Good afternoon! What a treat we have to round off this weekend's Premier League action as Arsenal
host Tottenham Hotspur
in the 186th North London derby!
It is the perfect way to go into the first international break of the season, and as usual in these matches it looks too close to call before kickoff. Spurs have claimed ultimate bragging rights over their neighbours by finishing above them in recent seasons, but their record here is woeful and Arsenal have made a bright start to the campaign - at least until their defeat to Liverpool last time out.
Kickoff is just five minutes away, so let's have a look at some very interesting team news before we get started...
ARSENAL STARTING XI:
Leno; Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Luiz, Kolasinac; Torreira, Xhaka, Guendouzi; Pepe, Lacazette, Aubameyang
SUBS: Martinez, Mkhitaryan, Willock, Nelson, Ceballos, Ozil, Chambers
TOTTENHAM STARTING XI:
Lloris; Sanchez, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Sissoko, Winks; Lamela, Eriksen, Son; Kane
SUBS: Gazzaniga, Skipp, Alli, Lo Celso, Davies, Aurier, Lucas
KICKOFF: Here we go! tottenham get us underway for this North London derby!
SHOT! Pepe has a sight of goal inside the very first minute as Aubameyang releases Kolasinac down the left with a back-heel and the full-back plays a low ball in for Pepe. The Arsenal record signing takes a touch and goes for goal, but his effort is high and wide.
As expected, this game has got off to a quick start amidst a crackling atmosphere inside the Emirates. It is Arsenal who have been on the front foot so far.
Aubameyang gets in down the left again and clips a cross into the box which Rose needs to clear ahead of Pepe. Arsenal are getting early joy down that left flank!
The resulting corner is only cleared as far as Maitland-Niles, whose drilled first-time effort is goalbound until Kane makes an important block. That looked to be heading for the bottom corner.
Spurs have just begun to see a bit more of the ball after having to weather the quick start from Arsenal, but their right - where Sanchez is playing as a makeshift full-back - will still be a concern for the visitors.
Arsenal are leaving their front three up there to catch Spurs on the break whenever possible. Their combative midfield is winning the ball back and immediately looking to spring the counters.
SHOT! Lacazette has space to shoot here, but drags his effort well wide.
GOAL! ARSENAL 0-1 TOTTENHAM (CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN)
Back in the team and immediately back in the goals - Christian Eriksen
scores his 50th in the Premier League, and this one will have been one of his easiest!
Spurs break on Arsenal, with Lamela released in behind before trying to pass his finish into the bottom corner. Leno gets there, but gets nowhere near enough on his save to push it away from Eriksen, who is left with the easiest of finishes. Poor from Leno - and from Arsenal's defence in general - but Spurs have first blood in the derby!
Arsenal had been on top for the opening 10 minutes, but that is a real sucker-punch on Tottenham's first real attack.
Kolasinac gets in behind Sanchez again down the left channel and looks up in search of support in the middle, but then he loses his footing at a crucial moment inside the box.
SAVE! Eriksen tries his luck from much further out this time and it is a typically good strike, but Leno gathers it with relative ease.
Tottenham's desire to keep Eriksen may have just a little bit more...
SAVE! Spurs suddenly look capable of scoring every time they come forward, and it takes a fine save from Leno to deny them a second here. Son collects the ball on the left before cutting inside and curling an effort towards the far corner, but Leno is at full stretch to tip it wide.
Here is that opening goal - Leno will feel that he should have done better, but Lamela took the shot on early which may well have caught the keeper by surprise a little...
Although, as much as I may look for reasons behind the mistake, this stat certainly doesn't reflect kindly on either Leno or Arsenal as a whole...
CHANCE! Brilliant block from Rose as he gets himself in the way of Pepe's header at the back post. Aubameyang delivered a dangerous cross from the left and Pepe met it well, but Rose was in the right place at the right time.
SHOT! The resulting corner is only cleared as far as Torreira this time, but his half-volley under pressure is well off target.
Decent chance for Arsenal here as Lacazette wins a free kick from Alderweireld in a very dangerous position. There are a few interested parties in this one...
SHOT! Pepe takes the shot on, but curls it comfortably wide of the target.
YELLOW CARD! Bizarre from Spurs as they leave both centre-backs in their own six-yard box from a goal kick, inviting the press. Vertonghen is then rushed to poking it to Rose, who carries it into trouble before committing a foul which results in a booking.
Rose gets another talking-to from the referee here ahead of an Arsenal corner. He needs to be very disciplined on a yellow in this derby.
YELLOW CARD! Lamela swiftly follows Rose into the book as Arsenal launch another attack. The Gunners are on top right now, but need that equaliser.
Lovely football from Arsenal as Torreira and then Pepe play lovely passes to release Aubameyang, whose cross into the box is dealt with by Sissoko.
SAVE! Suspect goalkeeping again from Leno here as Kane drills a 25-yard effort towards the bottom corner which the Arsenal man again spills into a dangerous area. Son picks up the rebound and plays it back in to Kane, but he takes too long over his finish.
SAVE! This time it is Spurs who have a free kick in a shooting position and it is no surprise to see Eriksen go for goal, but Leno is there to parry it away.
PENALTY! SPURS HAVE A PENALTY! Madness from Xhaka as he dives in on Son inside the area, giving away a stone-wall penalty!
GOAL! ARSENAL 0-2 TOTTENHAM (HARRY KANE, PENALTY)
Luiz was the villain last week, but Xhaka is this time around. It is a ludicrous challenge from the midfielder to give away a penalty, and Kane makes no mistake from the spot.
When will Xhaka learn?!
Son almost breaks in behind Arsenal again, but only some alert goalkeeping from Leno denies him a one-on-one. The hosts just need to avoid any further damage before half time now.
CHANCE! Well, Arsenal almost do a lot better than that as Maitland-Niles drops the ball back to Pepe, who takes a touch before curling one towards goal. Lloris is down really sharply to make the save and then gather the loose ball as Leno couldn't earlier.
Spurs go up the other end and the ball breaks to Sissoko inside the area, but he slices his effort horribly off target.
There will be two minutes of added time at the end of this first half.
SAVE! Lacazette takes a free kick on from a wide position and fires it towards goal, but Lloris is there to parry it away.
GOAL! ARSENAL 1-2 TOTTENHAM (ALEXANDRE LACAZETTE)
Arsenal are right back in this match with a goal just before half time!
A VAR check was being readied for a handball in the box against Rose, but Arsenal make that irrelevant as Pepe clips the ball into the box and Lacazette brings it under his spell brilliantly. The Frenchman then takes it past Vertonghen inside the box before lashing it past Lloris at the near post.
HALF TIME: ARSENAL 1-2 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
This derby never disappoints, does it?! Another thrilling first half between these two sides as Spurs go into the break with a narrow lead, but with the match still hanging in the balance.
Arsenal have actually been on top for a decent proportion of the opening 45 minutes, but Spurs went into a two-goal lead after punishing Arsenal mistakes before the Gunners pulled one back in stoppage time.
The opener came after 10 minutes when some suspect Arsenal defending allowed Spurs to break, with Son playing the ball through to Lamela, whose strike lacked power but still caused Leno enough problems for him to only be able to parry it into the path of Eriksen.
The Dane worked really hard to get up in support and was left with an easy finish for his 50th Premier League goal, although it was a gift from Leno.
It was an even worse mistake which gifted Spurs their second, with Xhaka diving in to a frankly idiotic challenge inside his own area to bring down Son - leaving the referee with no choice whatsoever but to point to the spot.
From there, Kane made no mistake with another powerful and pinpoint penalty, but there must surely be questions asked of Xhaka inside that Arsenal dressing room at half time.
Spurs would have felt very confident about their chances had they reached half time with their two-goal lead intact, but Arsenal gave themselves hope just before the interval as Lacazette pulled one back for the hosts.
It was a superb finish from the striker too, taking Pepe's pass down inside the area before beating Vertonghen and lashing his finish past Lloris, but the Gunners will also need to improve at the other end if they are to keep Spurs at bay in the second half.
KICKOFF: Arsenal get us back underway for the second half at the Emirates!
CHANCE! Arsenal come close within one minutes of the restart as Lacazette gets his head to a cross from Maitland-Niles, but Lloris is there to make a save to his right.
CHANCE! Spurs get away with another one here! Lloris almost gifts possession straight to Aubameyang when trying to play out from the back, but only a last-ditch challenge from the defender denies last season's top-scorer a clear opening.
Arsenal have come flying out of the blocks at the start of this second half, buoyed by that goal just before the break. Spurs are inviting encouragement, though, particularly with their determination to play out from the back.
SAVE! Son finds a yard of space on the edge of the box and lets fly, but Xhaka gets a deflection on the ball and then Leno helps it on its way behind.
There is a cracking atmosphere inside the stadium after that goal back for Arsenal - the fans are urging their side on to get an equaliser and then a winner here.
CHANCE! Big save from Lloris to keep Arsenal in front! Guendouzi finds space inside the area and steers a low strike towards the bottom corner which Lloris gets down really well to save!
CLOSE! The resulting corner is flicked on by Lacazette at the front post and Kolasinac or Aubameyang look certain to convert at the back post from point-blank range, However, it is just an inch or so too far for Kolasinac, whose slight touch takes it wide and away from Aubameyang.
SHOT! It is non-stop action at the moment! The ball drops kindly for Lacazette, who tries an ambitious dipping volley from all of 30 yards which flies a couple of yards off target.
YELLOW CARD! Eriksen picks up a cheap yellow card for kicking the ball away.
OFF THE POST! What a goal this would have been! Lamela slides the ball in to Kane, who plays a delicious one-two with Eriksen before lashing a well-struck shot against the inside of the post. Leno was a mere spectator.
TOTTENHAM SUB: Time for Dele Alli's first appearance of the season as he replaces Lamela.
SAVE! Spurs play a short corner which Eriksen and Son work to make space for the former. However, Eriksen does not catch his left-footed shot well and it is easy for Leno to gather.
Less than half an hour remaining in this one now, but I don't want it to end! I would be very surprised if there wasn't at least one more goal in this one.
YELLOW CARD! Lacazette picks up a booking to prevent a Tottenham counter.
ARSENAL SUB: Arsenal make a change here as Dani Ceballos replaces Torreira.
SAVE! Ceballos almost makes an instant impact with a powerful, swerving effort from range which Lloris does well to tip over the crossbar.
ARSENAL SUB: Another change for Arsenal as Lacazette is replaced by Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Kolasinac swings a cross into the box which Aubameyang does well to meet, but he cannot generate enough power or accuracy to test Lloris.
Just 20 minutes left in what has been another thrilling edition of the North London derby. Arsenal have no choice but to go all out attack here, but how will Spurs approach this final 20?
GOAL! ARSENAL 2-2 TOTTENHAM (PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG)
Arsenal are level, and it is a brilliant goal from Aubameyang to restore parity!
Guendouzi deserves huge credit for a superb assist, clipping a cross into the box from a narrow position which leaves the defenders helpless. Aubameyang's movement is as deadly as you would expect, and he gets the perfect contact on the ball to poke it beyond Lloris.
The Emirates is absolutely rocking now! Just over 15 minutes remaining and this match is there for the taking now! The momentum is with Arsenal, but it could still go either way!
YELLOW CARD! Winks picks up another yellow for a challenge on Guendouzi.
SAVE! Xhaka tries to atone for his madness earlier in the match with a powerful strike from range which needs Lloris to push it wide with a diving save.
Arsenal are swarming all over Tottenham at the moment. The Gunners have the wind in their sails and Spurs just cannot live with them at the moment, having been 2-0 up at one stage.
CHANCE! For the third time this afternoon a corner is only cleared as far as the edge of the box and Arsenal have a man unmarked to meet it, but Pepe is the latest to lash his effort off target.
YELLOW CARD! Sanchez is the latest Spurs player in the book.
TOTTENHAM SUB: Change for the visitors as Son is replaced by Giovani Lo Celso.
DISALLOWED GOAL! Arsenal have the ball in the back of the net for a third time, but the flag is up for offside! We will go to VAR, but Kolasinac was offside in the buildup! The full-back put a low cross into the box which Sokratis bundled home from close range, but it will not count!
Incredibly, there has been just 1% of play in Arsenal's third in the last 10 minutes. It is one-way traffic at the moment.
Bodies are strewn all over the park as Spurs have a free kick, with at least four going to ground and appealing for something from the ref. The strongest appeal comes from Alli, and the replay shows that he had a point.
SHOT! A catalogue of errors here as Sanchez's header gifts the ball to Mkhitaryan in a dangerous position before the ball eventually bounces out to Xhaka. His shot is poor but dragged into the path of Pepe, who drags his effort wide of the near post.
Sokratis has lost his head here! He comes charging out of defence with the ball at his feet and gets into a tussle with Winks before going for some afters with the midfielder. He then gets involved with Rose, and I'm sure VAR may have a look at this...
YELLOW CARD! Sure enough, Sokratis goes into the book for that manic piece of play.
Just a minute plus added time left, but I certainly would not rule out any late drama here. It is the type of game which could well see a last-gasp winner!
There will be FIVE minutes of added time at the end of this match!
YELLOW CARD! Xhaka, somehow, has just picked up his first yellow card of the game.
PENALTY APPEAL! Kane goes down inside the box after stepping across Sokratis and going down under a clumsy challenge of the Arsenal defender. Neither the referee nor VAR fall for it, though.
CHANCE! One late chance for Spurs as Kane picks out Sissoko in an advanced position, but the Spurs man is off balance when he shoots and skews it off target.
FULL TIME: ARSENAL 2-2 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
Phew! What a match that was as once again the North London derby lives up to the billing with a breathless and brilliant 2-2 draw - at least for the neutral!
Both sides may feel happy with the point but still as though they could have claimed all three, with Tottenham going into a 2-0 lead before Arsenal came back, but the Gunners could not turn one point into three despite plenty of pressure in that second half, while Spurs also had chances.
Right, that is all we have time for at the end of another superb North London derby - we're going to miss Premier League football during the international break!
Thank for you for joining Sports Mole for this thrilling contest as Arsenal come from two goals down to earn a point against Spurs. I will leave you with our match report, and be sure to stick around for reaction too. From me, though, it is goodbye for now!