Derbies are the most anticipated days on the football calendar for fans. The north London derby is certainly no different. So, with Arsenal and Tottenham preparing for their 183rd meeting, LWOF takes a look back and remembers the best facts about this historic derby.
Eight Great Facts About the North London Derby
Most Successful Side
Even casual fans must know that, historically, Arsenal have gotten the better of their rivals on derby day. Of the previous 182 top-flight meetings between the two sides, the Gunners won 76, drew 49 and lost 57.
However, despite Arsenal’s history of victory, Spurs have done much better against their fiercest rivals since the arrival of Mauricio Pochettino in 2014. Since then, the Gunners have won just two of nine across all competitions, with Tottenham winning three and the remaining four ending in a draw
The most-attended north London derby was the 182nd meeting, taking place on 10 February 2018 at Spurs’ temporary home, Wembley. 83,222 fans packed the stadium on that day to witness a 1-0 Tottenham victory.
The second-largest attendance in this fixture also came at Wembley and also ended with a Spurs victory. On 14 April 1991, 77,893 supporters came out to watch the FA Cup semi-final, which finished 3-1 to Spurs, who later won the final over Nottingham Forest.
The best-attended derby with Arsenal as the home side came all the way back on 29 September 1951 at Highbury when 72,164 fans watched a 1-1 draw play out.
Largest Margin of Victory
The largest margin of victory in the north London derby came on 6 March 1935 at White Hart Lane. Arsenal took that match by a whopping 6-0 scoreline.
The result was significant as it played a factor in seeing Tottenham relegated at the end of the season after a last-place finish in the league. It also helped secure Arsenal’s third-consecutive league title, becoming the second club to do so after Huddersfield Town, who also accomplished the feat with Herbert Chapman as manager.
The derby has also finished at 5-0 on three occasions, with Spurs the winning side twice (1911, 1983) and Arsenal once (1978).
Who doesn’t love watching a high-scoring derby? On 13 November 2004 fans were treated to the highest-scoring north London derby of all-time.
On that day at White Hart Lane the visitors came out on top by a huge 5-4 scoreline. Seven of the nine goals scored on the day came in the second half after the teams found themselves level at the break
The derby also saw seven-goal games on two occasions, both in 2012. Arsenal won both matches, in February and November, at home by a score of 5-2.
Emmanuel Adebayor holds the record for most goals scored in the north London derby with ten. The Togolese striker netted eight goals for Arsenal as well as two against them.
Adebayor is also the joint-leading Arsenal goalscorer in the derby, alongside Robert Pires and Alan Sunderland. Tottenham’s joint highest-scorers in the derby are Billy Minter and Bobby Smith, each with nine goals against the Gunners.
It is also worth noting that Harry Kane sits on seven derby goals, meaning there is every chance of seeing him break one or all of these records.
There have been a hat-trick of hat-tricks in the north London Derby. The first came for Arsenal through Ted Drake, who accomplished the feat on 20 October 1934. The Gunners won that match 5-1.
Terry Dyson then repaid the favour on 26 August 1961 in a match which Spurs won 4-3. The last hat trick scored in the derby came on 23 December 1978 from Alan Sunderland en route to a 5-0 away win for Arsenal.
Long-time Arsenal defender David O’Leary holds the record for most appearances in the north London derby with 35. Tottenham’s club record is held by both Gary Mabbutt and Steve Perryman, with 31 derbies each.
Crossing the Divide
Eighteen players have appeared for both Arsenal and Tottenham. Of these players, eight have played on both sides of the north London derby; Laurie Brown, Sol Campbell, David Jenkins, Pat Jennings, Jimmy Robertson, Willie Young, William Gallas and Emmanuel Adebayor.
It is also worth mentioning both Herbert Chapman and George Graham. Both are well-known as legendary Arsenal managers, but both have Tottenham connections. Chapman played for Spurs before becoming a manager and Graham, after serving as Arsenal manager, took the reigns at Spurs for three seasons.
Current Tottenham star Harry Kane also joined Arsenal’s Hale End academy at age eight but was released after just one year.
Embed from Getty Images