Christian Eriksen clocked up his half-century of Premier League goals and Harry Kane became the joint-top scorer in north London derby history, but honours ultimately ended even at Arsenal on Sunday afternoon.
In another rip-roaring battle at the Emirates, Eriksen swept home inside 10 minutes and Kane made it two from the penalty spot five minutes before the break, but Arsenal grabbed a goal back in first-half added time through Alexandre Lacazette to reduce our advantage heading into the break.
Kane hit the post for us but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang stuck out a leg to steer Matteo Guendouzi's ball into the box past Hugo Lloris and restore parity in the second period. The Gunners had the ball in the net for a third time soon afterwards, but the assistant referee flagged Sead Kolasinac off-side as he sent in a cross in the build-up - a decision backed up after a VAR review.
Goalkeepers Hugo Lloris and Bernd Leno each pulled off some superb saves throughout while Moussa Sissoko was left kicking himself after two chances on the counter slipped away from him in the last few moments. Kane's appeals for a stoppage-time spot kick also fell on deafs ears, but you sensed both teams left wanting more as the final whistle sounded on a 2-2 draw.
With Kyle Walker-Peters injured in last weekend's defeat to Newcastle, Mauricio Pochettino deployed Davinson Sanchez at right-back with Jan Vertonghen coming into his place at centre-half for his first appearance of the season. Midfielder Dele was also introduced for his 2019/20 bow on the hour, having missed our first three games over a hamstring problem.
We opened Arsenal up on the break to take a deserved lead. Heung-Min Son burst forward and slid in Erik Lamela, his angled shot from the right was parried by Leno but only into the path of Eriksen, who gleefully slotted home his 50th Premier League goal 10 minutes in. Leno subsequently denied Eriksen and Son, before tipping away Eriksen's free-kick in the 38th minute.
It was 2-0 five minutes before the break as Kane kept up his excellent record of scoring penalties against Arsenal after Son was chopped down in the box by Granit Xhaka. It was his 10th goal against our bitter rivals, putting him level with Bobby Smith and Emmanuel Adebayor for the most career strikes in north London derbies.
Lloris saved well from Pepe and Lacazette in the moments before the break but, when the latter found himself in the box, he lashed home from the left angle to give Arsenal what proved to be a crucial lifeline in the first minute of added time.
Son's deflected effort was tipped wide by Leno while Kane received Eriksen's return pass but saw his shot hit the far post as we tried to restore our two-goal lead early in the second period. But after Lloris pushed Dani Ceballos' shot over the bar, Guendouzi's curling ball into the box was guided in by the arriving Aubameyang to draw the Gunners level on 71 minutes.
Lloris denied Xhaka from distance while Arsenal thought they'd won it 11 minutes from time, but Kolasinac was off-side as he sent in a cross from the left which Sokratis converted - VAR backing up the assistant referee's decision to rule the goal out.
Sissoko benefitted from a fortuitous ricochet that saw him go bursting forward in the last minute of normal time, only for his Kane-bound pass to be cut out, while Kane went to ground under Sokratis' injury-time challenge in the box - no penalty, said the officials. Sissoko saw another late chance go begging when he fired over after Kane picked him out on another counter-attack, meaning the spoils were shared.
Lacazette's goal in first-half added time was vital to the Gunners' comeback. Had we gone in at 2-0 up at the break, you sensed it would have been difficult for the hosts to respond but when Lacazette lashed home, they were back in the contest.
Speaking to us at the Emirates, Mauricio said: "Overall, I think we are happy with the performance, recovering good feelings. We can only be optimistic, and we are going to improve. We’re going to have the internationals now and it was good to finish with a positive feeling. After all the circumstances it was an important performance, more than the point or the table."