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Poch happy as Spurs stop rot in derby thriller

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Harry Kane celebrates with teammate Christian Eriksen after levelling from the spot for Tottenham in the North London derby. Photo: REUTERS

Harry Kane celebrates with teammate Christian Eriksen after levelling from the spot for Tottenham in the North London derby. Photo: REUTERS

REUTERS

Harry Kane celebrates with teammate Christian Eriksen after levelling from the spot for Tottenham in the North London derby. Photo: REUTERS

Mauricio Pochettino knew the importance of Spurs stopping the rot in the 1-1 north London derby draw with Arsenal.

They came into Saturday's game on the back of two successive defeats - against Burnley and Chelsea - which had crippled their Premier League title challenge and were lucky to avoid a third.

Having trailed to Aaron Ramsey's first-half opener for much of the game, Harry Kane levelled from the spot before the Gunners were awarded their own penalty in the 90th minute.

But goalkeeper Hugo Lloris kept out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's effort to ensure Spurs held on to a point which keeps them just ahead in the race for the top four.

Pochettino, who insisted his side were the better team, was pleased to be able to travel to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League tomorrow on the back of a positive result.

"It was a fantastic, exciting game, a great atmosphere with two sides who wanted to play and win," said Pochettino.

"It's always tough to play against Arsenal. To concede after 15 minutes was tough.

"But I am so happy with the character and the way that in the end we played.

"It wasn't a great performance, but it was very good to draw and then, maybe, deserve to win.

"After two defeats it was important today to build again our positive ways. We have a very difficult game in Dortmund and arriving in a better condition than we arrived today will be key."

The game could have been very different had it not been for a brilliant double save by Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno on the stroke of half-time.

First he kept out Christian Eriksen's effort with his legs before an instinctive one-handed save from Moussa Sissoko's follow-up.

"I don't know what happened, everything was so quick," said Leno.

"Sissoko's shot, I didn't see the ball, I just reacted. I think the best saves are always those when you don't quite know what happens!

"It is very frustrating because we conceded a late goal and also had chances to score with the penalty.

"The equaliser was deserved for Tottenham but in the end we had the chance to win it."


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