London Derbies: Another Reason to Love the Premier League
Today’s article features a guest post from Mary Roberts, a freelance editor with vast years of experience in online journalism. With the Premier League lauded as the “most exciting football league in the world”, Mary shares her thoughts on London Derbies: Another Reason to Love the Premier League…
The London Derby once again drew in the crowds a few weeks ago as the city’s top teams faced each other in the 200th edition of this celebrated rivalry. In the FA Cup third round between Arsenal and Tottenham at the start of the year, the Gunners had a lot of injury problems to contend with, but Arsene Wenger, made some adjustments to the team that was victorious against Cardiff City on New Year’s Day.
The exciting German youngster, Serge Gnabry, had a rear start and he took his chance with a virtuoso display that saw him create the assist for Santi Cazorla’s goal. Tomas Rosicky also made a good anticipation before surging forward and scoring what proved to be the match clincher.
For a more in-depth information of the North London Derby, click here to see the match details and player ratings).
Fulham also hosted fellow London rivals, West Ham, on New Year’s Day, but the hosts went away with all three points after the want-away striker, Dimitar Berbatov, scored the match winner from a few yards out. However, the game will be forever remembered for Kevin Nolan’s moment of madness that saw him receive his marching orders.
On the 11th of January, it was Tottenham’s turn to host the new-look Crystal Palace side with former Stoke City boss, Tony Pulis, at the helm of affairs of the club. Christian Eriksen and Jermaine Defoe scored the goals that gave Tottenham all three points but Jason Puncheon’s shambolic penalty miss gets more hilarious with each passing replay.
Last weekend, it was the Santi Cazorla show as he bagged a brace in Arsenal’s comfortable 2-0 victory over Fulham. The visitors contained the Gunners from the onset but two defensive lapses were enough for the home team to exploit and they were rewarded with three vital points that sent them back to the top of the table.
Although Tottenham have shone in a number of derby matches played in the Premier League era, Arsenal have undoubtedly won the most games putting them at the top of the leader board. With this in mind, here is a quick lowdown on London’s Derbies, the fiercest fixtures in English football.
Following last week’s exciting matches, Arsene Wenger’s team has earned the top spot on the London Premier League Table with an impressive total of 364 points, narrowly beating close Derby opponents Chelsea by nine points, yet beating hot rivals Tottenham by no less than 112 points.
The Gunners currently also lead in terms of matches won, having conquered their adversaries in over half of the games played. London’s other Premier League teams lag behind with Crystal Palace at the bottom of the table with just 43 points amassed throughout the 2013/2014 season.
With Arsenal at the top of the London table, the rivalry between Wenger’s winning team and fierce rivals Tottenham is set to reach fever pitch when they next meet on the playing field. The two top sides first faced each other in 1887, and since then a number of grounds changes, controversial transfers and wildly entertaining matches have further exasperated this historical rivalry.
Not only do we see this on the field, but healthy competition is widely observed by both Arsenal and Tottenham supporters with lots of fans travelling for miles to see their teams in action, and with hotels in London being all but easily affordable (see here to get an idea), one really needs to appreciate the devotion and commitment of the supporters..
In November 2004, Arsenal and Tottenham met on the field in what is often considered to be the most entertaining game ever played between the two North London sides, which saw the Gunners walk away with a 5-4 win at the end of an action-packed thriller. Goals were scored by some of the all-time top players including Henry, Vieira, Defoe and King.
With Arsenal currently ruling the roost we look forward to an exciting season of top London Derby fixtures ahead. Will the Gunners manage to stay on top or will they lose out to their most relentless rivals?
Feel free to share your thoughts with your comments.
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