Arsenal 5-2 Tottenham
THEO Walcott struck twice as Arsenal staged a remarkable comeback to beat north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur 5-2 and reclaim a place in the top four while delivering a huge blow to their near neighbours’ fast fading title hopes.
Trailing to an early Louis Saha goal and an Emmanuel Adebayor penalty, Arsenal appeared to be heading for a third successive defeat.
But the home side responded superbly, drawing back level thanks to goals from Bacary Sagna and Robin Van Persie immediately before the break before Tomas Rosicky and Walcott secured victory in the second half.
The victory provided a welcome boost to Arsenal and their under-fire manager Arsene Wenger following the FA Cup exit at the hands of Sunderland and the humiliating 4-0 Champions League defeat to AC Milan.
Three points allowed them to leapfrog Chelsea and close the gap on third-placed Spurs to seven points who missed out on the chance to reduce the ten-point deficit on Premier League leaders Manchester City.
The stakes were undeniably high for Wenger’s side whose last realistic chance of success this season lies in holding onto a top four spot and claiming a place in next season’s Champions League.
Yet even that was insufficient to inspire a convincing defensive display and Arsenal’s porous backline was exposed after just four minutes when Adebayor and Saha combined to give Tottenham the lead.