1909-10 Football League
(4 December 1909)
(6 December 2020)
|Next meeting||Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspur|
(13 March 2021)
|Stadiums||Emirates Stadium (Arsenal)|
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (Tottenham Hotspur)
|Most wins||Arsenal (82)|
|Most player appearances||David O'Leary (35)|
|Top scorer||Harry Kane|
|All-time series||Arsenal: 82|
Tottenham Hotspur: 66
|Largest victory||Tottenham Hotspur 0-6 Arsenal|
1934-35 Football League
(6 March 1935)
The North London derby is the name of the association football local rivalry in England between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, both of which are based in North London. Fans of both clubs consider the other to be their main rivals, and the derby is considered by many to be one of the most famous and fiercest derbies in the world. Although the two teams first played each other in 1887, the rivalry did not begin until 1913 when Arsenal moved their ground to north London. As of 6 December 2020, 188 games have been played between the two teams since their first game in the Football League in 1909, with 77 wins for Arsenal, 60 wins for Tottenham and 51 games drawn. When games played before both joined the Football League are included, 202 games have been played, with Arsenal winning 82, Tottenham 66, and 54 drawn.
Notable matches of the North London derby include the games in which Arsenal won the league at White Hart Lane in 1971 and 2004, Tottenham beating Arsenal 5-0 at home in 1983 and Arsenal winning by the same score away in 1978, and Tottenham beating Arsenal 3-1 at the semi-final of the 1990-91 FA Cup, which they went on to win. The highest-scoring game in the North London derby is the 5-4 win by Arsenal at White Hart Lane in November 2004. As of December 2020 , the top scorer in North London derbies is Harry Kane with 11 goals, overtaking Bobby Smith and Emmanuel Adebayor with 10 goals each.
Arsenal play their home games at the Emirates Stadium in Islington, while Tottenham Hotspur are based at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the neighbouring borough of Haringey. The two stadiums are 4 miles (6.4km) apart. Until 2006, Arsenal played their home games at the Highbury Stadium and until 2017, Tottenham used White Hart Lane before relocating temporarily to Wembley Stadium. In 2019, Tottenham returned home to their newly constructed Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, built on the ground of the former White Hart Lane.
The first meeting between the two teams was a friendly on 19 November 1887, when Arsenal were located in Plumstead (then part of Kent but now in Greater London), and known as Royal Arsenal. The match, played at the then Spurs ground at Tottenham Marshes, was abandoned 15 minutes before it was due to end "owing to darkness" with Spurs leading 2-1. The first completed match between the two teams was held the following February in Plumstead; Tottenham could only field nine players, and were thus beaten 6-2. Another notable match was in 1898 played at the Spurs ground at Northumberland Park. The match with the then Woolwich Arsenal was attended by a record crowd of 15,000, and the refreshment stand collapsed when spectators climbed up onto its roof in the overcrowded ground, resulting in some injuries and prompting Spurs to start looking for a new ground. The next year the club moved a short distance to what would become known as the White Hart Lane ground. The first League match between the clubs was in the First Division, on 4 December 1909; Arsenal won 1-0.
However, a proper rivalry between the two teams did not begin until 1913, when Arsenal moved from the Manor Ground, Plumstead to Arsenal Stadium, Highbury, just four miles from Tottenham's White Hart Lane, a move resented and opposed by Tottenham as they considered Highbury their territory. The move made Arsenal Tottenham's nearest neighbours and thus began a natural local rivalry. The two teams first faced each other as "north London" in a War Relief Fund friendly on 22 August 1914 at White Hart Lane. Although Arsenal were in the Second Division and Tottenham in the First, Arsenal won 5-1. They would go on to meet regularly during World War I in the London Combination, the regional wartime competition of the time.
The rivalry escalated in 1919 when, after World War I, the First Division was to be expanded by two teams, and the League held a meeting of the clubs to decide the two clubs by means of a vote. 19th-placed Chelsea, who would otherwise have been relegated, were allowed to stay and thus they took the first of the two spots. The second spot could have been awarded to 20th-placed Tottenham, or Barnsley, who had finished third in the Second Division, but Arsenal (along with four other clubs) also bid for the place, despite their only finishing sixth in Division Two, although an error in the calculation of goal average meant Arsenal had actually finished fifth, an error which was corrected by the Football League in 1980.
After an endorsement by League president and chairman of Liverpool John McKenna on account of their longer membership of the League, Arsenal won the vote by eighteen votes to Spurs' eight (Barnsley got five, Wolves four, Nottingham Forest three, Birmingham two and Hull City one) and were thus elected to the First Division. The decision infuriated Tottenham and their supporters. It has been frequently alleged that Arsenal chairman Sir Henry Norris used underhand dealings in order to bring this about, although nothing has been proven. Tottenham themselves had been elected to join the Football League Second Division eleven years prior after finishing 7th in the 1907-08 Southern League, but it involved entirely separate leagues that did not have automatic right to move between them. Tottenham were initially unsuccessful in their attempt to join the Football League, and only narrowly won election to the Second Division after Stoke resigned from the league for financial reasons.
Despite the setback, Tottenham were soon promoted back into the top flight after taking the 1919-20 Second Division title, and the derby was once again regularly contested. The first fully competitive derby match after Arsenal's 1913 move to north London was a First Division match that finished 2-1 to Tottenham, on 15 January 1921 at White Hart Lane. The early matches between the two were noted for their bitterness - a particularly vicious match in September 1922 led to both clubs being censured by the Football Association and threatened with being forced to play behind closed doors.
Tottenham played in the Second Division between the periods of 1928 and 1933, as well as 1935 to 1950, which naturally led to a drop in the number of matches between the two clubs in this period and a cooling of passions. In 1935 Arsenal registered its highest ever win over Spurs in a 6-0 rout away at White Hart Lane. This 6-0 result remains the biggest win by any team wherein the derby. Relations between the two clubs improved somewhat after the Second World War, after Tottenham allowed Arsenal to play their home matches at White Hart Lane while Highbury was requisitioned as an ARP station and subsequently bombed. The two sides met in the FA Cup for the first time in the 1948-49 season, when Arsenal won a third round tie 3-0.
Since 1950, there has only been one season being that of (1977-78) where Spurs and Arsenal have not been in the same division, meaning fixtures between the two are regular. With being so, this has maintained the rivalry to the present day; there have been many notable matches. Several of these comprise those where the course of a title or the journey to a cup final has relied upon the outcome of a derby match. As with any major football rivalry, gloating and banter between the two sets of fans, many of whom work and even live together, is commonplace. Players who transfer between the two teams receive a bad reception from their former fans; an example was defender Sol Campbell, who was nicknamed "Judas" by Spurs fans after he crossed the divide in 2001.
Arsenal's Theo Walcott, after picking up a knee injury in the 83rd minute of a FA Cup third round tie against Tottenham in January 2014, was pelted with a hail of coins and plastic bottles whilst coming off the field on a stretcher by Tottenham fans at the Emirates Stadium. Walcott subsequently made a gesture on the stretcher to the Spurs fans which reflected, at that point in time, the 2-0 scoreline of the game which it finished as eventually. An investigation was eventually made with regard to the perpetrators of the incident by the authorities.
On 30 April 2017, Tottenham beat Arsenal 2-0 in the final North London Derby at White Hart Lane. This result guaranteed Tottenham finishing above the Gunners in the league for the first time in 22 years.
Arsenal fans have a celebration day related to the north London rivalry called St. Totteringham's Day, which is the day in the season when Tottenham cannot mathematically finish above Arsenal on the league table. Spurs fans had long before declared 14 April to be St. Hotspur day in honour of Spurs' 3-1 win over Arsenal in the 1991 FA Cup semi-final. St. Hotspur Day was also celebrated on 14 April 2010, when Spurs beat Arsenal 2-1.
Both Spurs' and Arsenal's fan bases are multi-ethnic, due to the racial diversity in London. In 2002, Arsenal had 7.7% of their fans calling themselves non-white British, rising to 14% in 2008, the highest in the league in these fans surveys. Around 9% of Tottenham fans were non-White in 2008. Both clubs also have extensive fan bases throughout the UK and the rest of the world. Arsenal fans call themselves "Gooners", a term that is derived from the club's nickname "Gunners", which is itself a reference to Arsenal's origins as a munitions factory team.
Spurs fans call themselves "yids". Due to the historical support from the Jewish communities in North and East London, Tottenham once had a significant number of Jewish fans; it was estimated that around 10,000 or a third of the club's fans in the 1930s were Jewish. Due to this historical association, fans of many other clubs from the 1960s onwards have directed antisemitic chants at Spurs fans. Tottenham no longer has a greater number of Jewish fans than other major London clubs such as Arsenal (Jewish support for Arsenal started to increase in the 1930s); an estimate put the number of Jewish fans at Tottenham as at most 5%, about the same number as Arsenal, but the antisemitic chants against Tottenham fans persisted. In an attempt to draw the sting from these chants, Spurs fans (whether Jewish or not) adopted the words "yid" and "yiddo" for themselves and thereby turned a pejorative into a term of pride and belonging. There is, however, still some controversy over the use of "yid" or "yiddo".
A 2003 online survey found that Arsenal supporters most dislike Tottenham, and that Tottenham fans see Arsenal as their main rival.
|Venue||Date||Score||Home goalscorers||Away goalscorers||Attendance|
|Highbury||11 May 1993||1-3||Dickov 52'||Sheringham 39', Hendry 46', 78'||26,393|
|6 December 1993||1-1||Wright 65'||Anderton 25'||35,669|
|29 April 1995||1-1||Wright 61' (pen.)||Klinsmann 74'||38,337|
|15 April 1996||0-0||38,273|
|24 November 1996||3-1||Wright 28' (pen.), Adams 87', Bergkamp 89'||Sinton 57'||38,264|
|30 August 1997||0-0||38,102|
|14 November 1998||0-0||38,278|
|19 March 2000||2-1||Armstrong 20' (o.g.), Henry 45' (pen.)||Armstrong 3'||38,131|
|31 March 2001||2-0||Pires 70', Henry 87'||38,121|
|6 April 2002||2-1||Ljungberg 25', Lauren 86' (pen.)||Sheringham 81' (pen.)||38,186|
|16 November 2002||3-0||Henry 13', Ljungberg 55', Wiltord 71'||38,152|
|8 November 2003||2-1||Pires 69', Ljungberg 79'||Anderton 5'||38,101|
|25 April 2005||1-0||Reyes 22'||38,147|
|22 April 2006||1-1||Henry 84'||Keane 66'||38,326|
|Emirates Stadium||2 December 2006||3-0||Adebayor 20', Gilberto 42' (pen.), 72' (pen.)||60,115|
|22 December 2007||2-1||Adebayor 47', Bendtner 75'||Berbatov 65'||60,087|
|29 October 2008||4-4||Silvestre 37', Gallas 46, Adebayor 64', van Persie 68'||Bentley 13', Bent 65', Jenas 89', Lennon 90+4'||60,043|
|31 October 2009||3-0||van Persie 42', 60', Fàbregas 43'||60,103|
|20 November 2010||2-3||Nasri 9', Chamakh 27'||Bale 50', van der Vaart 67' (pen.), Kaboul 86'||60,102|
|26 February 2012||5-2||Sagna 40', van Persie 43', Rosický 51', Walcott 65', 68'||Saha 4', Adebayor 34' (pen.)||60,106|
|17 November 2012||5-2||Mertesacker 24', Podolski 42', Giroud 45+1', Cazorla 60', Walcott 90+1'||Adebayor 10', Bale 71'||60,111|
|1 September 2013||1-0||Giroud 23'||60,071|
|27 September 2014||1-1||Oxlade-Chamberlain 74'||Chadli 56'||59,900|
|8 November 2015||1-1||Gibbs 77'||Kane 32'||60,060|
|6 November 2016||1-1||Wimmer 42' (o.g.)||Kane 51' (pen.)||60,039|
|18 November 2017||2-0||Mustafi 36', Sánchez 41'||59,530|
|2 December 2018||4-2||Aubameyang 10' (pen.), 56', Lacazette 74', Torreira 77'||Dier 30', Kane 34' (pen.)||59,973|
|1 September 2019||2-2||Lacazette 45+1', Aubameyang 71'||Eriksen 10', Kane 40' (pen.)||60,333|
|Venue||Date||Score||Home goalscorers||Away goalscorers||Attendance|
|White Hart Lane||12 December 1992||1-0||Allen 20'||33,707|
|16 August 1993||0-1||Wright 87'||28,355|
|2 January 1995||1-0||Popescu 22'||28,747|
|18 November 1995||2-1||Sheringham 29', Armstrong 54'||Bergkamp 14'||32,894|
|15 February 1997||0-0||33,039|
|28 December 1997||1-1||Nielsen 28'||Parlour 62'||29,610|
|5 May 1999||1-3||Anderton 43'||Petit 17', Anelka 33', Kanu 85'||36,019|
|7 November 1999||2-1||Iversen 7', Sherwood 20'||Vieira 39'||36,085|
|18 December 2000||1-1||Rebrov 31'||Vieira 89'||36,062|
|17 November 2001||1-1||Poyet 90'||Pires 81'||36,049|
|15 December 2002||1-1||Ziege 11'||Pires 45' (pen.)||36,076|
|25 April 2004||2-2||Redknapp 62', Keane 90+4' (pen.)||Vieira 3', Pires 35'||36,097|
|13 November 2004||4-5||Naybet 36', Defoe 61', King 73', Kanouté 88'||Henry 45+1', Lauren 55' (pen.), Vieira 60', Ljungberg 69, Pires 81'||36,095|
|29 October 2005||1-1||King 17'||Pires 77'||36,154|
|21 April 2007||2-2||Keane 30', Jenas 90+5'||Touré 64', Adebayor 78'||36,050|
|15 September 2007||1-3||Bale 15'||Adebayor 65', 90+4', Fàbregas 80'||36,053|
|8 February 2009||0-0||36,021|
|14 April 2010||2-1||Rose 10', Bale 47'||Bendtner 85'||36,041|
|20 April 2011||3-3||van der Vaart 7', 70' (pen.), Huddlestone 44'||Walcott 5', Nasri 12', van Persie 40'||36,138|
|2 October 2011||2-1||van der Vaart 40', Walker 73'||Ramsey 51'||36,274|
|3 March 2013||2-1||Bale 37', Lennon 39'||Mertesacker 51'||36,170|
|16 March 2014||0-1||Rosický 2'||35,711|
|7 February 2015||2-1||Kane 55', 86'||Özil 11'||35,659|
|5 March 2016||2-2||Alderweireld 60', Kane 62'||Ramsey 39', Sánchez 76'||35,762|
|30 April 2017||2-0||Alli 55', Kane 58' (pen.)||31,811|
|Wembley Stadium||10 February 2018||1-0||Kane 49'||83,222|
|2 March 2019||1-1||Kane 74' (pen.)||Ramsey 16'||81,332|
|Tottenham Hotspur Stadium||12 July 2020||2-1||Son 19', Alderweireld 81'||Lacazette 16'||0|
|6 December 2020||2-0||Son 13', Kane 45+1'||2,000|
Players in bold represent those who are currently playing for Arsenal or Tottenham. Source:
|1||Harry Kane||Tottenham Hotspur||11|
|2||Emmanuel Adebayor||Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur||10|
|Robin van Persie||Arsenal|
|Gareth Bale||Tottenham Hotspur|
|Rafael van der Vaart||Tottenham Hotspur|
Although Arsenal and Tottenham have never met in a major cup final, there have been North London derby matches that have significantly contributed to one of the two clubs winning a trophy, such as semi-finals and title deciders. These include:
As of 6 December 2020, there have been 188 competitive first-class meetings between the two teams since the first league meeting in 1909, of which Arsenal have won 77 and Tottenham 60. The most goals in one game were scored in the closely contested 5-4 Arsenal Premiership victory at White Hart Lane on 13 November 2004. The biggest winning margin was a 6-0 away win by Arsenal on 6 March 1935. Tottenham have twice won 5-0 (25 December 1911 and 4 April 1983) and Arsenal once (23 December 1978), with all three fixtures taking place at White Hart Lane. Arsenal also won by 5-2 margins both in February and November 2012 home at the Emirates.
Tottenham's record for goals scored against Arsenal is 11 goals by Harry Kane and 10 by Bobby Smith, followed by Billy Minter with nine goals. Arsenal's record is held jointly by Emmanuel Adebayor, Alan Sunderland and Robert Pires, with eight goals each. Adebayor also formerly held the record for most goals by a player in the North London derby with ten: eight scored for Arsenal and two for Tottenham. Arsenal's long-time defender David O'Leary holds the record for most North London derbies played with 35, while Gary Mabbutt and Steve Perryman shared the corresponding record for Spurs, with 31.
Terry Dyson is the only Spurs player to score a hat-trick in a first-class derby game, having done so on 26 August 1961 in a 4-3 win for Spurs. The Arsenal players to have done so are Ted Drake (20 October 1934) and Alan Sunderland (23 December 1978).
|Competition||Matches played||Arsenal wins||Draws||Spurs wins||Arsenal goals||Spurs goals|
Due to the rivalry between the clubs, relatively few players have played for both Arsenal and Spurs since 1913. The first player to have played for both clubs, however, predated the start of the rivalry; Bill Julian joined Royal Arsenal in 1889 and Tottenham in 1894. Many other players played for both clubs before the start of the rivalry, including Charles Ambler, Arthur Elliott, Thomas Fitchie, Tom Pratt, Peter Kyle, and George Payne. A number of players had joined both clubs in the 20th century, but it was only in the 1960s that Laurie Brown became the first player to have played in the North London Derby for both clubs. The players who have played for both since 1919 when the rivalry escalated are listed below.
Former Arsenal winger Joe Hulme managed Tottenham Hotspur between 1945 and 1949. George Graham was firstly an Arsenal player, then managed the Gunners between 1986 and 1994, before later taking up the reins at White Hart Lane between 1998 and 2001.
Clive Allen played three matches in Arsenal's 1980-81 pre-season friendly campaign, although never played a competitive league match for them.
Ron Piper was an amateur at Arsenal without playing a senior match before joining Tottenham in October 1960.
|Sol Campbell||DF||1992-2001||315||15||2001-06 and 2010||197||11|
In addition, former Spurs player Herbert Chapman subsequently managed Arsenal from 1925 to 1934. Forward Billy Lane of whom firstly played for Tottenham during 1922 and again from 1924 in a two-year stint at the club started in 1963 to feature as a scout for Arsenal. While former Gunner Terry Neill was Spurs's manager from 1974 to 1976, before he crossed back to manage Arsenal between 1976 and 1983.
Narada Bernard started his youth footballing career with Tottenham in 1997 but made the switch to Arsenal's Academy in 1999.Pat Holland was a reserve and youth team coach at Spurs from 1988 to 1995 and from 1997 to 2005 in a second spell with the club. Holland went on to take up the role of a coach at Arsenal's Academy in 2012. Holland left the role after less than two months due to personal reasons, but has continued to feature for Arsenal as a scout.
The following players have played in at least one North London derby for both teams:
|Name||For Arsenal||For Tottenham|
|Note: Jimmy Robertson and Emmanuel Adebayor are the only players to have scored for both teams in North London derbies.|
|National Competition||Arsenal||Tottenham Hotspur|
|First Division / Premier League||13||2|
|FA Community Shield||16||7|
|European competition||Arsenal||Tottenham Hotspur|
|UEFA Cup Winners' Cup||1||1|
|UEFA Cup / Europa League||0||2|
In its present format, Arsenal have, as of 2020-21, qualified to play in the UEFA Champions League on 19 occasions and Tottenham 5, although Spurs did achieve a fourth-place finish in the 2011-12 Premier League season but were denied a place in the Champions League due to Chelsea winning the Champions League. Arsenal were runners-up in the 2005-06 UEFA Champions League competition, as were Tottenham in the 2018-19 Champions League. Prior to this, Arsenal qualified for the former European Cup on three occasions, while Tottenham did so once. Arsenal were unable to compete in the 1989-90 competition owing to a ban on English clubs following the Heysel Stadium Disaster.
While the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup is recognised as the predecessor to the UEFA Cup, it was not organised by UEFA. Consequently, UEFA do not consider clubs' records in the Fairs Cup to be part of their European record. However, FIFA does view the competition as a major honour.