It was a marvelous day for Arsenal on Sunday.
There are many fierce rivalries in football. Some develop over time between two most successful clubs in a league, but mostly they bear a strong local flavor, wherever this sport takes roots.
The North-London Derby is certainly in that category, and while Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur aren’t exactly two biggest clubs in England (they are certainly big), the bragging rights in the part of the capital north of the river are a huge deal.
Arsenal absolutely deserved their win this time. Spurs were beaten to a pulp as they only played their game for about 10-15 minutes of the first half – which was as much as Arsenal allowed them. In that period, an Eric Dier header and a Harry Kane penalty were enough to overturn the lead Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had given the Gunners from the spot. Thankfully, Aubemeyang struck again in a fantastic manner after the break to level the score, Alexandre Lacazette added one himself, and Lucas Torreira rounded the game off with a cool finish to make it four.
However, next to all the glory, there were scenes at the Emirates which have no place in football. As Aubameyang scored the opening goal and ran to celebrate in front of the away fans, a number of missiles thrown from the stands greeted him – and to the dismay of any sensible person, one of them was a banana skin.
Speaking after the game, former Arsenal player Ian Wright said that during his days with the club he was often insulted by Spurs’ fans, but never racially. He openly called the person who had done it an idiot, and in all honesty, his description of such a character cannot be disputed.
Tottenham Hotspur later condemned the action and launched an investigation, announcing a ban for the one responsible.
However, it seems that wasn’t the only regrettable incident during the game. There was strong commotion after Dier equalized and, like Aubameyang, went to celebrate in front of the opposition supporters. Overall, according to The Guardian, six people were arrested over three separate incidents, and four of those have been charged by the Metropolitan police.
Derbies have always had an extra charged up dimension compared to any other game, but limits should be drawn.
In the other derby of the day, Liverpool beat Everton by 1-0 as Divock Origi scored the winning goal in the 96th minute, and the FA are investigating Everton fans throwing smoke canisters on the pitch, while Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been charged with misconduct for running onto the pitch to celebrate the winning goal.