two teams met for the first time in the United League November 9th 1896. The match took place at Woolwich Arsenal’s Manor Ground in Plumstead and Arsenal won, 2.1.

The United League was founded in 1896 to provide additional mid-week fixtures for teams drawn from a number of leagues including founder members, Woolwich Arsenal from the Football League, and Tottenham Hotspur from the Southern League.

The teams first met in a Division 1 Football League match on December 4th 1909 it was watched by a crowd of 18,000. Woolwich Arsenal won 1- 0 with Walter Henry Lawrence scoring their first league goal against Spurs.

Arsenal v Spurs All Time Home Games
Non League 4 1 2 11 10
Division 1 26 13 16 83 65
EPL 15 10 2 53 27
Total : 45 24 20 147 102

Some key games between the clubs.

Tottenham 0–1 Arsenal (3 May 1971) The final match of the 1970–71 league campaign, with Arsenal needing a win or a goalless draw to take the First Division title (a score draw would have meant Leeds United won on goal average). The game was tight with few real chances on goal, until the very end. With three minutes to go, John Radford’s shot forced Pat Jennings into a good save; George Armstrong got to the rebound and chipped the ball across goal and Ray Kennedy headed home the winner. Spurs desperately tried to get a goal back but to no avail; Arsenal held on to win the title (the first half of the Double that season).

“I tried, in vain, to get into White Hart Lane for many of our away games and I was desperate to get in to watch our title winning game on May 3rd 1971 but I was among the thousands left outside the ground – Erik the Red was a lot smarter than GN5”.

Tottenham 1–2 Arsenal (4 March 1987) Arsenal and Spurs had drawn 2–2 on aggregate in the League Cup semi-finals; with no away goals rule in force, the match was replayed at Spurs’ home ground of White Hart Lane. Spurs went 1–0 up through Clive Allen but Arsenal substitute Ian Allinson equalised and David Rocastle scrambled home the winner to send Arsenal through to the Final, where they won their first trophy since 1979.


Arsenal 1–0 Tottenham (4 April 1993 at Wembley) The second FA Cup semi-final between the two, in which Arsenal sought revenge over their North London rivals for the 3–1 semi-final defeat two years earlier. Tony Adams scored with a header from a Paul Merson free kick for the Gunners in the 79th minute; Arsenal prevailed despite Lee Dixon’s sending-off, and went on to win the FA Cup in May and complete the first ever domestic cup double.

Arsenal 2–1 Tottenham (8 April 2001 at Old Trafford) – the third FA Cup semi-final between the two. Gary Doherty gave Spurs the lead, before Patrick Vieira equalised for Arsenal. Robert Pires scored a second half winner to send Arsenal through to the first FA Cup final to be played outside England, where they lost 2–1 to Liverpool in Cardiff. 

Tottenham 2–2 Arsenal (25 April 2004) Arsenal were unbeaten in the Premier League and only needed a point to secure the title. The Gunners were 2–0 up after 35 minutes thanks to Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires’ goals. A famous win looked to be on the cards, but Spurs restored some pride by denying Arsenal victory; in the second half Jamie Redknapp scored from long-range, then Robbie Keane converted a 90th-minute penalty to give Arsenal their second and, as of 2018, last league championship won at their rivals’ home ground.

Arsenal 3–1 Tottenham a.e.t (31 January 2007) Arsenal booked their place in the 2007 League Cup Final, for the first time since winning the competition in 1993, after this extra-time victory. The teams drew the first leg 2–2 at White Hart Lane where Tottenham threw away a 2–0 first half lead, eventually drawing the game. The return leg game was goalless until the 77th minute when Emmanuel Adebayor gave Arsenal the lead, before Mido equalised for Tottenham five minutes from time. Jérémie Aliadière restored Arsenal’s lead in the 105th minute and the game was eventually won by Arsenal after a 113th minute own goal by Tottenham’s Pascal Chimbonda, sending Arsenal through to the final, 5–3 on aggregate. Arsenal, however, would eventually lose the final to Chelsea.

Arsenal V Tottenham EPL Home Games
Date W D L GF GA
11-May-93   1   1 1
06-Dec-93   1   1 1
29-Apr-95   1   0 0
15-Apr-96     1 1 3
24-Nov-96 1     3 1
30-Aug-97   1   0 0
14-Nov-98   1   0 0
19-Mar-00 1     2 1
31-Mar-01 1     2 0
06-Apr-02 1     2 1
16-Nov-02 1     3 0
08-Nov-03 1     2 1
25-Apr-05 1     1 0
22-Apr-06   1   1 1
02-Dec-06 1     3 0
22-Dec-07 1     2 1
29-Oct-08   1   4 4
31-Oct-09 1     3 0
20-Nov-10     1 2 3
26-Feb-12 1     5 2
17-Nov-12 1     5 2
01-Sep-13 1     1 0
27-Sep-14   1   1 1
08-Nov-15   1   1 1
06-Nov-16   1   1 1
18-Nov-17 1     2 0
02-Dec-18 1     4 2
Total: 15 10 2 53 27


Arsenal v Spurs All Time Home Games %
  W D L
Non League 57.1% 14.3% 28.6%
Division 1 47.3% 23.6% 29.1%
EPL 55.6% 37.0% 7.4%
Total : 45.5% 24.2% 20.2%


Spurs have only beaten us at home in the Premier League on two occasions namely April 15, 1996 and the last time on November 20th 2010 – we peeled the Spuds 4-2 on their last visit to the Emirates Stadium.

Home games are when we need our supporters to stand up and be counted; they must become the very vocal 12th man and create an intense/hostile atmosphere to spur our team to victory. I was at Highbury for dozens of games between the two clubs and perhaps surprisingly (for the younger supporters) I don’t recollect a lot of hostility between the two sets of supporters in the 40’and 50’s but that definitely changed in the 60’s when it started to get ugly.

By GunnerN5

12 thoughts on “Arsenal v Spurs: A Glorious History of Mashing The Spuddies

  • GN5, many thanks for a brilllllllllllllllllllllllliant historical preview of the home version of the NLD! Another home win would be very, very sweet.

  • Thanks GN5 for the historical perspectives on one of the greatest local derbies in all of football. I’d like to hear more about your personal experiences attending the matches…

    By comparison, of course, I’m a noobie…having only fallen into trying to support AFC while living at my screen-name in the autumn of 2006, and actually having to fly back on derby day (2 December), the first ever held at our new stadium. In that one, Arsenal won 3-nil with Adebayor opening the scoring in the 20th minute and celebrating with an injured Thierry Henry. (Gilberto scored from the penalty spot on either side of the halftime break too…)

    I see some parallels between that moment and today, but, clearly, with the shoe on the other foot. In the previous spring, Arsenal limped in to a top 4 finish in the PL, perhaps due to exertions of our best CL campaign, where, ultimately we would finish as runners-up. Despite those successes, the summer was a tumultuous one, with big changes in player personnel.

    Now it’s Spurs who have the new–or at least refurbished–stadium and are coming off (very) similar results in their PL and CL seasons. They haven’t had quite the same disruption over the close season…except that it’s not concluded yet and they may still be losing the center of their creative play, Christian Eriksen. A home loss to Newcastle last weekend suggests not all is well…

    And, with no celebration of St. Totteringham’s Day in recent seasons, there’s plenty of talk about a new “balance of power” in North London, even if, last season we were a linesman’s whistle (or a Mustafi shove) from sweeping the full points from at least the league matches (even if Spurs beat us–at the Emirates–to advance in the League Cup.

    Regardless, as always, it’s a big one, and it would be quite a marker if Arsenal could win this one in style…

  • TA, thanks for the previous post…and your thoughts about the Pool match. I’m *almost* in (total) agreement with them and it seems a bit late to get too deep into the quibbles…

    Above ^^ I say “win (this one) with style”…and, I must say, I have fears about Emery’s tactic of inviting the opponent forward when we play teams in our own stadium–esp. if they are teams we hope to dominate (like Spurs, historically, at least), and, if we’re guaranteed a raucous atmosphere (i.e., in a NLD)… Doing so almost guarantees a spicy start…

    And after that?…I ask because I also think you are quite right to ask if Emery has a plan B?

    IMO, the coach (every coach…) should have an approach that is VERY different for games where we want the full points–or for situations where we need goals–and there should be no hesitation about switching to it (if we go behind at a place like Liverpool) or want to get on the board and establish a scoreline in our favor. This playing around (rarely out of, I fear…) the back might be novel, but what does it accomplish? Time wasting, check, an improved possession stat, check. What else? Not much (especially if, more times than not, we end up kicking it long anyhow)…

    It’s defending with the ball–or a trap to try and tempt the opponent to give up their defensive lines by showing it too them. We haven’t had any overt gaffes…yet…(even if Pony Eye has already written the post for when they do start to happen).

    Anyhow, I don’t like it–and I don’t think too many other Gooners do either. That said, get the opener (by hook or by crook–or maybe a successful stumble-and-stab from a West African forward–Auba and/or Pepe) and then it makes a whole lot more sense. Or maybe it’s Little Lucas our #11–playing at #10–who will get it while our #10 (“training well,” again…) sits and collects all that money?…

    To me, beyond being “different” I don’t see much to like… Sorry. Results, however, speak loudest, so, win the derby and (at least) it’ll be a quiet (first half) of September with Arsenal well positioned in the top 4.

  • 17HT,

    I have several books in my head about my Arsenal experiences, but the years are waning away and my inclination to write them subsides with each passing year.

    But to your point, one of these fine days I will write a post to encapsulate my history of getting in the ground to watch the games – starting when I was a Highbury street urchin with no money.

  • Cheers Seventeenho,

    I am almost as sceptical as you about Emery’s likely approach to the NLD at the home of football. I guess we can only judge him fully once Ozil and also Tierney and Bellerin are integrated into the first team. Maybe the show will begin only then for real…

    Where are you at the moment?

  • TA,
    Judging him at such a early point in the season is somewhat unfair for many reasons, player familiarity, fitness levels, the caliber of the opposition etc. However I think judging a manager when he does not have his first choice players is very fair because there will be many, many games when that is the situation and it’s then that a manager has to stand up and be counted.

  • Hey TA… I’m in the mountains…but heading to the flats directly after the derby…(meaning I’ll give the live-blog a try again)… Work projects are ramping up, I fear… Winter is coming…(But then, dennis willing, it’s down to Mexico… 😀 …)

    GN5–is all we’re judging results? We got them in those first couple of matches (this season), but it was awfully chancy stuff…and don’t get me started on our (unwatchable/cowardly) tactics/playing style/etc. Who would want to come to Arsenal if this was it?… (I know the answer: contract whoors who are nicking a living, like our blonde bombshell…) Additionally, wasn’t it in the bag last season? After beating ManU it should have been a stroll into the top 4. My hunch is that no fun was allowed which caused Emery to still be waving his arms in the 2nd half in Baku, drilling his defenders about playing it around the back (when there was no way forward). In short, the coach has had his honeymoon and when you lose the team once–even with some good player turnover–it’s that much easier to lose them again.

    For me, that’s the big question: how much enthusiasm will the guys have to keep at it this year?…

    Keep getting the results and it’s all worth it, (I guess)… Otherwise, I fear things could unwind quite rapitdly, healthy FBs (have people stopped hating Bellerin just because he cut his hair?…) notwithstanding…

  • GN5, as usual a good historical review/preview. Most of us outside of Britain had a different historical relationship to the NLD before the introduction of the Premier League which coincided with the globalization of the league. Before that time, NLD did not exist for me and indeed my
    interest in English football was tenuous. For no reason whatsoever I preferred the London clubs in this order Tot, Arsenal, Chelsea. It’s my past that has been totally erased.

    Nigeria’s golden generation of players coincided roughly with the begimming of the Premier League and the movement of our golden boys greatly influence our attachment to teams. First it was Celestine Babayaro taking many of us to Chelse when he joined in 1997. Then Kanu to Arsenal in 1999 and with others like Bergkamp, Henry, Pirez and beautiful football, Arsenal became part of my DNA. Initially the NLD wasn’t that important to me possibly because Tot never posed a threat in the early Wenger years. It’s all so different now. I just don’t like the pan of the likes of Kane or Ali or Sissoka. Tomorrow I want them pummelled and not just tomorrow. Their loss in any match always feels like my gain.

  • Good historical background from your perspective, PE. My home team had Babangida in the early to mid-nineties and he was my first connection with Nigerians in Football. Kanu is still one of my old time favourites at Arsenal.

  • GunnerN5,
    Thank you for the wonderful “history lesson”. Let’s play our hearts out and win it for our very own “Mr. Consistency” aka Nacho Monreal who sadly has now sadly left us to join Real Sociedad in Spain. Thank you very much Nacho man for your great loyal service over the last six and a half years. We certainly appreciate it and we also appreciate you. We wish you the very best in the next chapter of your career. We hope it goes well. You will be very much missed! Kieran Tierney, the torch has now been passed on to you. I hope you take it with both hands and eventually become a legend at the Emirates. Can’t wait to se you start…!

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