Emmanuel Adebayor scored and was sent off in the first 20 minutes as Arsenal beat Spurs 5-2 for the second time this year
A memorable win for Arsenal, which may launch their season. Andre Villas-Boas and Spurs have nothing whatsoever to be ashamed of; Emmanuel Adebayor certainly does, though he probably won't give a stuff. Bye!
Theo Walcott gets the goal he deserves for a brilliant performance. Vertonghen's pass was intercepted by Oxlade-Chamberlain, who ran 30 yards into the area before squaring the ball to Walcott, who swept the ball decisively to the right of Lloris. For the second time this year, Arsenal lead Spurs 5-2 at the Emirates.
89 min: Not even Arsenal can cock this up now.
87 min: "Santos actually managed to look out of breath running on to the pitch," says Mark Jessop.
86 min: The last substitution of the game, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replacing Olivier Giroud.
84 min: After five minutes of mild-to-blind panic, Arsenal look comfortable again now.
83 min: "This isn't AVB's fault," says Russell Child. "Adebayor was stupid and though Webb was well within his rights to send him off, that early in the game he could have cautioned him. The game was over when the red card was shown."
Villas-Boas's tactics were perfect and Spurs were rampant before the red card. No way could Webb have settled for a caution, though. It was a clear red card.
82 min: I don't know about the Arsenal players, but the Arsenal crowd have certainly bottled it. The nervousness is almost farcical.
81 min: Arsenal are two goals and one man up, at home, and Szczesny is wasting time.
80 min: Arsenal bring on Andre Santos for Lukas Podolski.
77 min: Szczesny comes for Bale's inswinging corner and is nowhere near it. Luckily for him Defoe, beyond the far post, fresh-airs his attempted volley. Spurs aren't out of this game yet, not least because Andre Santos is about to come on.
76 min: A laughable first touch from Walcott kiboshes a potential chance after a good pass from erm, someone, put him clear of the defence in the inside-right channel.
75 min: All of a sudden there is a very nervous feeling around the stadium. This is basically the battle of the bottlers, isn't it.
73 min: Gareth Bale misses a great chance to make it 4-3! Dempsey put him clear of the defence on the left side of the box, at a tight angle, and he blasted a cross-shot across the face of goal and just wide of the far post. Bale should surely have passed it to Defoe, who would have had a tap in from six yards. Defoe hoofs the post in frustration.
73 min: "The stupidity of some footballers knows no bounds," says Simon McMahon. "How about linking any wage cap directly to IQ. Clubs would save a fortune."
72 min: A substitution apiece: Tom Carroll replaces Tom Huddlestone for Spurs, and Aaron Ramsey comes on for Jack Wilshere.
An excellent goal from Gareth Maradona gives Spurs a snifter of hope. Sandro headed a loose ball forward from the centre circle. Bale picked it up 30 yards out, slalomed infield and then dragged a crisp right-footed shot into the left corner, all along the ground. That was a very accomplished finish with his wrong foot.
69 min: "This game shows that Wenger has obviously lost his feel for the transfer market," says Andreas Remy. "None of the guys he bought this season have had any sort of impact so far. As always the deciding stuff was done by a player he had to let go a couple of seasons ago..."
67 min: Theo Walcott's usually reliable finishing lets him down. A brilliant angled 50-yard pass – LOOK I DON'T KNOW WHOSE PASS IT WAS OKAY – put him through on goal to the right of centre, but instead of drilling it towards the far corner he tried to be a bit too cute. He wanted to go round the recovering Vertonghen, and eventually his dink from a very tight angle was clawed away by Lloris. Walcott should have just hit that first time, as he usually does in such situations.
65 min: Gareth Pele charges into the area from the right and is superbly tackled by Podolski of all people. Then Sandro gets his inevitable yellow card for a a foul on Giroud.
61 min: This could be any score now. Wilshere scampers into the area and has a shot that is desperately blocked; 30 seconds later, Giroud screams a 20-yarder over the bar.
This is a delightful goal, so clean and incisive. A goalkick was flicked on by Giroud to Walcott, who took a couple of touches before stabbing a short, straight pass down the inside-left channel for Podolski. He passed it first time towards Cazorla, in space beyond the far post, and he rammed his shot past Lloris.
59 min: Arsenal are showing little of the urgency and purpose that was so thrillingly evident in the first half. I suppose this is what happens when you are 3-1 up, even against 10 men.
56 min: Spurs have had 64 per cent possession in the second half. This, as Gary Neville says on Sky, reflects really well on Andre Villas-Boas, who could have taken a 3-1 defeat but is happy to risk a hiding in pursuit of a draw.
55 min: Walcott is okay to continue. That's good news for Arsenal, because he's bang in form at the moment.
54 min: Dawson hares across to make a storming flying challenge on Walcott, who falls awkwardly and may have injured his left shoulder. He's being caressed by the physio as I type.
53 min: "If I was an Arsenal fan, I’d still have some concerns about Monsieur Giroud," says SB Tang. "He seems like a lovely bloke, but for a striker who describes his 'head game' as one of his strengths, he sure misses a lot of good headed opportunities. He fluffed two in the first half of this game alone — the flicked on header from Wilshere’s free-kick which Lloris saved and the firm header straight at Lloris from Sagna’s stood-up cross from the right. The latter was almost a carbon-copy of his header straight at the keeper from a Cazorla free-kick from the right-wing at Schalke."
51 min: A good one-two between Bale and Dempsey leads to a Spurs corner. It's whooshed in by Huddlestone and headed clear at the near post.
50 min: Spurs have started the second half really well, with almost as much of the ball in the first five minutes as they had in the last 30 minutes of the first half.
47 min: "Why is the Sky presenter asking if Adebayor’s tackle was 'malicious'?" asks Rachel Clifton. "Does it matter when it is that dangerous? I don’t think the ref is trying to parse his mental state when thinking about what to do."
I don't think he asked the question in terms of whether Adebayor should have been sent off, just as a point of interest. It wasn't malicious, it was just moronic.
46 min: Spurs kick off the second half. They're playing a 3-4-1-1 formation, with a defence of Gallas, Dawson and Vertonghen, with Dempsey behind Defoe.
Michael Dawson and Clint Dempsey are on for Kyle Naughton, whose blood is being untwisted as we speak, and Kyle Walker.
There have been 50 goals in the last ten and a half matches between these sides.
"I've been told 'oh you have the same last name as that Germany player' since the 2006 WC," says Phil Podolsky. "But the true irony lies in that in 30 years' time the thoroughly forgotten retired footballer will be bombarded with questions regarding the author of peerless monographs on Joyce and Tsvetaeva."
An act of stunning buffoonery from Emmanuel Adebayor turned the game on its head. That said, some of Arsenal's attacking play, even against 10 men, has been electric. If they don't declare at three or four they could give Spurs a hiding.
Spurs didn't make it to the bell. Olivier Giroud has won the match for Arsenal. The free-kick for that Lennon foul was only half cleared to Cazorla, who went on an impromptu charge down the inside-left channel and into the area. From there he cut back a low cross that was slightly beyond Giroud, and he screwed a technically excellent left-footed shot past the right hand of Lloris.
45 min: Aaron Lennon is booked for a late and thoroughly inept hack at Vermaelen. Spurs really, really need the bell. They are a mess.
44 min: Spurs have barely had a kick since Adebayor was sent off. Cazorla's cross from the left is miscontrolled by the jittery Naughton, facing his own goal, and Lloris boots the ball clear.
Do you see what happens, Emmanuel? Do you see what happens if you act like a buffoon? This was the scruffiest of goals, although Arsenal certainly deserve it. Arteta collected a loose ball and broke into the area; Gallas went with him, and although Arteta scuffed his shot it hit Podolski and drifted gently beyond Lloris and into the corner.
Actually, that's not what happened at all. After a couple of deflections, Arteta chased his own first touch into the area, but Podolski got to it first. His shot hit Gallas, ricocheted back onto Podolski's foot and then drifted gently past Lloris.
40 min: Giroud should have made it 2-1 to Arsenal. He leapt to meet Sagna's cross with an emphatic header from six yards, but it was too close to Lloris and he held on to the ball as he plunged to his right. Arsenal are killing Spurs down the right, mainly because Gareth Bale, superstar, can't be bothered to defend.
38 min: Sandro gets a final warning from Howard Webb after blundering through the back of Jack Wilshere. Wilshere has passed the ball really well today.
37 min: Spurs need half-time here. There's your insight.
35 min: Gareth Bale wins a corner after a ridiculous 70-yard run. He started deep in his own half on the left and ended up panting by the corner flag on the right wing. The corner is flicked away by Giroud.
32 min: Cazorla, 25 yards from goal to the left of the centre, cuts across a beautiful effort that swooshes just over the bar. Spurs are getting a bit of a chasing now.
31 min: Another outstanding run from Walcott ends when he is brought down by Naughton, and the free-kick almost leads to a goal. Wilshere swings it in towards Giroud, who steers a good 15-yard header towards the top left corner that is tipped over well by Lloris. It was an unnecessarily flashy save but also a pretty good one.
29 min: Walcott is giving Naughton a serious workout. What a weird player Walcott is, an infuriating mix of the unplayable and the unfathomable.
27 min: It's all Arsenal. Adebayor, the gormless loser, has probably ruined what was set to be a storming match.
25 min: "It was Huddlestone!" says Bronwyn Jones. "Just send me a quick note next time you get muddled." Do you do tax returns?
This is a mighty equaliser from Per Mertesacker. Walcott did brilliantly down the right, somehow wriggling away from Naughton and standing up a cross from near the byline. It was angled back towards Mertesacker, right by the penalty spot, and even though there was no pace on the ball he strained his neck muscles to thump a wonderful looping header beyond the diving Lloris. That's a brilliant goal, the sort Alan Shearer might have scored.
23 min: Vermaelen, after a one-two of sorts with Mertesacker, has a vicious shot blocked by one of the Spurs defenders. LOOK I DON'T KNOW WHICH ONE IT WAS OKAY.
20 min: There was a bit of shoving after the Adebayor tackle, instigated by Jack Wilshere I think. He has returned from injury in a vile mood, really hard-faced and constantly looking for aggro. Hopefully that won't become a problem because he is so talented, as he has demonstrated a couple of times today already.
19 min: Oh you silly man. Emmanuel Adebayor, who put Spurs in front, has now been sent off. He can have no complaint: he walked for a flying, studs-up challenge on Santi Cazorla, with both feet off the ground. It wasn't an horrific tackle – he led with only one foot – but it was reckless, dangerous and a clear red card.
17 min: Giroud almost gets through on goal from Sagna's ball forward, but Gallas comes round from the side to make an excellent tackle.
16 min: What happened to the art of defending? This mob are staggering about like men who rumbled out of Chasers at 6am.
15 min: Here's Ian Copestake. "As Health and Safety guidelines state any host of single day OBO and MBM sessions needs to pass the fit person's test based on the following question. How do you feel when you read this word?: 'Ian Bell'."
Don't banter me, Copestake. Not now, not after that shot.
13 min: That was almost 2-0. After a sharp break involving Bale, Lennon dragged a shot through Vermaelen's legs and just wide of the far post. Arsenal are all over the show defensively.
Emmanuel Adebayor gets his first goal of the season, and shuts up a lot of Arsenal fans. Defoe ran behind the defence onto a long clipped pass from Vertonghen and tried to sidefoot the ball across Szczesny. The keeper's weight was the wrong way and, although he got down to save the shot, he could only push it out in front of goal. Adebayor, following up, bundled it in from a few yards. It was good play from Defoe, a lovely spin in behind, but Arsenal's attempt to play offside with a staggered defensive line was utterly hopeless. Goodness knows what Steve Bould made of it.
10 min: "Yeah but no Smyth MBM is complete without a Phil Podolsky email, not so?" says, er, Phil Podolsky. "Look, I can send in the song du jour. or something about how the last living veteran of USA 94 being dropped to the bench is kinda terrifying in being reminded of your own age kind of way."
Friedel was in the USA 94 squad? Crikey, so he was.
8 min: Lennon skins Vermaelen with ease and is brought down. Spurs have a free kick 25 yards from goal on the right. It leads to a disallowed goal from William Gallas. Bale's free-kick was headed away to Huddlestone, whose 25-yard shot deflected to Gallas. The finish was outstanding, passed into the top corner, but he was definitely offside.
7 min: Spurs are playing a very high line, which will be of interest to professional sprinter Theo Walcott in particular. He's offside when he runs onto a long pass from Sagna. It won't be the last time he runs behind the Spurs defence today.
4 min: Wilshere is flattened by Sandro after a lovely piece of skill. I don't think there was any intent; he was just done by Wilshere's feint.
3 min: There's no real shape to the game yet, as is usually the case in the first few minutes of a Premier League game. It's just another manic Saturday.
2 min: Is Gascoigne gonna have a crack? He is you know ...
1 min: Arsenal kick off from right to left. They're in red and white; Spurs are in that weird rugby kit. No idea why they are not in white. Emmanuel Adebayor is booed zestily when he touches the ball after 14 seconds.
"Woah, OBO straight into a MBM, Rob – hope you've not resorted to a Relentless IV, snorting Pro Plus or similar! Re: today's game. Surely I can't be the only one thinking that, although goal-laden derbies are always fun, AVB playing 4-4-2 is, on paper, a bit sort-of-thing-'Arry-would-do? If he loses, I wonder how all his press haterz railing against the overthinking AVB playing a stereotypically 'English' formation in a big game will be able to keep a straight face. That said, maybe the front pairing are really Rodgers-esque 9 and a 1/2, 10 and 3/4s or something."
I wonder if we'll ever see Fellaini play the eight-and-a-half role. I'd be excited.
Arsenal's team is as expected; Spurs's team isn't. Hugo Lloris doesn't makes his Premier League debut, as some eejit reported here a moment ago, but he does so replace. Andre Villas-Boas has also picked both Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defoe.
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen; Arteta, Wilshere; Walcott, Cazorla, Podolski; Giroud.
Substitutes: Mannone, Jenkinson, Santos, Coquelin, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arshavin.
Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): Lloris; Walker, Vertonghen, Gallas, Naughton; Lennon, Sandro, Huddlestone, Bale; Adebayor, Defoe.
Substitutes: Friedel, Dawson, Livermore, Townsend, Carroll, Dempsey, Sigurdsson.
Referee: Lord Howard Webb.
Here's Tony Adams playing Franz Beckenbauer in 1988.
Hello. If you type 'football derby "tight, tense"' into Google, you get 4,890 results. It's the oldest cliché in the book (which is itself a cliché, and now we're trapped in a never-ending circle of clichés from which there's no escape, at least not with our sanity intact): derbies are tight, tense and low-scoring. Most derbies, anyway. In recent times, Arsenal v Spurs has been the anti-derby. In the last 10 meetings there have been a ludicrous 46 goals; if there aren't at least four today you can have your money back. This is a sure thing.