Alexis Sanchez’s late goal rescued a point for 10-man Arsenal in a 2-2 draw with Tottenham on Saturday after Francis Coquelin’s sending-off sparked a turnaround in a thrilling Premier League game between the title-chasing north London rivals.
Coquelin was shown a second yellow card in the 55th minute for a reckless foul when Arsenal was 1-0 ahead thanks to Aaron Ramsey’s first-half goal. Within seven minutes, Spurs had gone in front on goals by Toby Alderweireld and Harry Kane at White Hart Lane.
However, Sanchez scored in the 76th minute from a shot that Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris arguably should have saved, sealing a draw that will be celebrated by league-leader Leicester.
Ahead of its game at Watford later Saturday, Leicester is two points in front of second-place Tottenham and five clear of third-place Arsenal.
Coquelin’s sending-off was a turning point, coming when Arsenal looked composed and in charge after taking the lead.
The Frenchman didn’t need to make the tackle on Kane _ the striker was near the sideline and Arsenal’s defense was in decent shape behind him. Coquelin hung his head immediately after giving away the foul. Sure enough, the referee came over and brandished the second yellow card.
Suddenly, Spurs were on the front foot. Stand-in Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina saved Kane’s shot when standing behind the goalline, with technology indicating the ball hadn’t completely crossed the line. Then came the two quickfire goals as Alderweireld stroked in a volley from close range in the 60th minute before Kane curled in a stunning effort from a tough angle at the edge of the area in the 62nd.
But there was still time for another twist as Hector Bellerin fed Sanchez, who raced through and swept in a low finish that Lloris couldn’t keep out despite getting a hand on it.
Spurs had more of the ball in the final stages though Arsenal could have won it, with Ramsey delaying on his shot after running through on goal to allow Kevin Wimmer to perform a last-ditch tackle.
`I am proud of the spirit we showed, and the response,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. “I never questioned the character of this team. You have to respond on the pitch.”