TOTTENHAM (2) v/s ARSENAL(1)
ROOKIE Danny Rose capped a dream full debut for Tottenham with a goal-of-the-season contender which surely puts paid to Arsenal faint title hopes.
The England under 21 midfielderreturned a Manuel Almunia clearance with an unstoppable 35-yard volley to give Harry Redknapp’s side a 10th minute lead.
Gareth Bale added a second for the hosts early in the second half before Nicklas Bendtner pulled one back for the Gunners as they pressed hard late on.
But despite the presence of returning striker Robin van Persie, who forced home keeper Heurelho Gomes into a string of late saves, Spurs held on to record their first league victory over their north London rivals in 11 years.
It means the Gunners are now a full six points behind leaders Chelsea at the top of the table, and boss Arsene Wenger conceded the odds are against his side.
“It will be difficult now, of course,” he said. “We’ll continue to fight but it makes it very difficult. As long as it’s not mathematically impossible, it’s not impossible. Our job is to fight and we will do that, but it they drop points, we are not far [behind].”
Wenger also revealed the Gunners are set to be without key defender Thomas Vermaelen for the next three weeks after the Belgian limped off with a calf strain midway through the first half.
In contrast, Spurs move to within a point of Manchester City in the race for the final Champions League spot, and Redknapp was delighted with his side’s response from Sunday’s disappointing FA Cup semi-final defeat to Portsmouth at Wembley. “To play like that after Sunday is fantastic,” he said. “The crowd want to beat Arsenal more than anybody, they were right with us.
“We hung in there late on and the keeper made some fantastic saves. He was superb tonight. Everybody worked hard and it was a great result.”