The Roar
The Roar


Spurs march on but surprise Postecoglou substitutions raise eyebrows

Autoplay in... 6 (Cancel)
Up Next No more videos! Playlist is empty -
Roar Pro
24th September, 2023

Tottenham captain Son Heung-min has powered his side to an enthralling 2-2 draw after producing two top-notch equalisers over arch-rivals Arsenal at Emirates Stadium.

The 31-year-old’s 150th professional senior goal early in the second half was a rapid-fire response to the Gunners’ second goal two minutes earlier.

It was rather bizarre scenes in the 77th minute when popular Spurs coach Ange Postecoglou decided to take Heung-min out of the game while he was on a hat-trick.

No goals were scored from either side following the substitute but fans will be wondering what might have been achieved if the star forward was kept on.

A masterstroke or a decision to rue? The move can be debated forever as Spurs fans would have also been pleased to come away with a point after heading into the North London derby as clear underdogs.

The captivating result means the rival clubs will remain unbeaten this season with four wins and two draws.

Early on, it was clearly the Gunners’ half up until the 35th minute but like the Spurs have done before under new coach Postecoglou, they found a way back into the game.

The half began with Gunners supporters having their hearts in their mouths when a Heung-min tap-in found the back net but an obvious off-side call was quickly called.


The early scare from the visitors clicked the Gunners into gear as Spurs keeper Guglielmo Vicario was forced to make top saves on two occasions shortly after.

The Spurs possession-based game was put under pressure as errors sporadically occurred with varying degrees of consequence.

Then luck fell the way of the Gunners when Bukayo Saka’s curving shot deflected sharply off Spurs defender Cristian Romero to find its way into the back net for an own goal in the 23rd minute.

It could have been another goal for the Gunners before half time when Gabriel Jesus won the ball off James Maddison in the penalty box but his shot sailed too high.

But momentum swung after the first 35 minutes as Postecoglou’s men produced the golden chance through some top link-up play.

Spurs duo Dejan Kulusevski and Heung-min went back and forth with the ball on the right wing leading to a what looked to be a goal scoring cut-back for Brennan Johnson.

But Gunners goalkeeper David Raya was there to produce an outstanding full-stretch dive to his right to maintain his side’s 1-nil advantage in the 37th minute.


On the brink of halftime Heung-min finished superbly to equalise after receiving a sound cut-back pass from Maddison who made the most of a sloppy Gunners clearance.

Romero was luckless again early in the second half, finding himself in the wrong place at the wrong time as a deflected shot saw the ball struck his hand.

Saka was clinical in his penalty sending Vicario to his right as the ball powered down the middle.

Inspirational Spurs skipper Heung-min fired his 150th premier league goal into the bottom left corner to equalise the score line less than two minutes after the Gunners got ahead.

The 55th minute 2-2 leveller came after Maddison won the ball on Gunners’ last line of defence and charged forward to set up Heung-min.


In a rather bizarre moment, Postecoglou decided to withdraw two of his two star players in the 77th minute including Heung-min who was eyeing a hat-trick.

Maddison was the other to depart the pitch but it was more understanding considering he had gone down earlier holding his knee which seemed to be fine shortly after.

Pressure was mounting late on the visiting side as the Gunners had three corners in succession but couldn’t capitalise.

Spurs forward Richarlison tried to repeat his heroic efforts from last week to find the late winner but wasn’t able to as his shot in the dying stages went left of the target.

In the end, the Gunners had one more shot on target compared to the Spurs with six while total shots were level at 13. Spurs had 54 per cent of the possession and corners were convincingly dominated by the Gunners at 11-4.